Victoria’s Secrets: Celebrating 70 years of service

Kiwanis President Bruce Kramer & his wife Karen

On the first day after we acquired the Ridgewood Times in 2015 from the feisty and devoted community leader Maureen Walters, she told me that I must meet the powerful, community activist members of the Glendale Kiwanis Club. And I did!

Its members represent the historic Glendale community and this year they are celebrating their 70th anniversary.

When they invited me last week to their club lunch at the historic 50-year-old landmark Zum Stammtisch restaurant on Myrtle Avenue, I was delighted to attend. It was as much a tribute to them as to Maureen’s memory.

Ironically, Schneps Media is celebrating the 115th anniversary of the Ridgewood Times that serves Bushwick, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village. I am honored to serve these proud communities with our weekly newspaper that’s alive and well and thriving, just like the Glendale Kiwanis and Zum Stammtisch.

When I walked through Zum Stammtisch’s retail deli of German imported specialty items, I was stopped in my tracks by the rows and rows of German language publications shipped directly to them and attractively displayed in their store. And who could miss the rows and rows of German beers in the refrigerated display case? It’s a sight to behold!

A collection of German magazines on display at Zum Stammtisch
Zum Stammtisch offers rows and rows of German beers.

I made a left turn and I felt like I walked back in time as I entered their restaurant/bar and outdoor beer garden. Zum Stammtisch has served authentic German dishes for 50 years and has passed down ownership now to proud brothers Werner and Hans Lehner, who are there to make sure everyone who walks through their doors feels welcome!

Hans (l.) and Werner Lehner, owners of Zum Stammtisch

Zum Stammtisch has been the “home” of the Glendale Kiwanis for decades.

The afternoon I visited, they asked me to select my meal by choosing a dish and then taking a color-coded placemat to my seat so the waitress can efficiently and silently deliver the meal without disturbing the meeting! Brilliant!

The color-coded placemats at Zum Stammtisch

I was welcomed back by Kerrie Hansen, who remembered my first visit to meet the club’s members after our acquisition of the Ridgewood Times.

Club President Bruce Kramer began the meeting by ringing the bell. Then, we all stood to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and sing “My Country, ’Tis of Thee.” I shut my eyes and felt deja vu as I pictured myself as a fifth-grader in my white, “middy” blouse and navy skirt — our uniform for our weekly “assembly” — singing that patriotic song! What a sweet memory!

Bruce shared with the members in attendance an update on their 70th Anniversary Gala held the week prior. The Glendale Kiwanis Club is a volunteer service group that gives back to many community groups in their service area and I was impressed with their emphasis on giving to kids and groups that support young people in their community.

After I was introduced, I went around the room to ask the members to tell me about themselves and why they love Glendale. With joy in their voices, they shared their devotion to their community. Many were born there and never felt the need to leave, as their children live nearby, and feel like they live in a small town where “everyone knows their name!” Of course, the fact that there is easy shopping within walking distance adds to the neighborhood’s charm!

I was grateful for the warm reception and impressed with the devotion to the community by these Kiwanis members and we at the Ridgewood Times are proud to serve them.


A unique hat museum

One of things that I love about going to John Catsimatidis’ breakfasts — besides the interesting speakers — is meeting the other “influencers” who attend. 

One morning there, I met Brenda Sinclair, who was wearing a very pretty hat and since I’m a hat-lover and sponsored the Hampton Classic Hat Contest, I was curious about her hat, since it was not the usual “Hamptons look.”

I introduced myself and complimented her on her hat and she told me she has a collection and even helps run the The Lyzon Hat Shop in Hampton Bays. She asked if I would like to visit, and of course I did! 

The Lyzon Hat Shop dates back to the 1850s.

Set back on Hamptons Bays’ Main Street and Montauk Highway, was this charming, white clapboard building with big pane glass windows on each side with a welcoming front door. 

I walked up the manicured lawn and brick path to meet her. When she unlocked the front door, I felt like I was taken back into another century.

Lyzon Hat Shop is a piece of Hampton Bays history!

There were cabinets inside filled with unique hats created by Walter King, who ran a dry goods store and worked as a milliner on the side. Finding his hat business was more successful, he became a full time milliner.

The famous Lyzon hat boxes

With a smile on her face, Brenda shared with me that she had been told that his most famous client was Jackie Kennedy, who wore one of his hats at her wedding.

Brenda showing off the historic hats

Brenda is the keeper of the key to this magical place that is preserved tastefully from when it was a working milliner’s store. As a devoted Hampton Bays businesswoman and owner of Quogue Sinclair Fuel, she has personally helped the town preserve its history.

The Lyzon Hat Shop is open to the public at 116 Main St. in Hampton Bays. Make sure to stop by and, if you have a hat handed down, they accept donations! For more information, call 631-728-0887.