Remembering Closter Businesses of another time

Remembering Closter Businesses of another time

Journeys into Closter

Some time ago we came upon an interesting book. It paid tribute to New York City’s vanished and threatened shops, bars and restaurants, but it also made us think of Closter.

“Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” (Gingko Press, $65) was described in a recent newspaper account as “a nostalgic photographic tribute”, documenting what has happened to important neighborhood businesses – and by extension to the communities they were part of.

New York’s last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, late of Times Square, and the M&G Diner on West 125th Street with its sign “Old Fashion’ but Good” are but two examples of the many storefronts photographed for the book.

Though not as universally known as the old Howard Johnson’s at the “Crossroads of the World”, Closter too has had its share of landmark establishments – at least so considered to those who have lived here long enough to know and care.

Inspired by the N.Y.C. book, we stopped to contemplate what a local version of “Store Front” might have included.

Very few pictures of our Closter stores ever existed. Other than perhaps some artifacts at area historical societies, it is likely that what few images might have survived would, in fact, be found in photographic archives of long-standing local news publications, and therefore, unavailable for these pages . As a result, we are left to remember these once special places in words and in our imaginations.

Probably the biggest and best known storefront was the old Closter Plaza. There was the KMart, Grand Way, the movie and a series of smaller stores. There was also the famous Dancing Diamond sign.

Another local landmark was the Trautwein Farm (later called The Farm), a local fixture for over a century on Piermont Road. It shut down only a few years ago.

By farm standards, The Farm was tiny at 3.2 acres. But it occupied an important place in the hearts of locals.

The business district was different in earlier days. We welcome your contributions to help piece together and recall some of the retail names of Closter's past.

And, how about the old Danny's Steakhouse ?

Photo Credit and Acknowledgement: