August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900

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Building Inventory Form

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Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form.   Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, much of the information reflects that time period. 

Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made.  Corrections to factual errors in the original surveys, and updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or are clearly indicated as updated material from the context of the comments. 

Sites which have a suffix of "S" are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.


Building-Structure Inventory Form

Cedar Inn (and sucessors)

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not included in the original surveys.

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Inventory Code: Br04.2-S
Prepared Date: 5/20/2003
Last modified: 10/23/2015
Original Submitter
Submitter Name: John Deitz
Submitter Address: 7 Locust Rd.

631-286-3178
Organization:
Identification
1-Building/Site Name:  
2a-County:   Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village:  
3-Street Location:   2647 Montauk Highway

 If checked, this site is within the Fire Place (Brookhaven Hamlet) Historic District

Ownership
   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    5b-Address:   
Use

6a-Original:    Residence?

6b-Present:    Restaurant

Accessibility
 7a-Visible From Road

 7b-Interior Accessible:
7b-Interior Comment:   During business hours  
Building Materials 
   8a-Clapboard    8b-Stone    8c-Brick
   8d-Board & Batten    8e-Cobblestone    8f-Shingles
   8g-Stucco
8-Other:     
Structural System
   9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints    9b-Wood Frame Light Members:    9c-Masonry:
    9d-Metal
9d-Metal Comment:     
   9e-Other
9e-Other Comment:     
Condition
    10a-Excellent   10b-Good   10c-Fair     10d-Deteriorated
Integrity
   11a-Original Site  11b-Moved   If so, when?  
11c-Alterations:  Extensively remodeled over the years.  
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
13-Map
View Larger Map
Threats
  14a-None Known:    14b-Zoning   14c-Roads
  14d-Developers :   14e-Deterioration
14f-Other:     
14-Comment:     
Related Outbuildings
and Property

  15a-Barn   15b-Carriage House  15c-Garage
  15d-Privy   15e-Shed   15f-Greenhouse
  15g-Shop   15h-Gardens   15i-Landscape Features
15i-Landscape Features:   
15j-Other:   
15-Comment:     
Surroundings of the Building
  16a-Open Land   16b-Woodland   16c-Scattered Bldgs.
  16d-Densely Built-up   16e-Commercial  16f-Industrial
  16g-Residential 16h-Other:   
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
17-Interrelationships:    
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features:       
Significance
19-Initial Const Date:  
19-Architect:    
19-Builder:    
Historic and Architectural Importance
20-Importance:   The core of this structure is likely the William Smith Hawkins residence (W. Hawkins house shown on the 1858 Chace Map). Exterior evidence suggests a two-story house.

It has been the site of an inn and restaurant since before 1900.

  • 27 April, 1900.  Suffolk County News (Sayville):  "For Sale at a great bargain; the Road House known as 'Cedar Inn' with 122 Acres, midway between Patchogue and Moriches."
  • 30 Sep 1910.  Suffolk County News (Sayville):  "Fred J. Murphy, real estate agent, has sold the Cedar Inn property in Brookhaven, to David Wiener, a business merchant of New York and Frank Libschik a business man of Richmond Hill and also to Louis Niederstein a brother of John Niederstein the former county clerk of Queens County. Frank Libschik who is the father-in-law of Louis Niederstein will reside in the Inn with his family and carry on the business in his name and conduct it as a first class up-to-date Inn. He will also renovate the place from top to bottom and make many improvements in the place. The new parties take possession of the place October 1, 1910."
    1905 Map indicates that he at first continued inn under the name "Old Cedar Inn"
  • Post Card, 1920s, "Chics Music Box Grill, Sunrise Trail, Brookhaven, N.Y., Duck and Chicken Dinners," the name later given by Frank Libschik to the inn.  A barn at the rear of the restaurant was used by a Mr. Edwards and Frank Libschick for the showing of talking movies in the early 1920s.  About 1929, the barn had a fire, which while successfully extinguished, later led to the collapse of the barn in November 1929.
  • Post Card, late1920s - 1930s. "Emil's Tavern, Merrick Road, Brookhaven, Long Island, N.Y., Bellport 186, Open all year." Based on the size of a tree in front of the building, Emil's seems to have been somewhat later than Chic's.  Emil Lengyel was the proprietor. 
    Suffolk County News, 18 July 1930:  Prohibition era Federal agents raided the inn, and arrested Lengyel.  The raid yielded a large quantity of beer and some liquor.  Three waiters were also arrested.
  • Post Card, 1930s.  Hof Brau Inn
  • 4 July 1940, The Long Islander (Huntington): Assumed business name, "Francis Nobile doing business as Old Cedar Inn at Brookhaven."
  • Email:  The Morgan family purchased the restaurant in 1946 after his discharge from the Army. It was called the Latin Casino. He also owned the Bellport Casino in the 1960's, located across the street from the Bellport train station on Station Road (it is now The Bellport Quick Stop).
  • Mastic Hour (1950s-1970s)
  • Purple Onion
  • Zebras
  • Borderline Café (c. 1995)  New York Times Review in Supplemental Material
  • Noisy Oyster
  • Stinger's Bar and Grill (about 2002-2005)
  • Chase Lounge (c. 2005)
  • Ground Round (c. 2007-) Rob Deshler, proprietor
 
 
Sources
21-Sources:      Email, Willis Morgan, 23 Jun 2009, WillisMorgan62 at aol dot com, 13 Nov 2009 (including pictures).

