I took over this place in 1990. In 2005, I celebrated the 100 year anniversary, and I'm still here. Larry Liedy


Often called the “Forgotten Borough”, Staten Island contains places that are positively unforgettable. Located on the northern shore of Staten Island is the humble business that is Liedy’s Shore Inn. Its presence in the neighborhood of Richmond Terrace is quite a surprise in itself. Straight off the Staten Island Ferry, and about a mile walk from the terminal, one would not expect to see a bar in this slightly desolate area in which aging factories and mountains of salt waiting for DOT snow removal crew compose the view. 

What drew us here? Perhaps it was the signs, awards, and laminated newspaper articles that dotted the glass exterior celebrating the bar’s longevity. Its fame extends not just to the North Shore, but across Staten Island. Or perhaps it was the simplicity of the place; what is a neighborhood without a bar where locals can spend hours dancing and storytelling? These factors that made a place like Liedy’s Shore Inn special on the surface. But spend just five minutes talking to the owner, Larry, and you realize it’s not the bar but the family, stories, and history behind the bar that make it worth the trip. Of course, when talking to loquacious Larry however, you end up spending much more than just five minutes. An hour later you find yourself filled with vivid memories, a new appreciation for Staten Island, and a much deeper understanding of the sad tale that is changing times.

The History

This bar was based on the neighborhood and the area. Guys would come here from sunrise and they would hang out until the bar closed. Larry Liedy
Inside Leidy's Shore Inn

Sometimes we encounter places that transcend their physical limitations. Simply put, a place can have the special characteristic of becoming more than just the foundation and the walls that make it, and become part of a greater picture/scheme of things. Emotions of nostalgia and humbleness may be evoked in you. Whether encountering the ruins of the Ancient Roman’s, the Great Wall of China, or Liedy’s Shore Inn, one thing brings them in common: behind such places are years of rich history that shed insight on those before us. The bar tells a simple story of the American Dream: the immigrants who started a business, bringing the various facets of their culture, and their future generations who took it on and made it their own. 

The history of Liedy’s Shore Inn is centered around two things: the family and the neighborhood. Below is 40 minutes worth of conversation organized into two sections to highlight a timeline of the family business, and how it changed/stayed the same as it’s environment did as well.

A Family Owned Business


Larry Liedy’s ancestry goes back to Germany. Originally from local provinces, his great parents moved to Cologne. From Cologne, they immigrated to America and settled in New Jersey, close to Staten Island.


Interestingly enough, Larry’s great grandparents did not initially open a bar in the location of the present bar, but opened one across the street (802 Richmond Terrace). This location was next to a hotel, where they were prosperous for seven years.


After being tired of paying rent, Larry’s great grandparents open up their bar in 428 Richmond Terrace.




Larry has 5 siblings, and they all lived in the upstairs part connected to the bar.



The Bar of Richmond Terrace


Being that the bar was based on this neighborhood, this section emphasizes on the businesses that gave Liedy’s Shore Inn their main customer base. The characteristics that unite these men throughout time is that they were industrious workers and were of Anglo-Saxon heritage usually.

1930-1940s: Snug Harbor: Retirement Home for seamen



Jamie's iPhone

“The seamen were masterful alcoholics”- Larry Liedy

Liedy attributes a good majority of the bar’s success to Snug Harbor, a retirement home for commercial seamen. Before technological advancements changed the nature of transportation, men would have to spend whole lives working on ships out in the open water. Liedy’s even served a man who worked on the Titanic. Free from the sea life, Liedy’s Shore Inn became somewhat a second home for these men, who would spend their whole day drinking when not at sea.

1950s-1960s: Gypsum Company

“The factory workers came from Gypsum, and they would come after work. I remember my mom used to cook them hamburgers and we used to have field days. We were all just doing our own thing.” – Larry Liedy

As Larry describes, the 50’s to 60’s were a time when the bar would shut down as late as midnight because the workers would just linger and stay talking after work for hours and hours.

1970-1990s: Factories begin to shut down; Neighborhood hood takes over

Because the customer base was mainly dependent on the factories around it, it was quite detrimental for Liedy’s as technology and outsourcing made the need for factories in America decline. However, Staten Island was still a “neighborhood”. These times marks more of a daytime bar for Liedy’s generation instead of factory workers. It was during the 80’s to 90’s where the kids Larry played baseball with, went to church with, explored Staten Island with, etc., were the main customer base for the business.

In Conclusion: Liedy’s was able to survive for so long because it was a family owned bar that served three main groups: Snug Harbor sailors, factory workers, and the neighborhood. However, when you walk into the Richmond Terrace of today, things are very different. What happened?

Character Profile: Who is Larry Liedy?


Larry Liedy was born in the year 1950. A Staten Island native since he was born, Larry is no stranger to the bar scene as he spent his whole life helping out with the family business. Personality wise, it was almost as if he was destined to become a bar owner. Larry is nothing short of extraordinary; he is loud, funny, and liberal in his views. His number one goal, always, is to entertain. With him, are always stories about his life and his bar, that one can listen to for hours and hours.

Apart from being a bar owner, however, Larry Liedy made quite the name for himself, for he is quite popular among Staten Island natives. One of the most important facets in his life is baseball. Larry was inspired to play baseball as a child, and even eventually made it to the Major Leagues. As a fun fact, he was the person in the stands to catch Yogi Bera’s last home-run. Furthermore, Larry has won a multitude of Elvis Presley impersonation contests. When entering Liedy’s Shore Inn, you will see all the articles regarding his accomplishments, and prizes that he’s amassed throughout his whole life. It is quite the collection.

