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Lily Gavin, influential Sunnyside leader, to have street co-named in her honor next month

Storefronts on the new “Lily Gavin Way” between 39th Place and 40th Street on Queens Boulevard, which includes Dazies, Gavin’s restaurant.

Sept. 11, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

Lily Gavin, the longtime Sunnyside community figure who passed away last year, will have a block-long section of Queens Boulevard co-named in her honor in October .

A street sign bearing “Lily Gavin Way” will be unveiled in a ceremony on 40th Street and Queens Boulevard in October. Among the storefronts and businesses in the new Lily Gavin Way, designated between 39th Place and 40th Street on Queens Boulevard, is Dazies, the Italian restaurant at 39-41 Queens boulevard that Gavin opened in the 1970s. The opening of the restaurant for the Forest Hills native marked the beginning of her advocacy for Sunnyside.

Gavin, who passed away last July at the age of 85, served as president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, where her accomplishments included helping to raise $450,000 for a much-needed revamp of the Sunnyside Arch. Gavin was also heavily involved in neighborhood organizations, including the YMCA, the Sunnyside Drum Corps, and the Sunnyside Senior Center, and frequently appeared as a central figure in Kiwanis Flag Day parades held in Sunnyside. Gavin also served as an honorary director of the LaGuardia Community College Foundation.

“Lily was a force in just about every commercial, civic and political event in Sunnyside for so long, that few can remember a time before Lily and Dazies,” Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said after Gavin’s passing.

The street co-naming comes after a city council bill, introduced in February of this year and with Van Bramer as one of its sponsors, was enacted in March.

Lily Gavin with Councilman Van Bramer and Gary O’Neil

Update 09/13/2017: The date and time of the event have been changed from Sept. 30 at 1 pm to sometime in October. Details will be added as they are made available.

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28 Comments

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Barbara McGuire Fiore

She was a sweet woman and is smiling down on all of us no matter what comments you leave here. We should strive to emulate her. She truly had a grace from God to act with humility and kindness, rare qualities in this world of bitter condemnation. Lily was like her namesake flower lily which is a symbol of innocence, purity, and beauty. Congratulations to her and her family on this beautiful honor in her memory! “Lily Gavin Way” just beautiful! Love, Barbara

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El Loco short order cook circa 1968-1974

RIP Michael Parks from the hit show Then came Bronson. Lily used to watch this show with me back in the kitchen on slow nights.

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Barbara looks like Nancy Pelosi

Oran Juice Jones preferred Lily’s homemade Shepards Pie over her Italian food. She would make him a batch of out 50 and then freeze them so he could take them on his concert tours. He would eat one every night before he went on stage. He did share a few with El Loco who was his tour manager at the time (circa 1978).

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Neighborhood icon

This is so Well deserved. Lily was so nice to my family when we would come to eat on the holidays and special occasions. She made us all feel like we were her family, not just customers and it was with sincerity, not an act, this lady was incredible. i really like that the officials did this on queens blvd in front of her beloved eatery, and not on the side street. She deserved center stage. God bless you lily , you are missed my dear.

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Kieran the Irish leprechaun, lucky charms

Even though I’m Irish, I love eyetalian food. I used to go here for the food, it’s quite good, but I used to go here because lily was so sweet. Cheers!?

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The One and Only El Loco

Typo above. Threw not through. Wanted to put that out there before Fed Up corrected me.

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The One and Only El Loco

I saw Fat Al from sunnyside in the background. That creep gets his hand into everything. He’s actually banned for life from Lily’s. I through him out when I set up a sting operation when we started to notice all the salt and pepper shakers disappearing. He took the bait like a swordfish. I personally through him out onto the street. Circa 1979 when I was the short order cook there.

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Anonymous

why did JVB have to be in this picture only her and her children should have — they never should have put this picture up

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Long time customer

Mrs Gavin was truly a special person. Always smiling, didn’t matter if the place was doing well, or if they were struggling. During the recession business was tough, dazies being a high end restaurant , of course was hurting. The lady never lost her charm, a special lady. Gracious till the end. Never complained. What a great business owner. We miss you lily. Congratulations to her family on this honor, Your mom was loved. Be proud.

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G.R.

Lily was a very awesome lady whose name will now remind us of all her kind hearted greatness. My mom was her beautician and shea known me all my life. God bless you my awesome lady!! Thanks for always being beautifully great! My mom will cry tears of joy when she hears about this. Peace and Love!

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Al from Sunnyside

Every time someone mentions my name in the Sunnyside Post a bell goes off on my phone. I’m rubbing my mothers feet, now stop bothering me.

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RD

Get a life. The real al from Sunnyside would never disrespect someone like this. Like it says above take your clowning around to another article. Have respect

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Al from sunnyside

El loco- good job, no feuding in this column. A peace treaty only lily could make happen. I agree for once. Lily was the nicest woman ,anyone who’s life she touched should be honored . So missed. The real al from sunnyside.

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Anonymous

This is great! I know she is looking down and very happy that her beloved 40 Street will be named after her. We all miss her very much. The block/corner is just not the same with out her.

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Lilly was the best

Lily was the best. El Loco worked there backbin the day as a short order cook. Al from Sunnyside was banned from Lily’s in 1991 when he was caught stealing the salt and pepper shakers. Oran Juice Jones had a big shindig there in 1980 when he won a Grammy for his hit single Walking in the Rain.

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Me

Wait, they spent half a million to put that arch there? Seriously? You could build another library or half a school for that money.

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tell it like it is

that was to renovate the arch, not put it up. They actually had the money years ago and then spent it on other things, then they found some money and got some guys to paint it and light it up like the Vegas strip a couple years ago.

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Anonymous

Hey, this is a tribute to a special person, take your gripes, and your fueds to another article. For once, Show some respect.

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South

That’s not how much a school or newly constructed library costs. I’m am, however, willing to hear other suggestions for alternative spending.

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Thank you lily

This is one person who deserves this honor. Lily was a wonderful person. Gave her time and donated plenty to this community. The woman was that one of a kind, that, if your lucky ,you’ll only get to meet once in your lifetime. She was truly special. I knew her 30 years and if asked, she never said no to anyone. God bless you lily, you’re missed. Good job community leaders. You got it right!

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