Hot Skates and high school -- for several generations of Long Islanders, the two were linked. News Friday that the Lynbrook indoor roller-skating rink is shutting down prompted waves of nostalgia from grownups who remember spending weekend nights hoping to hold hands with a crush during couples-only skates.
“I think I spent almost every Friday night there from seventh grade to senior year,” says Cheryl Radecker Denecke, 30, of Levittown, who graduated from Valley Stream North High School in 2006. “I had one of my birthday parties there growing up.”
The rink was such a part of people’s lives that it has been featured on reality TV shows -- Bethenny Frankel, who spent part of her childhood on Long Island, reminisced about Hot Skates on her Bravo TV show “Bethenney Ever After” and J.P. Rosenbaum, who grew up in Roslyn, and now-wife Ashley Hebert had their hometown date there on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” in 2011.
Mequity Acquisitions LLC is buying the 14 Merrick Rd. facility, and plans to tear down the current building, replacing it with a CuteSmart, a national self-storage company.
“It just kind of stinks,” says Kelly Flannery Driggers, 43, who grew up in Oceanside and graduated from Hempstead's Sacred Heart Academy in 1993. She says she recalls the smell of the hot dogs the rink sold and how people who knew how to do tricks would skate in the center while everyone else completed revolutions on the perimeter. “The brown skates with the orange wheels,” she says, “they were staples of your childhood.”