The largest and most popular nightspot in southeastern Queens from the 1930s through the early ’60s was Fleming’s Bar & Grill, located on Merrick Boulevard at 228th Street in Laurelton.
The joint was a big 19th-century Colonial house that had been converted into a lunch hall-type restaurant by Emile and Bertha Miller, who in the 1920s dubbed it the Old Homestead. In 1936 decorated World War I veteran James Fleming purchased the Old Homestead, energized it and erected his famous horseshoe-shaped bar. At more than 70 feet, the bar was the longest in Queens at the time.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday he provided entertainment and dancing with no expense spared. Fleming also held a big annual outing at Pine Grove Park in Amityville, LI each year.
He dropped the name Horseshoe Bar in the 1950s and it was called just Fleming’s Restaurant. It closed in 1962.
The watering hole is gone, but food is still served on this corner today. The Ideal Stop, Dairy and Grill is there for people who just want quick food to go.