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Lemon Ice King of Corona

About this listing

Italian ices have been sold here for over 60 years

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Corona
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

By Caitlin Van Dusen

The Lemon Ice King of Corona has been delighting taste buds since 1944. A favorite citywide, the shop inspires loyalty from patrons and employees, and retains a unique ambiance.

You don’t get to be the Lemon Ice King of Corona just by making ices. One has to possess a certain savoir faire to wear the crown--even if your crown is a worn cotton cap and your palace a glassed-in corner shop in Queens, nestled between an Italian pork store and Classic Dental Spa, with “Emergencies Welcome” scripted on its awning.

Peter Benfaremo, or “Pete,” as he is affectionately called by his fans and staff, has been in the ice business since he came out of the army, in 1945; his father, a bricklayer by trade, had started the business only a year earlier. The shop used to be next door, smaller, and they hand-cranked the ice...

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On The Web

The Lemon Ice King of Corona website


Jacquelyn Coffee (Cooper Union)

Every summer fruit you can think of--cherry, peach, watermelon, raspberry, cantaloupe--all mushed up in buckets with plain shaved ice to be eaten out of little paper cups. That's it--nothing else. Simple and perfect. The Lemon Ice King has been on that same corner in Corona since before the 1964 World's Fair, which happened just a couple of blocks away. There's always a line no matter what time you get there. There's a very special little park directly across the street that, except for the graffiti on the trash cans, could be right out of an old movie. You can sit on a bench while eating your ice and watch the old Italian guys from the neighborhood play bocce ball or chess. I usually make three trips to the counter. I get started with peach, move on to watermelon, then finish up with blackberry (which isn't in the case, you have to ask for it. They keep it in the back).

Anonymous Nominator

Italian hot spot for old timers, its served Italian-style ices since 1946.

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