Sunnysiders remember Edebohls Ice Cream Parlor with nostalgia

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Image source: Todd Edebohls, grandson of Henry Edebohls

Over on Sunnyside Post, when the historical marker for the former boxing arena was announced, several older neighborhood residents piped up. Comments on the news piece started to fill with other memories of life in Sunnyside in the 1940s and 50s. It is really worth reading through the nostalgic comments and the priceless exchanges between old timers and newer residents. As one commenter responded, “Sounds like an episode of Happy Days.”

According to many commenters, one of the most popular hangouts in Sunnyside in the old days was Edebohls Ice Cream Parlor on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 47th Street, a classic spot with homemade ice cream, sweets, and a soda fountain. It was owned and operated by Henry Edebohls and his brother Carl Edebohls (whose son, John Edebohls, recently sponsored the boxing arena plaque).

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Image source: Todd Edebohls, grandson of Henry Edebohls

A Sunnyside Post commenter who calls herself “Old Lady Sunnyside” remembers fondly:

“They had jars of candy in the window and soda fountains where you could see the soda inside and it was pumped up so it washed down the sides. I thought I was in sweet, sweet heaven! After a shopping trip to Greenpoint Avenue my mom would stop there for a cup of coffee. My brother and I got sodas. The guy behind the counter–wearing a white paper hat–would fill a cone-shaped paper cup with crushed ice he dug up from below the counter. He’d put the cup in a metal stand, then pull the lever on that magical fountain and fill it with soda. Last thing, he’d stick a paper straw in it. We’d sit on the stools and spin around while he was doing that then carry the sodas to the booth my mother picked. There we would drive her crazy banging our feet against the wooden bottom of the booth. It was a joy.”

Other commenters bring up roller derby matches at Sunnyside Garden, which also had open roller skating on Saturday nights for 50 cents; the original White Castle, where car hops served burgers; and a bowling alley on Queens Boulevard that later became a disco.

For more old photos of the neighborhood, see the gallery on the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce website.

2 Comment

  • My Father was also a partner in Edebohls Ice Cream Parlor. His name was Fred Schlichting, & he was a cousin of the Edebohls brothers, Uncles Bill & Carl.

    My Dad is in the photo, behind the counter (under the photo here). My Mother, Sister & I spent many days making up beautiful Easter baskets. We came home smelling like a Chocolate Easter Bunny!

    We lived on 48th St. in “the Mets”. Life was so simple & pleasant there. We played in the courtyard & on the sidewalk & our Mothers had no worries about our safety (except for the usual scrapes & bumps).

    I loved walking to the local butcher with Mom & getting a slice of liverwurst!

    Oh – my Dad would supply the little vanilla & chocolate Dixie cups to PS 125 for special occasions. That helped me with a bit of popularity!

    I miss my days in the wonderful community of Sunnyside.