On Sunday, November 28th, a part of my youth was put to rest – The Scobee Grill on Northern Blvd in Douglaston closed it’s doors. For those that I grew up with in Great Neck, there was only one diner and that was the Scobee. Yes there was Stanley’s, Seven Seas and that other Scobee in Great Neck (and don’t get me started on that) but THE Scobee Grill on Northern Blvd and Little Neck Parkway was the one diner that I hold above all other diners, on longisland or any place for that matter.
My earliest memories of The Scobee go as far back as the original train car diner prior to the expansion that took place in the 70s. But it was when I turned 18 that the Scobee really became a special place for my friends and me. You see the Scobee was located directly across the street from Patrick’s Pub, another Northern Blvd institution that no longer exists. Back in 1978 the legal drinking age was 18, which it should still be (but that’s a post for another day). After a few pitchers at Patrick’s, the Scobee was the perfect spot for a late night snack and I ordered pretty much the same thing every time: Pizza burger deluxe, iced tea topped off with a piece of seven layer cake (and I always asked for the end piece). Oh man, my kingdom for Scobee’s seven layer cake. I have searched far and wide and nothing has ever come close.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I must have left quite an impression on one of the waitresses who used to wait on us during those high school and college years. A few years after I was married and living in the city, and a few years after my last late night journey to the Scobee, Linda and I went to there for dinner. The waitress comes to take our order and I order the usual, pizza burger deluxe and an iced tea. No sooner did those words leave my mouth when the waitress looks down at me and says “and an end piece of seven layer cake.” She then looks at me and say “I remember you and your friends coming here.” I just loved that.
And now it’s gone. I know that many people who grew up near the Scobee will mourn it’s departure. For me, it’s been over 26 years since I lived on longisland and over 14 years since my parents left for sunnier shores, therefore severing my physical ties to that part of the world. Over those years, my trips to The Scobee have been few and far between. I will forever miss the it’s wonderful seven layer cake, it’s convenient location right across from one my favorite watering holes and that waitress who remembered me after all those years.