Bayside businesses to star in ‘Law & Order’ episode

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Television viewers across America will see some popular Bayside haunts when an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” set to film on Bell Boulevard this week, airs on NBC.

The hit detective series about cops cracking convoluted criminal cases will be filming Thursday and Friday at the Gold Star Diner, American Vision optical shop and North Fork Bank on Northern and Bell boulevards.

A network spokeswoman did not know why Bayside was chosen as the backdrop for the episode nor what implications the filming might have for traffic and possible street closures.

“It’s going to be traffic that day on Bell Boulevard, I’ll tell you that,” said Chris Axamidis, owner of the Gold Star, which will close from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

“They said they love the place, they love the way it looks,” said Axamidis about why the show’s representatives approached him a week ago.

Like the owners of other establishments to be used for filming, Axamidis would not reveal what the show’s producers paid him for use of his restaurant.

“I’m not getting who knows what, but I’m doing it mostly for the purpose of publicity,” he said.

Julia Braverman, manager of the American Vision optical shop, believes her store was selected because it is the biggest of its kind in the neighborhood.

“It’s good for business,” Braverman said. The store was set to close Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and to reopen from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Sorry for any inconvenience. However, we will be on TV in the fall. ... It’s nice for America to know Bayside exists!” read a flier printed up by American Vision.

North Fork Bank branch manager Judy Limpert said the show would give some free advertising to the bank since its sign would be visible.

She did not know what kind of scene would be filmed at the bank after its regular closing time, but said North Fork’s corporate headquarters allowed the show to use the branch “as long as it was not going to be something where they killed somebody.”

The basement of All Saints’ Episcopal Church on 40th Avenue will be rented out as a breakroom for the show’s crew but not the cast, said the Rev. Kent Johnson.

“The stars have sushi in a trailer or something,” he joked.

“Law & Order” is just the latest show to film in Bayside. The HBO Mafia series “The Sopranos” recently shot a dinner scene at the Pier 25A fish restaurant on Northern Boulevard.

Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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