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Thursday
May092013

Great Ghost Signage Appears on Fifth and Bergen

As you might know, I have a special place in my heart for ghost signage: remnants of earlier tenants' signs that have been covered over, only to reappear sometimes decades later. Many thanks to reader Jay for sending over this photo of ancient signage recently revealed at the southeast corner of Fifth and Bergen.

Trade Winds Furniture closed down a little less than a year ago on that corner, and a new Scottish bar named Duke of Montrose is currently under construction in the space. They've already built a new facade (unfortunately doing away with the angled entryway that most likely preceeded Trade Winds), and recently removed their old signs, which had been whitewashed.

Underneath, at least on the Bergen Street side, is a sign for an old tenant, which in my guess was a poultry market. "--ARTERS FOR HOLIDAY POULTRY" (most likely"quarters", or chickens split into four pieces) is still clearly legible, as is "aime" up above, but the word after that is tougher to make out (unless "mebeeragqqt" is a word).

I've done some digging but have been unable to find any photos of this corner from a time when this sign would have been up. If anyone has any additional details on this former tenant, let me know!

Reader Comments (13)

My guess would be that mebeersgqqt should say meatmarket. The first word was probably Jaime.

I saw an old sign just like this one on Coney Island Avenue near Kings Highway. A diner called New Cuzins' changed its sign and had their old sign exposed for a couple of weeks. Too bad they didn't restore it instead of putting up a new, crappy looking one.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael W Travels

It was still a poultry market in this 1980 tax photo. My guess is that it said "Headquarters," not Quarters.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

The previous poster is correct. The sign looks like Jaime's Meat Market with the words BEEF CO. superimposed.

In fact, the 1986 phone listings show "Jaime's Meat Market" at that address. Jaime may have been a newcomer, but the space had been offering beef for a very long time. It was called "L & H Beef Co." from at least the early '60s to late '70s. Before that, in the '50s, it was called "Peter's Beef Co." In 1946 listings it was "John Caliendo, butcher."

In the '20s and '30s the space was a jewelry store (Schwartz's).

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

Wow. Where did you get that info, Alf?

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

At the library at Grand Army Plaza they have old phone listings on microfilm cross-referenced by street address. Not for every year, but for many years going back to the 1920s. You can photocopy them from the microfilm reader. At one point I copied a bunch of Fifth Ave. and Seventh Ave. listings from various years.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

@Alf please, please start your own blog. or, contribute your research skills to brownstoner.com

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermartymarkowitz

@ Alf - That's some cool stuff!!

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter*Just Shlopin*

Nice work, Alf. I guess a cat rich diet can be good for mental acuity. Who knew?

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Alf,

Do you have any listings for numbered streets? I would love to know who lived in my building in the 1960s and 1970s. We have found something interesting things in the building and someone who used to live here was killed on the way home from work, would love to piece some things together

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

ParkSlopePerson,
Two weekends ago my wife went to a class at the Brooklyn Historical Society that taught you how to research the history of your home through all types of records. She was able to find info on the first three owners of our house. I don't know how often they offer the class but it might be helpful in your quest.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterombudsman

ParkSlopePerson:

No, I don't have anything copied out from the numbered streets, but that's easy enough to find out if you have the time to. Just go to the library's reference desk and ask for a certain year's cross-referenced listings on microfilm (they have a list of which ones are available); then spool it up in the machine and you can check out any address in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, if anyone wants to ask me about an address on Fifth or Seventh Aves. I could look that up right now.

Incidentally, I also discovered that someone who lived in my old building was murdered (in the building), but it was a big apartment building on one of the avenues.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

Unfortunately I'm banned from the public library so keep it comin

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

***Dude, what you just said makes no kind of sense**

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter*Just Shlopin*

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