In the future, if and so Larry decides to sell his bar, he hopes to move out into the suburbs, following the plights of many Staten Islanders before him. Regardless of the path before him, however, we know for sure Larry Liedy will never change his personable and crazy ways.

The Changing Times

Staten Island was a neighborhood–Kids from St. George would know kids all the way from Tottenville, I used to play baseball with them. Larry Liedy

What Happened?

According to Larry there were three solid reasons for the decline of not only Liedy’s but of Richmond Terrace itself:

  1. Closing of the factories; Decline of Slug Harbor (as featured in the History above)
  2. Neighborhood Demographic Changes
  3. Government (Gentrification, DUI laws)

Demographic Changes


Richmond Terrace, the stretch of land that Liedy’s Shore Inn lies on,  has been a middle class working family area and has been predominantly composed Irish and Italian immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Staten Island’s St. George has approximately 41,000 residents. Slightly under 30% of this population is a combination of Italian or Irish heritage, which accounts for nearly 12,300 residents. The Italian and Irish residents have been vital to Liedy’s Shore Inn, as they make up a majority of the bar’s customer base.  It has become evident over the previous decades that there has been a major shift in the white population of Staten Island. This may be a result of the “White Flight” phenomenon, caused by the increasing suburbanization of Long Island. As towns like Levittown and other suburban neighborhoods began to spring up on Long Island, many middle-class families that were able to afford the houses moved onto Long Island, which most likely contributed to the demographic change of Staten Island.  Replacing them, are a new group of immigrants that are currently moving into the country. In America, it is widely known that throughout the years, the faces of the immigrants moving into the country are changing. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the main immigrant base was from Europe. In current times those that are moving to America are more diverse: Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. This demographic decrease of white Italian and Irish-Americans and an increase in a group of people that don’t necessarily participate in bar culture has caused a decrease in the business that Liedy’s Shore Inn has been bringing in.


As depicted in the Social Explorer map, the percentage of white inhabitants on Staten Island greatly diminished in the decades leading up to now.

Social Explorer

The Government

Richmond Terrace is an area that is not particularly up to date, and certain areas look downright dilapidated. This may be part of the reason that people have decided to move their families out of northern Staten Island. There have been many attempts by the government to revitalize this stretch of land, but as  Larry Liedy frankly explained, they have been essentially futile. Despite the previous failed attempts to improve the area and enormous amounts of money invested, there are plans to make one final push for improvement of the economy and quality of the area. The plan intended for Richmond Terrace involves the addition of an amusement park-like area near the ferry port,complete with a large Ferris wheel attraction in hopes that this will bring more tourists to Staten Island, a borough that is largely considered more residential than commercial. In the mind of Larry Liedy, this project has the potential to bring major change about the area, and he believes his business can benefit greatly from the possible tourists flooding into Staten Island. While he continues to have high hopes for what the Ferris wheel may have for his business, Larry Liedy also has reservations about the benefits. While the attractions may cause a large increase in tourism to Staten Island, Larry is afraid that Liedy’s Shore Inn may be too far west to see any real difference in patronage. “It was supposed to come up to me here, but they’re not coming this far west; They’re stopping at the ball park.” Any talk of what the renovation will bring to Staten Island, or individual business in particular is merely speculation, as it is difficult to foresee the effects of construction years in advance. If the ferris wheel being added to the east portion of Staten Island does not provide a substantial boost to the customer base of Larry Liedy as well as other small businesses in Richmond Terrace, some may be forced to move on from their businesses in an attempt to salvage their finances.

Liedy’s Shore Inn is a bar, alcohol is an integral part of a location such as a bar. Due to this arranged marriage between bars and alcohol, the public attitude concerning drinking is a major factor in the business that a bar has. Larry Liedy explained how the attitudes of sitting in bars for extended periods of time ordering drinks have become nonexistent through the past decades. “The new young guys, they sip, they don’t drink.” Part of the reason that people have slowly decreased the amount of alcohol they consume may be due to the increased emphasis on D.U.I. enforcement and increased education about the risks of alcohol to the general public. As people become decreasingly interested in purchasing  multiple drinks at bars, places such as “Liedy’s Shore Inn” will continue to see a decrease in the profits that their businesses accrue.

In Conclusion

The three factors intertwine in a way that develops the basic story of the death of a neighborhood. As outsourcing caused the factories to close, and the old retired sailors of Slug Harbor were reaching old age, the huge source of Liedy’s customers began to dwindle. Add that to the fact that the Irish and Germans were moving out and the new demographic of Richmond Terrace became African American and Hispanics. “It’s the Irish and Germans that like to linger in bars–these immigrants are afraid to, they just don’t.” Now ADD THIS to the fact that the government has severely tightened alcohol laws: DUI’s and regulations. Larry explained, “It’s a chain effect, and it has really hurt my business.”

I guess what makes Liedy’s beyond special is not the fact that it was some bar that made it quite far in its running, but the fact that this story has been the story of countless Americans throughout the changes of time. Yes, we can only hear more of the “local spot that could not adjust to the change” story time and time again, but talking to Liedy put a face and a person to it. It stuck with me when he said, “It’s like dying, but you’re alive,” while talking about having to close the bar down soon. Seeing the expression on his face really hit the point home; Staten Island you’re changing.

It's like dying, but you're alive. Larry Leidy
The views in Staten Island Shores


All photos are the property of Jamie Cabigas and Glenn Collaku.

Liedy, Larry. Interview with Larry Liedy. Interview by Glenn Collaku and Jamie Cabigas. N.d. Radio.

Point2 Homes. St. George Demographics & Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.


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