When the two-story Parr Gas Station was being constructed along Montauk Highway 100 years ago, local lore has it that Suffolk County was considering changing the flow of the road. It could either go on the south or north side of the building.
As a result, Lew Parr, the station’s owner, prepared for both scenarios, said Brookhaven Town historian Barbara Russell.
“From what I was told, when the building was under construction [in about 1918], the county was considering changing Montauk Highway, so they built a ‘front door’ on either side in case the road changed.”
A photo provided by Russell that she dated around the 1920s or 1930s includes Reid’s Ice Cream sign on the side. The ice cream was made in Blue Point. You can now hop across Montauk Highway for handmade specialties at the Ice Cream Cottage.
The south side became the official opening, and the building was sold in 1941 to Clifford Hawkins of Center Moriches, who operated a liquor store there. A Mastic Beach directory has an advertisement of the Mastic Park Liquor Store, owned by Hawkins, according to a 2008 narrative Russell composed.
There’s little, if any, indication of a second front door at Mastic Liquors now.
The red-shingled building became a town landmark in 2009.
The current owner, who asked to only be identified as Paul, bought the property in 2010 and said he wasn’t aware of the building’s history until he bought it.
He keeps stories about it for people to see and even had someone drop by asking about it because he said the property was once owned by his family.
“It’s a good location,” he said. “The only bad part is I can’t get any changes done without permission” because of the landmark status.