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Krisch’s Offers Cold Comfort In Massapequa

Ice Cream Parlor Keeps Nostalgia On the Menu

A mountainous bowl of ice cream dripping with toppings screams summertime and is alluring enough to freeze time for the eater, no matter the age.

The cold and creamy treat harkens back to easygoing childhood days when the most daunting task was deciding between marshmallow or hot fudge—a decision almost always decided in favor of both.

Massapequa residents have been reliving those simpler times through ice cream since 1955, when the current incarnation of Krisch’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour opened at 11 Central Ave. Steven McCue has been the man at the helm welcoming customers since 1993, when he became owner after starting as a busboy a decade earlier.

“It was a great place to work as a kid,” said McCue. “It wasn’t about making money, it was about being with your friends and having that sense of camaraderie.”

McCue spent his days at Krisch’s working in every possible capacity—he bussed tables, worked the counter, churned ice cream, washed dishes and did just about anything else that needed doing. Working in the restaurant, he developed a passion for food, and soon found himself enrolled in culinary school at the New York Institute of Technology’s Central Islip campus.

With a pantry full of food knowledge, and a business degree, McCue gained ownership of Krisch’s after its previous owner nearly destroyed the business.

“He didn’t have a love for the business or any respect for the history,” said McCue, who was given a sweetheart deal to take over the restaurant by the landlord. “I had faith in the business. The name was there. There was a core and I knew we had to emphasize that core.”

That core was first developed in Bayridge, Brooklyn, Krisch’s original home, in 1920. After a move to Hollis, Queens in the 1930s, the venerable ice cream parlor found its current home on Long Island’s south shore.

Remaining at the same location for close to 60 years is a great way to build a loyal customer base spanning generations. McCue said about 80 percent of his customers are regulars, a fact plainly obvious as the owner greets nearly every patron by name.

“This place has history and a great atmosphere, but they keep coming back because we offer top quality products,” he said, adding that all the ice cream and chocolate is made in-house and he buys fresh products whenever possible. “Our prices might not be the cheapest, but our products are the absolute top of the line.”

McCue’s standards extend from top quality meats for Krisch’s famous hamburgers to, of course, its ice cream. Even his vanilla, the most basic of ice cream flavors, is anything but plain. McCue shuns squeeze bottle extract in favor of Madagascar vanilla beans and the end result remains Krisch’s most popular flavor.

“If you come back in 10 years, vanilla will still be the most popular,” he said. “It’s the core flavor of everything we do.”

And everything they do with ice cream is enough to induce brain freeze. Krisch’s churns out a vast array of creations including dark chocolate strawberry, rainbow cookie, fluffernutter, burgundy cherry and many, may more.

A full lunch and dinner menu is also available, along with a staggering and enticing breakfast menu.

McCue said he will continue respecting the past while also looking toward the future, with plans to expand Krisch’s current location and possibly churn out more shops on Long Island.

But no matter what the future might hold, McCue said he will always honor Krisch’s commitment to the highest standards and its overall mission -- to offer an escape from life’s everyday pressures with a bowl of indulgence.

“I like when the customer leaves happy,” he said. “We give them a taste of history and a good product and they get a bit of happiness for the day. I here the sound of a spoon hitting an empty bowl and I know I’ve done my job.”

 

News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

Free Wine Tasting

Friday, April 18

Boating Course

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com