We pulled up to a brick-facade house, nondescript and built in the generic style of so many other mass-produced homes of busy Long Island suburbs. The parking lot was a narrow one; I worried about having to back up into busy Hempstead Turnpike after being stuffed too full of pretzels, schnitzel, and eggs to twist my body around to see. We got out and walked in, slightly confused. It felt more like an apartment building in Queens than a restaurant, and looked nothing like the pictures I’d seen. The mystery was solved as we were directed out of the historic gathering hall and toward the back, where a gorgeous, timbered building stood in a massive biergarten space, complete with picnic tables, giant games, and a permanent food stand set-up that was closed on this sunny Sunday.
Walking into the main building, we were instantly struck by an impression of honeyed woods, rich golden tones lending warmth and light to a massive space with an equally massive bar that opened up into the biergarten grounds. It wasn’t hard to picture hundreds of dancers and revelers taking to the dance floor in front of the big stage at the opposite end of the bar, their faces lit by the soft glow of the oversized, pillar candle-style chandeliers that hung from the sky-high ceilings.