NYC - Brooklyn - Sheepshead Bay: F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant
F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant, at 1901 Emmons Avenue, is the last of the great seafood palaces which once flourished in Sheepshead Bay. In its heyday, Lundys the largest restaurant in the United States, seating between 2,400 and 2,800.
At the turn of the 20th century, Irving Lundy started a business selling clams out of a pushcart. By 1907, he had opened a clam bar built on stilts over Sheepshead Bay, closing it when the City built a new bulkhead at that location. In 1934, in conjunction with the government sponsored redevelopment of the waterfront, he opened the original Lundy Brothers restauarant. In the 1950's, business boomed, serving up to fifteen thousand people on holidays such as Mother's Day. After Irving's death, though, it was forced to shut down in 1977 and remained an abandoned landmark along the bay for 17 years until it was reopened at a third of its peak capacity. The 1997 version, decorated with the letters "F.W.I.L.," standing for "Frederick William Irving Lundy", closed in 2007.
The Lundy Brothers building was designed by Bloch & Hesse, which specialized in restaurant design. A rare, but fine New York example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, its design features sand-colored stuccoed walls, low sloping red Mission tile roofs, arched entrances, arcuated corbel tables, decorative ironwork, and leaded glass windows.
F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant was designated a landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1992.