Saturday, September 03, 2011
Last night was THE last night for Gene's Fish Fry. They closed out 50 years of serving the CD-NY with healthy fish meals. At the same concrete block building were Rt. 4 joins with Rt. 43.
If it wasn't for the fact I had spent a goodly amount of time in the YMCA pool I wouldn't have even been in E. G'bush. Nor stopped by for a closing nights repast.
Though I haven't dined at Gene's every season since 1961 I have enjoyed their fair over the last half century.
During my youth me parents even had my birthday parties there. That must have cost them a fortune.
Not that the prices are high. No, it's just this little family David each year has to fend off more and more corporate food giants.
First came Off Shore Pier, a fish market & dining room. Off Shore had a big start as it was backed by BIG Renss.Co. political $$$$$. Also because of the fish monger Off Shore could stay open year round. An option Gene couldn't do.
Next was McD. When Gene's opened in spring McD added Filet-o-Fish to that store menu.
To add insult to injured food dollars a few years back Gene's neighbor,to the north, a combo gas station/car repair/used car dealership, closed down just after Gene's closed that season.
The car shop rebuilt it's facilities.
It needed some repair of it's own.
When the construction of the building / self-serve car wash / and additional pumps were completed, low and behold inside the now AM/PM MINI MART is a dining area. Et to Brute.
Then Bruggers and it's Tuna Bagel. Followed Denny's about 3 miles away on Rt. 4. Building in next to Denny's is now a Cracker Barrel.
Back at 4 & 43 came DD. This spring the neighboring DD started offering Tune salad.
Across Grandview, on 4 & 43. is Starbucks who this past June started offering Bistro Boxes. (Recently reviewed in an SP article). One of the Bistro Box's...fish.
Then there is also Penerra's, Applebee's, Friendly's, Subway, The Sports Grill, & Stewarts.
If that was enough to eviscerate the seafood market share this year saw the openings of FiveGuy's & Moe's.
And Gene's chugs along like THE LITTLE eatery THAT COULD.
Each spring, & Mother's Day, through to Labor Day Friday saying to itself, "I think I can...I think I can."
And for 50 years it did.
What about 51? I briefly spoke with the owner explaining in 2012 Lent & Easter is at its latest it could be. So will they be opening in time for the Lenten Fishday Friday's. Her response was the 2011 season was a great success. They had to hire on additional staff to get by.
Some of her staff where thankful for Gene's this year as they were hit be the recession and ran out of unemployment insurance. So if the weather warm, the suppliers can stock them up, and, "most important these guys are available. I will open early...after I tell (her husband)."
He is Gene 2.
Summer is over. Enjoy your hiatus Gene's Fish Fry. See you when your potted tulips spring from their chilly hibernation.