WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 23
Bar stories across the street, and across the tracks, in Glendale
BY THE OLD TIMER
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: THE WAY IT WAS
Long ago, on the southeast corner
of 73rd Street and Edsall Avenue
in Glendale, stood a historic tavern
that was operated for many years
by the Gundolff Family.
George Gundolff was born in France
and came to America in 1887, at the age
of 27. Soon aft er his arrival in America,
he got married and settled in Glendale.
We believe that he purchased several
lots on the southeast corner of
Railroad Avenue (later Edsall Avenue)
and Wyckoff Avenue (present-day
73rd Street) from William Johnson.
Following the sale, he had a 2 ½-story
wooden frame building erected.
He opened a fl orist shop catering to
the Lutheran (present-day All Faiths)
Cemetery trade, which used the rear
entrance at this location. He had his
greenhouse in the rear on 73rd Street.
Across the street on the southwest
corner of present-day Edsall Avenue and
73rd Street was the saloon of Christian
Kirschmann. On the north side of the
railroad, just to the east of the entrance to
Lutheran Cemetery, was the fl orist shop
of Philip Knack. He had his greenhouses
located adjacent to his shop.
In 1882, Kirschmann — who came
to America from Germany in 1864 at
the age of 22 — had signed a fi ve-year
lease with Philip Kern at $360 per year
for a building in which he intended to
operate a saloon. It was on the south
side of Metropolitan Avenue, just to
the west of the terminal of the elevated
train there; this is the present-day
Metropolitan Avenue-Middle Village
In 1885, Kirschmann decided that
he would acquire property at the rear
entrance to Lutheran Cemetery in
Glendale, and have a building erected
there for a saloon. On Sept. 28 of that
year, he purchased a 25-foot-wide
lot from John King for $400. That lot
was fronted on Railroad Avenue and
was adjacent to the southwest corner
of Wyckoff Avenue and Washington
Avenue (present-day 72nd Street).
A few days later, on Oct. 3, he purchased
the corner lot, also 25 feet
wide, from Angeline Lilly for $600. He
then hired a builder to construct a 2
½-story wooden frame building which
was ready the following year. There
he opened a saloon and hotel on the
On Oct. 14, 1892, John Siney sold to
George and Karolina Gundolff two lots
measuring together about 50 feet by
112 feet. The lots were located on the
south side of Railroad Avenue midblock
between Madison Avenue (now
71st Place) and Washington Avenue
(present-day 72nd Street). The price
for the two lots was $600.
On the lots, George Gundolff erected
a two-story house. Shortly thereaft er,
he started to use part of his original
building on the southeast, the corner
of Railroad and Wyckoff avenues, as a
saloon and hotel.
By 1900, Kirschmann found himself
in legal and fi nancial trouble. Aft er
losing a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme
Court, he reported that he couldn’t pay
the claim against him. The judge in the
case then ordered that Kirschmann’s
property in Glendale be sold at public
auction. On July 11, 1900, Joseph Bermel,
who owned a monument yard on
Metropolitan Avenue near Dry Harbor
Road (present-day 80th Street) in
Middle Village, was the highest bidder
George Gundolff lived above the
saloon with his wife, Karolina, and
their four children: Elizabeth, George,
Karolina and Bertha.
With Kirschmann having problems,
Gundolff moved the fl orist shop to the
rear of the building, and expanded
the saloon. His saloon business prospered
as the population of Glendale
increased from the many new homes
being built in the area, and also from
the commuters who used the Long Island
Rail Road (the station in Glendale
Ridgewood Times archives/Courtesy of Greater Ridgewood Historical Society
was located a block away at 73rd Place,
which was then called Clinton Avenue).
In addition, some of the visitors to
Lutheran Cemetery were also patrons
at the saloon. By 1905, his saloon’s
volume was such that he decided to
discontinue his fl orist shop, and used
the area in the rear for a wagon shed
for his customers.
Another fl orist who catered to the
cemetery trade near the rear entrance
to Lutheran Cemetery was F. Bosshart,
who had a shop and greenhouse on the
east side of Washington Avenue (72nd
Street), between Central and Edsall
Gundolff ’s saloon operated until
National Prohibition took eff ect on
Jan. 17, 1920. We believe that George
Gundolff passed away prior to the
repeal of prohibition in 1933.
Thereaft er, Karolina Gundolff saloon
as a tavern. “Ma Gundolff ,” as she
was known by her customers, was 70
years old when Prohibition ended, and
she ran the tavern until her death in
the late 1940s.
Ma Gundolff was remembered as
being very strong and having a large
pair of hands. She could lift a halfbarrel
of beer — weighing about 135
pounds — and place it in the ice chest
back of the bar.
Aft er her death, it became known as
Richards Tavern. We’re not sure when
the tavern closed.
Today, the former Gundolff and
Kirschmann Saloons serve as homes
and offi ces. The former fl orists across
the street and across the tracks are
now small offi ces as well.
The Glendale railroad station has
been closed for more than 20 years
now. It went out of service in 1998
along with several other former passenger
stations on the Lower Montauk
Branch of the Long Island Rail Road.
The rail line is presently used by
New York and Atlantic Railway for
freight operations emanating out of
the nearby Fresh Pond Railyard.
The little-used entrance to the Lutheran/
All Faiths Cemetery remains in
place across the tracks from the corner
of Edsall Avenue and 73rd Street.
Reprinted and updated from the Feb. 7,
1986, issue of the Ridgewood Times.
* * *
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