Friday, May 29, 2015


Actually a college photo, but close
Before there was a McDonalds, Burger King or Checkers, there was a Ricky’s, the original hamburger takeout.

In my senior year in high school, since we operated on a split session due to a horrific fire that destroyed the old Bellport High School, at noon Benny the ‘Buffer’ Gallinaro, Ernie ‘Butch’ Mancuso and myself would hop into Benny’s car and drive over to Patchogue and eat lunch at Ricky’s Hamburger place. Situated on Sunrise Highway not too far from Seton Hall High School, we feasted for very little even for those days 51 years ago. There was the ‘Buffer’ and there was ‘Butch’ and there was me, “I’m hungry”.

A cheeseburger costs 20¢ and a hamburger 15¢, with fries and a soda or milkshake it came to under $2.00! That was a great deal!

From there we would go over to Seton Hall and try to find Benny’s cousin, a young lady whose name escapes me now, but who was cute as a button and looking to fix me up with her friend, who I never met but went to Seton Hall along with her.

Benny came from Brooklyn and was hanging with the wrong crowd. He was a good kid, and very generous, but had the mentality of a street fighter. His dad decided to take him away from the influence of the streets of Brooklyn and try his luck on the lawns of Bellport, East Patchogue and Hagerman, or wherever he might land. Fortunately for Benny he had an aunt who owned a factory in Bellport in a strip mall across from the Bellport Train Station where they manufactured clothing for children, and so Benny played out his senior year in Bellport.

What happened to Ricky's
But Ricky’s was the go to place for kids in those days, you drive up to the building that had no parking lot but you parked up against the building in the sandy grass, walked up to a window, ordered and usually took the food to your car to eat. This was when I was still 120 pounds soaking wet, and hadn’t discovered culinary delights of Manhattan Island working in the advertising world.

But Ricky’s one day disappeared, going the way of so many businesses when the chain stores and eateries came along, replacing the small businesses with a wider array of choices and who operated from Breakfast to late supper time.

But I miss not only those days, but also the little mom and pop stores and eateries, that sense of personalization with the establishment was replaced by the cold impersonal relationship of convenience and commercialism that reigns today.

Too bad!

If there are hopeless fools, then there should also be fools, which give hope.


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

You should, you'll eat better!

Forgotten NY is the first recipient of the
Outstanding NYC Website award by
The Guides Association of NYC!

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  • OMG! Ricky's, with the crinkle fries, that went wayward when McDonald's opened, and all the fries became long and skinny! Oh, I remember that place so became a weekend ritual for us after a weekend on the boat with dad at Davis Park. Tied up the boat, and STRAIGHT TO RICKY's WE WENT!! LOL!! The good ole' days.

    By Anonymous Diana, at 12:11 PM  

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