Various postcard images.

Newspapers articles referenced elsewhere herein.

 
Theme
22-Theme:     
Prepared By:
  John Deitz
Supplemental Material: 
 

Patchogue Advance, 26 Nov 1929, p. 16:
The barn in the rear of [the] Music Box Grill has caved in.  The barn was used eight years ago by Mr. Edwards and Frank Libschick for furthering talking movies.  A stage in the rear was used and some of the first talking movies exhibited there.  The Music Box Grill is now vacant.  Not long ago the barn was on fire but the Brookhaven firemen quickly extinguished the flames.

Patchogue Advance, 29 May 1936, p. 4
The Hof Brau Inn Is Open—An interesting place is the Hof Brau inn on the Montauk highway in Brookhaven, where you are cordially greeted by mine host, Carl Strohm.  Charles Van Dien and His Royal Arcadians furnish the gay music for dancing at the Hof Brau.


A LA CARTE;
Food Takes a Cafe Beyond Fun and Games
By RICHARD JAY SCHOLEM
New York Times. Published: July 2, 1995 (transcript excerpt).

NIGHTCLUBS are for fun, not food. Serious diners steer clear of them. It is not unusual to find mediocre or inferior fare and exorbitant prices at restaurants that emphasize entertainment. The Borderline Cafe in Brookhaven is best known as a weekend comedy club, not for its cuisine. The rest of the time this roadhouse at 2647 Montauk Highway (286-8077) promotes everything but its cooking, including karaoke, backyard volleyball games, a piano player and jazz.

The often loud, usually lively, barroom contains its share of macho-tattooed types with baseball caps and long hair. Our pleasant, though uninformed, miniskirted waitress referred to us as "You guys."

The sometimes hard-driving recorded rock and blues music heard in the dining room is anything but appropriate or relaxing. Yes, the Borderline seems like the last place in the world to choose for fine food.

But despite all clues to the contrary, most of the food is excellent, portions are substantial and prices are moderate. Soups, sauces, dressings and breads are homemade. Dishes are often artfully garnished with purple kale, and fresh herbs like basil, mint, tarragon, thyme and parsley abound.

The chef, William Kirk, is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, and the owner, Bruce Elias, went through Johnson & Wales. They both seem to care about good food and want the Borderline to be known for more than fun and games.

Light eaters will find that some appetizers are of main-course size. Seven tender medium-large oysters a la Borderline ($5.95), covered with butter-infused, vividly seasoned bread crumbs, qualify, as do 10 lightly breaded crisp grease-free deep-fried artichoke hearts ($4.50) served on a bed of carrots and greens accompanied by a rather bland lemon-vinaigrette dipping sauce.

Most diners do not order appetizers because there is no need to do so. The price of the hefty entrees includes a hearty soup or a good-size tossed or Greek salad. Few customers can finish those two courses, and doggie bags are the norm.

The inclusion of those soups and salads make main courses, which cost $8.95 to $17.95, considerably less expensive than they seem. The soup one night was special. It was a boldly seasoned thick and tasty bisquelike cream of mushroom made with cream, fresh mushrooms, chicken stock and shallots.

The salads, with their sprightly red-tipped lettuce, red onions, cucumbers and juilienned carrots, are anything but skimpy. Feta cheese, imported olives and a hot green pepper are added to the Greek version.

Two entrees, grilled boneless center-cut pork chops ($14.95) and a special of fusilli with chicken, spinach, basil and tomato ($11.95) were both top drawer, though the flavor of the pasta dish was enhanced by a dash or two of salt. The very tender, very soft pork was hash-marked from the grill. It was escorted by homemade apple sauce, two potato pancakes that were truly latkes to love and a thicket of green beans, carrots and corn cut from the cob. The large, deep bowl of pleasingly peppery pasta was liberally studded with juicy chicken nuggets, sauteed spinach and cubed tomatoes.

Desserts like death by chocolate ($3.50), raspberry sorbet covered in dark chocolate ($3.50), hot-fudge brownie knockout ($3.75) and rice pudding ($2.75) sounded tempting, but were not sampled.

Outside, lost among the signs that promote masters of ceremony, comics, music and sports, there is but a single small reference to fine dining. It should be larger. Openings