Thursday, October 19, 2017

56th Fighter Group Restaurant

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,

Robinson, Pam. “56th Fighter Group Restaurant's Nod to LI.” Farmingdale, NY Patch, Patch, 21 July 2012,

Robinson, Pam. “56th Fighter Group Restaurant to Shut Down.” Farmingdale, NY Patch, Patch, 19 July 2012,

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Adventureland opened in 1962 as Adventures 110 Playland. Alvin H. Cohen and Herbert Budin purchased the land in 1960, on the site of a six-acre chicken farm. The first roller coaster was an Allan Herschell Little Dipper model and was built in 1964. It’s first Crazy Caterpillar-style attraction, titled the Jolly Caterpillar, was built in August 1965. An updated version was added in 2001.

The park opened a miniature golf course in 1965. The park began its first of three incarnations of antique-car rides with the original Antique Autos in October of 1965. Its first Helicopters attraction opened the same month, which existed at the park until 1994. The Adventureland Train has circled the park since 1962 with the name Frontier Train. A ride on the train cost 25 cents at the time. The William Dentzel Carousel was introduced in 1962. Each horse, animal, and chariot was carved from wood and then hand painted. This carousel would leave the park in 1979.

The kiddie speedboats were the oldest surviving opening-day attraction. Children would “captain” their own boats on a small ride. It was removed in 2002.

In the 1970’s, Alvin Cohen doubled the park’s size from six acres to twelve. In 1972, Cohen sold the park to Willy Miller. Miller would own the park from 1977 to 1987. He brought ride expert Udo Storck and James “Chip” Cleary onboard his team. Udo introduced many new ideas and Chip’s contribution can b seen through the addition of the iconic 1313 Cemetery Way dark ride, the Bavarian Village, and Pirate’s Plaza.

The Toboggan roller coaster opened in 1973 and lasted until 1979. This ride was a fan favorite. Guests boarded caged, single-bench cars before beginning a vertical ascent up a lift hill located inside of the center tower and spiral down and around the 45 foot-tall tower itself. The Wave Swinger, one of the first of its kind brought in from Germany, opened in 1974 and is still a staple today. The original mode provided over 30 years of service. In the late 1970’s, Adventureland would premiere its first big roller coaster, the Galaxi. It featured 1,099 feet of track and reached speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

Cap’n Wild Willy’s Bumper Boats, one of Adventureland’s most beloved and most missed attractions was built in 1982. A 100,000 galloon pool was built to house the ride. In 1987, Wily Miller sold his interest of Adventureland to Tony Gentile. The brand, under the guiding vision of Chip Cleary and Udo Storck would expand to include the creation of the Splish Splash water park in Riverhead in the 1990s.

When the Galaxi was sold to a location in Brazil, the Hurricane erected in 1990. With the success of the Bavarian Village, Germantown and Western Town was added in 1997. The Venetian Double-Decker carouse was introduced to the park in 1999. In 2001, Adventure Falls Log Flume was constructed. In 2001, the Parachuter and Looping Star were both retired. In 2009, 1313 Cemetery way was removed and replaced by Ghost House.


Mercaldo, Christopher. Adventureland. Arcadia Publishing, 2014.