You are reading

Dazies Restaurant, Which Has Been Part of Sunnyside for More Than 50 Years, to Close

Dazies Restaurant, which has been located at 39-41 Queens Blvd. since 1970, to close (Photo: Facebook)

Dec. 8, 2022 By Christian Murray

A long-time Italian restaurant that has been part of the fabric of Sunnyside for more than 50 years is closing.

Dazies Restaurant, which was established in 1970 by the late Lily Gavin, is closing next month. The restaurant has been located at 39-41 Queens Blvd. since it opened and has been managed by Gavin’s children since her death in 2016.

The restaurant is known for its old-world charm and features tables dress in white linens. The restaurant offers the classic Italian menu, including pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, steaks and chops.

Small Town Confidential, a publication run by Sunnyside resident Patricia Dorfman, broke the news of the restaurant’s impending closure and spoke to Keri Kerim Soldana, Gavin’s daughter.

“Dazies was started by our mom Lily Gavin 53 years ago on Sunday, Jan. 1, 1970,” Soldana told the publication. “It is with a heavy heart that we will close the doors for the last time but also a joy and pride at family success. We are deeply saddened to be closing as our mom was honored to serve this community and had a great love for the people in it.”

Gavin, who died at the age of 85, was a Sunnyside luminary. She was at one time the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and was part of several organizations, including the Sunnyside Drum Corps., Sunnyside Shines, Long Island City YMCA and Sunnyside Community Services. She also helped coordinate the annual Kiwanis Sunnyside Flag Day parade.

She also played a major role in raising $450,000 for the revamp of the Sunnyside arch more than a decade ago.

“Dazies, Lily Gavin and her wonderful family have been a blessing to Sunnyside and so many for an incredible number of years,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan in a statement after hearing the restaurant was closing. “We were lucky to have Dazies as a house of welcome…a great delight.”

Dazies was a popular venue for Queens Democrats, particularly when former Congressman Joseph Crowley was in office. Many elected officials have held fundraisers at the restaurant.

The restaurant is well known for hosting private events.

In 2017, the city co-named the corner of 40th Street/Queens Blvd in honor of Gavin. It was co-named Lillian ‘Lily’ Gavin Place.

“By renaming the street adjacent to Dazies in Lily’s honor, we are forever recognizing all that she accomplished for this neighborhood and her status as an iconic Sunnysider,” said Jimmy Van Bramer, who represented Sunnyside in the city council, at the unveiling in 2017.

Lily Gavin with former Congressman Joseph Crowley (R) (Photo: Luke Adams)

Gavin was viewed as a tower of strength especially among women.

She was born in 1931 and was the daughter of Albanian immigrants. She married at the age of 18, reported the Queens Gazette, through an arranged marriage and ultimately had five children.

The marriage didn’t last, and she raised her children alone. She worked as a waitress in several restaurants in Queens, the Gazette reported, coming at last to one on the north side of Queens Boulevard near 40th Street called Maisie’s.

Eventually she bought it in partnership with several other investors, according to the Gazette. She bought out the partners and changed the name from Maisie’s to Dazies.

email the author: [email protected]

32 Comments

Click for Comments 
Phyllis Will

I will miss Dazie’s very much.
Lily, Keri and Raymond are very sweet people. Mary Tweety was my good friend as was her sister Pat. They would have dinner at Dazie’s every Saturday night.

Reply
Lisa

Had both my parents funeral
Luncheon here back in the 90s
Remember it well.
It will be missed for sure.

Reply
Writing on the wall for years

Not sure why this is happening but something stinks. They were always going to lose out as the rest of the area came up but what has happened since Gavin passed is suspect. They own the building and allowed every other store to go vacant – a blight on their own block. One sign goes to a faction wanting to deliver the property vacant upon sale, but the other points to w side actually wanting to keep the business alive since they could have closed years ago. At the end of the day the real estate side won, but not before picking up almost a quarter million in back taxes that occupied stores could have helped pay. This will be a distressed sale and I’m sure the vultures are circling. So much political corruption occurred there that maybe this is a fitting end?

3
6
Reply
Rodrigo

I’ve been going to Dazies Restaurant since I moved to Sunnyside back in the 80’s. Lily was Always very nice to me and my Family. This Place was a Definite Staple in the Neighborhood with it’s Delicious Italian Cuisine. Have many Fond Memories of all the Events I Attended and Holiday Celebrations. Very Sad to see it end, but I’m making every effort to go as many times as I can, before it closes Forever 💔 😔 Calories & a few more pounds Don’t Matter!!

20
2
Reply
Betty Hofving

So sad to see that Dazies is closing. When I was in Sunnyside, dinner at Dazies was a special event because the food and service was so good. The restaurant was a special part of Sunnyside and so was Lily Gavin.

