North Shore a star in ‘The Irishman’

Al Pacino in Williston Park greeting fans after a take on the film "The Irishman" in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Tom Ferraro)

By Tom McCarthy, Rose Weldon, and Rob Peleaz

The North Shore of Long Island may have been the biggest star of Martin Scorcese’s new gangster epic “The Irishman,” released on Netflix last week.

While the film, which follows the story of Teamster driver turned high ranking mafia hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), took place in Philadelphia, some of its key moments were filmed in Williston Park, Mineola, Hempstead and Great Neck.

Williston Park’s Hildebrant’s ice cream parlor was the center of a key moment in the film where Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino, and Sheeran see the live news coverage of the assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Hildebrandt’s manager Tom Bauman said they were grateful to be part of such a major scene.

“It was fun. We met everybody, but only got to talk to Ray Romano,” Bauman said.

Bauman said that they did not cut anything out, and that director Scorcese was constantly thanking the team at Hildebrandt’s.

Hempstead Town Hall served as the Teamster union’s Washington D.C. headquarters for the film. Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, a  proponent of making the town government more digital, said that not much was needed to make Town Hall look like a building in the 1960s.

“When the film’s location scouts said they were filming a crime drama and then saw the offices, they stopped, took it in and said: ‘It’s perfect! Don’t change a thing,'” Gillen said in an emailed statement.

For the film, Williston Park D & J’s Print Shop was transformed into “Len’s Dairy and Grocer.” Owner Dominic Oreste said, however, that the store was not featured much in the final cut.

Oreste said that the shop’s interior is in a scene with De Niro and actor Bo Dietl shown are buying a watermelon and talking about Jimmy Hoffa, and that all one can really see is Gino’s Pizzeria across the street.

In a previous story, Oreste said, he and his business partner got to meet Scorsese and the cast, including de Niro, Dietl and Pacino.

“We can’t wait to see the movie,” Oreste said previously. “Our customers are teasing us saying we’re like two little boys when we tell the story.”

While scenes were shot at Mineola’s Biscuits and Barbecue, no scenes from there made it into the final cut, a worker said.

Leonardo Palazzo in Great Neck was featured in a scene showcasing a teamster rally at the Deauville Hotel in Miami, according to Newsday. Representatives from Leonardo Palazzo did not immediately return a request for comment.


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