Of course, there were the egg creams.
But those weren’t the only great things about Ben and Dotty Abrams’ Pelham Parkway neighborhood luncheonette and candy store.
For more than 20 years, the couple also created a neighborhood hangout and gossip central for hundreds of neighbors coming into the shop at 200 Holland Ave.
Not that they were worth remembering for that alone, as local City Councilman Jimmy Vacca put it on Tuesday, Dec. 3 by holding a ceremony officially co-naming
the intersections of Holland and Antin avenues and Bronxdale Avenue as “Ben and Dotty Abrams Way.”
“Ben and Dotty Abrams deeply loved their community, and they were staples in Pelham Parkway South for decades,” Vacca said. “I can think of no couple more deserving of this honor, and I am proud to rename this intersection in their memory. This street sign will forever preserve their legacy and serve as a reminder of their many contributions to Pelham Parkway.”
The honorary co-naming was approved by the City Council in September 2013 at Vacca’s request to honor the Abrams’ six decades of community service in Pelham Parkway.
Joining Vacca and community leaders and friends and family was former Bronx Borough President and New York State Attorney General Bob Abrams, who thanked Vacca and called it “a thrilling event for my family.”
The younger Abrams could certainly credit his parents for instilling in him the community and political service that gave rise to his political career.
Ben Abrams, who passed away 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. He also engaged in an active petition drive that helped secure new benches along Pelham Parkway and Bronx Park East, among other things.
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.
“My mom and dad were pillars of the community, operating their luncheonette for over 20 years in Pelham Parkway, living in Pelham Parkway for almost half a century, and establishing enduring friendships and relationships,” said Abrams.
“The store became an important meeting place in the neighborhood, where residents of Pelham Parkway would come in for sandwiches, sodas, ice cream, school supplies, greeting cards and toys, and talk about neighborhood events, politics and world activities.”