Wow. Google “Nielsen’s ice cream Greenwich” and you find lots of interesting stuff, including this remembrance by George Davol:
Greenwich Avenue had the most places to find “youth” foods. I recall the following, starting at the top of the Avenue and working down. One of the very first stores at the top on the left was Nielsen’s Ice Cream (the building torn down when the Pickwick Arms was torn down). Unlike the Nielsen’s, we hung out at near the high school, this was strictly a place to get ice cream and buy candies such as chocolates. It was a real ice cream parlor which had great and gooey sundaes, cones, banana splits, and the always hard to finish “belly buster”. A little ways down on the right was Mark’s Brothers for the candy and for comics. Still further down was Vaudry’s Drug which had a lunch counter and a few stores away was Greenwich Drug which had a luncheon/soda fountain. It was a place of employment later on for me, Clark Sorensen, George Lamonica, Rey Redington, and many others. Across the street during my younger years was Whelan’s Drug Store (I think it later became the Sport Shop). It too had a lunch counter, but the best part was the Root Beer Floats, the Root Beer coming out of a big Hire’s Root Beer barrel – one of my all-time favorites. Back across the street near Greenwich Drug in later high school years was a place called Garden Poultry, a 60s version of Boston Chicken, but much better! After that there were no “snack” places until you got just past Mead’s Stationary. It was a local pre-Nielsen’s hangout for earlier GHS classes called the Green Witch. It wasn’t fancy but served the usual hamburgers, sodas, ice cream etc. Further down on the left hand side at the corner across from Town Hall was Finch’s Drug which also had a lunch/soda counter.
About half way down on the same side and right near or in front of the “Big Clock” was perhaps the oldest “step-back-in-time” I don’t recall the name but it was a real old-time ice cream soda fountain, complete with the marble counter, fountain equipment, etc. It must have gone out of business by around 1950 or 1951 as I only remember going there once or twice. On the other side of the Avenue across the corner
from the Greenwich Theater was the Star Restaurant. It was owned and run by 61′ classmate Ed Nicosia’s family. Not fancy, but a local favorite that had good food.
Along Putnam Ave there were not many places, the exception being another Finch’s Drug Store, and, of course, The White Diner, the only place I recall that was open 24 hours in Greenwich. Dining out at restaurants with the family was infrequent, but when we did, the choice was usually The Clam Box, Manero’s and (I think it was called) The Homestead in Byram for Pizza – one of the very few places in the early years that you could buy a pizza in Greenwich. Later on other places to eat became popular. Nielsen’s, was of course a favorite of many GHS students before and after high school, but because I and other friends lived near it we made it a regular hang out
for all times. I think it was built around 1957 and lasted until about the mid 70s until it was torn down to make a parking lot (pave paradise and put up a parking lot, as the song goes). Once we discovered “wheels” our range expanded (no, Port Chester is a later story). There was the Cos Cobber in Cos Cob, our first taste of fast food in Greenwich, and of course, Dirty Lou’s in Cos Cob (pave paradise and put up a car dealership). Lou’s always got a knock as being a greasy-spoon, but that award really had to go to the Oasis. It was run by a couple of Greek Brothers. It lasted for many years as did the grease on the walls, windows, and everywhere! At Dirty Lou’s, Lou was no dapper-Dan and the waitress (I forget her name) always seemed annoyed at taking your order, but this mattered little as the burgers and wedges were great. In fact, Lou purchased all the hamburger meat at Manero’s, not from some no-name supplier. I know many of us miss “Dirty Lou’s”