A Greenpoint institution, Acme Smoked Fish on Gem Street near North 15th was founded by a Russian immigrant named Harry Brownstein.
In the early 1900’s, Harry Brownstein, came to New York as part of a large Russian Jewish migration. He found a job as a “wagon jobber,” delivering smoked fish from smokehouses to grocery and appetizing stores, traditionally Jewish stores that sell food typically eaten with bagels—via horse-drawn wagon. Working as a peddler, Brownstein earned enough to open his own smokehouse and go into business for himself.
Four generations later, the family owned business is still going strong, and is one of the largest operations of its kind in the United States. Wholesalers, the Acme company opens its doors to retail customers on Fridays, and refuses all phone or online orders on “Fish Fridays.”