A sweet remnant of a Lenox Hill ice cream shop

The northwest corner of First Avenue and 66th Street looks like an ordinary Manhattan intersection, with a Dunkin’ Donuts inside an old tenement building.

But what a treat to see that the entrance to the shop continues to say “Peppermint Park” in tile!

It’s all that remains of the Peppermint Park Cafe, once a kid-friendly restaurant serving crepes, ice cream, and other goodies and then in the 1980s just an ice cream parlor churning out its own additive-free flavors.

I couldn’t find any information about when Peppermint Park started or what year it closed up shop. I bet Upper East Side old timers know.

Of course, you can still get ice cream at the Baskin Robbins part of Dunkin’ Donuts…but I’m guessing it’s not quite the same.

These tile sidewalk signs at store entrances are fast disappearing in New York City; here are some others still marking their territory.

Other ice cream store ghosts remain around New York, too.

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16 Responses to “A sweet remnant of a Lenox Hill ice cream shop”

  1. Thomas McGee Says:

    A Oct 21, 2015 article I found states “….beloved local spots that have disappeared from the neighborhood, such as ice cream shop Peppermint Park, which was replaced by a coffee chain about five years ago.” Source: http://www.ourtownny.com/local-news/20151021/on-the-corner-among-the-goliaths

  2. Thomas McGee Says:

    Another posting from Dec 7, 2010 mentions Peppermint Park being closed and that it’s a Dunkin Donuts. Source: http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/2010/12/everyday-chatter_07.html

  3. Thomas McGee Says:

    A NY Times article from Feb 13, 1976, Page 52 “…With Sweets and Such”, “…..Louis Pappas says he stocks at Peppermint Park, the colorful and mouthwatering store he has operated for the last two and a half years with his wife, Karin, at 1231 First Avenue, between 66th and 67th Streets.”

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks for all this Thomas! I feel like I missed out on it in the 1990s and 2000s.

    • joeangier Says:

      Thomas – That 1976 article states that the Peppermint Park entrance was in the middle of that block, not on the corner — and that’s what I remember as well. Could they have moved the tiles?

      • Robin Says:

        Yes, I remember it being a middle of the block entrance too. Am I crazy or was there a fake tree in the middle of PP?

  4. joeangier Says:

    Thank you for this reminder of a place that was very special to me in the 1980s, and got me through good times and bad times. I wish I could help out with when it premiered and when it folded, but I’m drawing a blank on that

  5. njesquire Says:

    Thank you for this reminder. Of sweet memories. My wife and I when we were dating often wound up here for desert. Ice cream or a pastry The place was always packed and ambiance bright and fun.

  6. James T. Tang Says:

    Dear Ephemeral New York,

    Long time listener, first time caller. I’m a native Upper East Sider (I’m 35), and I loved Peppermint Park as a kid. It closed its doors in the late 90s and became Wok N’ Roll. More recently, it became the Dunkin’ you see now.

    Best, James Tang

    On Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM Ephemeral New York wrote:

    > ephemeralnewyork posted: “The northwest corner of First Avenue and 66th > Street looks like an ordinary Manhattan intersection, with a Dunkin’ Donuts > inside an old tenement building. But what a treat to see that the entrance > to the shop continues to say “Peppermint Park” in tile!” >

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks James! You must have a whole list of shops and venues you loved as a kid but are now defunct on the UES. This one sounds so charming, wish I knew about it.

  7. Donna Says:

    I used to go to Peppermint Park in the mid-1980s! It was truly great!! Besides ice cream, they made a good grilled cheese!

  8. Linda A Metzger Says:

    There were 3 Peppermint Park locations in Manhattan as early as 1980. The location on First Ave. was still around in the early 1990’s. It started to get health department violations in the late 1990’s when it was under new ownership. Perhaps that was it’s demise.

  9. Tom. Says:

    When I moved to this block in 2004, Peppermint Park was already gone, but not by much. You could almost still feel its ghost lingering.

  10. Susan Says:

    Peppermint park was not here in the sixties when I moved here. The peach with fresh fruit ice cream was delicious. We petitioned to save the tiled entrance when demolition began. Just for sentimental reasons.

  11. Steve Says:

    I think that building on the corner where Peppermint Park was had a fire in the upper floors a few years ago. Not sure if that was after Peppermint Park closed.

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