Long Island landmark Hildebrandt's sold to new owners, saved from closure
Hildebrandt's in Williston Park has been a Long Island community staple for nearly a century and has now been saved from closure by its new owners.
After the luncheonette faced the prospect of closing, new owners Randy Sarf and Spencer Singer, picked up the torch and kept Hildebrandt's open.
The iconic ice cream shop opened its doors in 1927. Since then, multiple generations of Long Island residents have sat at its counters and enjoyed some of the homemade ice cream.
Sarf and Singer say they know the significance that the location has for so many in the community.
When they heard it was in jeopardy of closing, they got together and offered to buy the place and renegotiated a new 10-year lease with the building owner.
That was music to the ears of many longtime customers who called Hildebrandt's home.
Patrons like 92-year-old Bud Damour have been coming since the luncheonette opened.
"Certain niceties like this tend to disappear in favor of what replaces them," Damour says.
Hildebrandt's has been a destination for many Long Islanders to have some of their famous homemade ice cream and snacks.
It's also been a destination for multiple television shows and movies that have featured its nostalgia, like the recent Netflix movie "The Irishman."
The sign out front is what most people see as they drive through Williston Park. It's pretty much a landmark and the new owners say it's not changing.
"That sign will never come down. I can promise you that. Mark my works. That sign will never leave here. It will be up forever, " Sarf says.
The new owners are planning on a few changes though, including breakfast items, as well as a potential delivery option and longer hours of operation.
They're also talking about bringing back homemade candy, which was a popular item in the lunch location's heyday.
Sarf and Singer do want to upgrade some equipment in the place and take it into the 21st century. But what is very important to them is that more generations get the chance to enjoy what made so many happy for nearly 95 years.