Remember When: Fishermen Packed The Tip Top Diner Before Dawn

Andrew Baum, the same fella who sent us a photo of Popeye’s Spinach Factory last month. sent us a photo of another Ancient Sheepshead Bay landmark: the Tip Top Diner.

Tip Top was located at Emmons Avenue and East 23rd Street, where fishermen would get their cup o’ joe and some grub before hitting the early-morning waters. Baum snapped this photo in May of 1973.

Over at – a fishing forum – some of the old mates remember the area around Tip Top:

Oh the good old days there was the tip top diner accross from the boats and another diner on bedford for breakfasts and mikes tackle and next to mikes was sheepsheadbay tackle and hardware .About 6 charter boats by lundys and also randazzos and joes fish market where annie randazzo would give you 10 cents a pound no matter what you had .

But, after a few seconds on Google, you’ll see that the most information available on the internet about Tip Top Diner actually comes from a comment thread of an old Sheepshead Bites post.

Subway Stinker noted:

back in the late 1960’s there was a fantasic railroad car style diner on Emmons Avenue calle The Tip Top Diner. I was a student at Kingsboro and would head over ther after class for the best cup of Joe served in sturdy mugs. The north side of Emmons Avenue was relatively undeveloped at that time and parking was plentyful. Suddenly one night the Tip Top burnt down in an unsolved case of death by fire.

It was quite the convenient comment, since Tip Top’s granddaughter was eyeballing the thread:

Thank you so much for posting about the Tip Top Diner. My grandfather, Charlie Vourakis, opened it and I’m writing about that time in my family history right now. Any details you could provide would be so cherished.

Hopefully she’s still reading, so we can give her a bit more information. Did you have any memorable experiences at Tip Top Diner? What was your favorite meal there?