Readers seem to be sending me on wild restaurant chases lately—and I am happy to go on them. Last week, a descendant of Joseph Guffanti asked me if I knew when Guffanti's Italian restaurant finally gave up the ghost. I did my best, and discovered a lot, but couldn't find out the exact year when the eatery died. This week, someone has asked me if I knew anything about a place called Steuben's in the 40s, a Teutonic drinking joint where he used to go in the 1960s.
It was actually called Steuben Tavern, and was located at W. 47th Street and Broadway, right in the thick of Times Square. And indeed, it was a German type place. It appears to have been the longest-lasting branch of what was once a chain of Steubens. In 1934, there was quite a lot of hullabaloo when a Steuben Tavern opened on the south side of 42nd between Broadway and Seventh. It was a wide broad, stone building, set on the site of the old Metropole Hotel. It was designed to look like an English tavern and had murals by Winold Reiss (see above), the well-known artist who also did murals for several of the Longchamps restaurants.
The 42nd Street tavern closed only five years later, in 1939, leaving branches on W. 47th and Lexington. The 47th Street location was tiny, with wood paneling and checked tablecloths, and served pot roast and schnitzel. It was going strong through the 1960s. Again, I don't know when it closed.
The front page of the menu is below.