In recent years, the landscape of Bay Ridge has transformeddrastically. This neighborhood began with small storefronts, wherethe proprietors knew your name. It was a community where Mom andPop ran the show. Many of these shops have faded away as the bigbox chains appeared.

New restaurants dot Third Avenue, giving it a resemblance totrendy Manhattan destinations and making it somewhat difficult forour childhood favorites to stay afloat. While many of these changesspell a renewed local economy and more choices, the casualties aresometimes hard to accept.

Last month, a Bay Ridge institution, known for keeping the oldspirit of Bay Ridge alive, closed its doors after over 60 years ofmemories.

Hinsch’s Luncheonette at Fifth Avenue and 86th Street was a sodashop that was run by the Logue family. John Logue recentlyannounced, via a sign in the store’s window, that due to a numberof circumstances, they would not be renewing their lease.

The reactions of Ridgeites when they received the news wasdisappointment and nostalgia. Most Ridgeites have at least onememory of dining at the 1950s style diner.

After a day of shopping on 86th, the booths would always belined with young and old clientele, dying for burger and a shake.My grandmother would sometimes take me there after our own shoppingexcursions. We’d sink into the booth and enjoy the feeling that wehad gone back in time.

Later on, in my teen years, I would spend afternoons there withmy girlfriends, even visiting a few soda jerks we knew who workedthere. Walking by the storefront brings back fond memories of thesoda fountain perch where they would create frozen concoctions.They’d pile the kitchen sink sundae high with the works and we’dindulge until we couldn’t eat another bite.

The end of Hinsch’s is the end of an era for Bay Ridge. Whileour ‘hood keeps growing, it is sad to see the places we took forgranted slowly closing down, making room for newer, shinier haunts.I’ll never forget Hinsch’s and the memories it gave me.

Goodbye Hinsch’s, we’ll miss you, old friend.

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