A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 22, 2006
“A Little Bit of New England in the Bronx” (Johnny’s Reef)
City Island (in the Bronx) is sometimes called "a little slice of New England in the Bronx." There are many seafood restaurants. Johnny's Reef officially uses the City Island nickname as its restaurant slogan: "A little bit of New England in the Bronx."

Johnny's Reef - The Bronx, NY
2 City Island Avenue
The Bronx, NY 10464

Reviewers Writeup
'A little bit of New England in the Bronx' is one of the advertising slogans used to describe City Island, a mile-long island off the northeastern coast of the Bronx, but it's the party atmosphere that sets Johnny's Reef apart from the more traditional (and pricier) restaurants lining City Island Avenue. Children are more than welcome and are usually found careening about the outdoor seating area, feeding or chasing the many gulls and pigeons that congregate there. Large crowds are welcome, too, and on any day both the indoor and outdoor areas are jammed with people. But it's the outdoor area that's the best place to sit: simple rows of metal tables in an asphalt lot overlook the Long Island Sound, the far-away Queens/Long Island shore, and both the Whitestone and Throggs Neck bridges.

Fried shrimp are the specialty here. Eleven dollars gets you about eighteen to twenty succulent, always-fresh shrimp, as well as a small tub of cole slaw and a heap of fries. The shrimp have a soft, flour-based coating that is delicious; the fries are soft, too, and splendid. You have a choice of four sauces you ladle out of huge vats into tiny plastic cups: tartar, cocktail, a Tabasco-type sauce, and ketchup.

17 June 1987, New York Times, "About New York" by William E. Geist, pg. B1:
City Island, of course, is a world unto itself, a bit of New England in the Bronx. It is a small town, really, of about 5,000 people and seemingly almost as many seafood restaurants, including Armando the Fisherman, Lobster Box, Sammy's Fish Box, Johnny's Reef, Tony's Pier, Joe V's Crab Shanty and Richie's Steak Pub (what's his problem?).
Posted by Barry Popik
Restaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Thursday, June 22, 2006 • Permalink

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