19
1
Reply
Anonymous

Today’s generation does not go for more formal restaurants. They are more into the new trend towards the smaller converted storefront restaurants, which are good on Queens Blvd. Price wise, smaller portions for high price. With drinks, it is about as expensive as Daizes, but not the atmosphere 21-40 year olds choose to patronize and spend time sitting and talking. The longtime families and residents have moved away. The current area of Western Queens prefer newer, trendy Italian food, as well as so many other different foods, then the traditional Italian restaurant, sadly. Sorry to see one of the very few remaining staple business in our area for generations closing in Sunnyside and Woodside.

44
9
Reply
Robinette Obiden

one more restaurant at the corner to go, then that entire block is a gonna become a big condo.

11
4
Reply
richard

bet they got a multi million dollar offer to tear it down and build luxurie Kondizes on it.

Also i liked the place it was homey and the food was good, but this is why we cant build affordable apartments anymore

27
9
Reply
spaz spAZ SPAZ!!!

I ate there with my wife when I first moved to Sunnyside in about 1995, the waiter was a sarcastic jerk, food was good but couldnt get over the idiot and never went back. I take my wife and kids to Soleluna now, the people are truly Italian and treat you nice. But still its sad to see something thats a fixture in the neighborhood go.

20
19
Reply
Barbara A Shubert

Sad news. I lived in Sunnyside for over 70 years. I have been to Dazies many, many times. The owners were such nice to all who entered its doors. Fine food and entertainment. My best wishes in the future for all Mrs Gavin’s family.

32
4
Reply
LIC Direct.

All I know is when I wanted to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday luncheon years ago Lilian Gavin was extremely rude and basically treated me like a piece of garbage when I inquired, as I was not of the Italian/Irish clan, her tone was so condescending glad did not give her my business, I decided to hold my event elsewhere. no more Democratic Party bosses and back room deals in the private room, long gone are the Joseph Crowley’s, the Jimmy Van Bramer’s the the Democratic machinery meeting with everyone kissing Lillian ring, now a high rise Condo will go up on that block good riddance.

30
44
Reply
Jim Magee

This is a bonkers thing to write.

So this memory would have to be at least six years old right? How long could the encounter possibly have been? A half hour tops? And this author held onto that singular instance for years only to fly onto the comments section of an online neighborhood newspaper to tell people about it years after the fact. I can’t wrap my head around that.

It would be like showing up at a funeral and trying to collect 50 cents.

32
19
Reply
Sunnyside Yes

It’s also hilarious to call Jimmy Van Beamer part of the Democratic machine. He was a member of the Progressive Caucus!

17
15
Reply
Gardens Watcher

JVB held an event there when he first ran for office, years before there was a thing called Progressives.

7
2
Reply
End of an era

You sound like a bitter person. I knew this family for 30 years and i never saw them treat anyone bad. As far as Irish Italian, she was Albanian. Also they own the property so if a condo goes up, the family will prosper , good for them and shame on you. Mrs Gavin was like a mother to the whole neighborhood. Thank you lily, and Thank you dazies for 52 years of service. I read there’s a slim hope you guys will re-open,
If you do ill be waiting at the front door to be the first one back. Sunnyside will never be the same.

33
8
Reply
Anonymous

Here’s a period, just for you “.”. Don’t say us Italian / Irish clan members never gave you anything.

22
5
Reply
Joe

The family has always waited for the right time to sell that building to someone to put up an apartment building there. They kept that store on the corner empty for years. Good riddance. Everything must end.

13
18
Reply
Friends of dazies

The idea in chasing the dream is to rent a store, succeed, buy the property and build a nice comfortable life. It’s nobody’s business what they do with the property. God bless anyone who takes their chance and succeeds. If the building happens to be in a thriving neighborhood, even better. Dazies owners didn’t change the zoning laws. Why blame them for their good fortune. A lot of jealous people out there. The Dazies family has alway done right by this neighborhood. It’s nobody’s business if they choose not to rent the stores that they own out. I’ve learned there’s a reason for everything in life. I would personally like to thank them for their service and support they gave sunnyside for 50+ years. They should be congratulated, not condemned for a successful run. They did the neighborhood well! Thank you dazies, you will be missed.

31
4
Reply
Long Gone

People like you make me very glad that I moved 2500 miles away where people like you DO NOT EXIST.

4
3
Reply
Loser

We are very happy you moved. Why don’t you look at your new local news and be happy where you live

Reply
Gardens Watcher

Wow LIC Direct, time to lighten up! Dazies was an institution in the neighborhood, and about the only place nearby for more formal dining. I’m sorry to see it close, but the restaurant business is tough in normal times, and Covid has made it that much more difficult. Whatever their reason for closing, the family doesn’t deserve your outrage dump.

I hope you went to Chuck E. Cheese instead.

10
Reply
Mima

In 1975, young, scared emigrants coming to try create a new life out of communist Eastern European country, our uncle brought us to Dazies for our first dinner in our adopted city. I will never forget the test of that steak, the deserts but mostly the warm, homey atmosphere of the restaurant, It felt so welcoming… it remained one of our best places in the neighborhood to come, gather with family and friends for different special occasions or simply for lunch or dinner.
Sad that it had to come to an end but happy for the many good memories!

44
7
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.