The 56th Fighter Group Restaurant opened approximately in 1984 on the grounds of Republic Airport. The 1917 French Style Allied Headquarters Farmhouse sat on the site where the P47 fighter aircraft was built during WWII. The restaurant was part of the Specialty Restaurants Corp. John D. Tallichet, president and chairman of the company, said his father, David C. Tallichet Jr., was a pilot who flew more than 20 missions in a B-17 over Europe in World War II, before founding his first restaurant in the late 1950s. The company has about 25 restaurants around the country.
The restaurant was named for an Army Air Forces unit that relied on P-47s, built by Republic Aviation, to achieve a high rate of air-to-air kills in World War II. The 56th was one of three P-47 groups in England, and the only one to previously train on the Thunderbolt. The 56th Fighter Group won a Distinguished Unit Citation for a series of missions flown between 20 February and 9 March 1944. The campaign opened with Operation Argument, better known as "the Big Week", a sustained attempt to destroy the Luftwaffe in the air while attacking aircraft factories with strategic bombing.
The restaurant had rustic timbered ceilings and cozy dining rooms that boasted seven fireplaces and a view of the runway of Republic Airport. It housed an extensive collection of aviation and WWII memorabilia. At one point, the restaurant offered headphones at select booths so people could listen to the air tower.
It closed down in 2012 due to issues with the lease agreement with the airport.
“56th Operations Group.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/56th_Operations_Group.
Robinson, Pam. “56th Fighter Group Restaurant's Nod to LI.” Farmingdale, NY Patch, Patch, 21 July 2012, patch.com/new-york/farmingdale/56th-fighter-group-restaurant-s-nod-to-li.
Robinson, Pam. “56th Fighter Group Restaurant to Shut Down.” Farmingdale, NY Patch, Patch, 19 July 2012, patch.com/new-york/farmingdale/56th-fighter-group-restaurant-to-shut-down-bed9ef5f.