And their egg creams were to die for….
We’re talking about Ben and Dotty Abrams, whose Holland Avenue neighborhood luncheonette was famous for those fizzy chocolate ambrosias, as well as THE neighborhood hangout.
They also happened to raise a son named Robert, who became Bronx borough president and then state attorney general.
Now the long deceased couple will be remembered with a local street being renamed in their honor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law on Tuesday, Oct. 2, legislation unanimously passed by the City Council re-naming the intersections of Holland, Antin and Bronxdale avenues “Ben and Dotty Abrams Way.”
The honor came at the request of Councilman Jimmy Vacca for the couple’s more than 60 years of community service (and great egg creams, maybe?) in the Pelham Parkway South neighborhood.
Ben Abrams, who died in 1984, spent many years as an active member of the Hubert H. Humphrey Democratic Club, the Pelham Parkway Jewish Council and B’nai B’rith, as well as a volunteer at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, according to Vacca.
He also engaged in an active petition drive that helped secure new benches along Pelham Parkway and Bronx Park East, among other things, Vacca added.
Dotty, who passed away in 2003, was a member of the Ruth Kizon Group for Handicapped Children, selling raffle tickets and attending annual luncheons to help raise funds to provide support for children afflicted by disease and physical handicaps. She was also an active member of the Pelham Parkway Cancer Society raising money for programs.
And from morning to night for more than 20 years, Vacca said the couple also operated one of the most beloved neighborhood luncheonettes and candy stores at 2000 Holland Avenue.
“Ben and Dotty Abrams were staples in the Pelham Parkway South community for many years,” Vacca said. “I met them both in the 1970’s and I knew from the start how much they loved their community. They represent a piece of history that I wanted to preserve for this community.”
“My Mom and Dad, who were beloved in the community, worked very hard in their neighborhood luncheonette to provide for the family,” said Robert Abrams, now an attorney with a private law firm. “The “store” as we called it, was also an institutional base where neighbors would gather to eat, meet and talk about neighborhood and national issues.
Abrams also recalled how he was taught to work the soda fountain, “constructing” those famous egg creams, with neither egg nor cream in them.
“It’s a classic American story of working class families laboring hard to provide a better life for their children. My family extends deep appreciation to Councilman James Vacca who worked diligently to make this happen.”