15 December 2010

Before Beauty & Essex

There's been a lot of buzz about the new LES hot spot Beauty & Essex recently. I've been inside. Nero never knew such gaudy opulence.

The space is huge. Which should come as no surprise, as the space was for many years a furniture store. M. Katz & Sons Fine Furniture to be specific. Above and below are before and after shots of the exterior. Beauty & Essex retained the shadow of the former letters, as well as the vertical "Katz Furniture" sign. Nothing of the interior remains, aside from some brick walls.

Katz is a family-owned business. It was founded in 1906 by Meilich Katz, beginning on Stanton Street before moving to Essex. In the 1930s, Meilich was joined by his three sons, Irving, Pincus and Joseph. In the late 1960s, Irving's sons Maurice and Arthur entered the firm. It may come as a surprise to some to know that the business still exits. It has relocated to 20 Orchard Street. It's currently run by the fifth generation of Katzes.

1 comment:

upstate Johnny G said...

The restaurant looks gorgeous inside. See it here:


I guess maybe that famous line from "Gypsy" still holds true: "ya gotta have a gimmick" and the gimmick here is that the restaurant is fronted by what looks like someone's vision of a well-heeled pawnshop, continuing the trend of creating "hidden" venues that are known to everyone. I'd like to see a tailor shop front where you go into the changing room and give the clothes hook a tug to open the secret door into the interior. Even better if you had an Alexander Waverly lookalike at the host stand!! Or maybe instead of riffing on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. someone will try recreating the opening from "Get Smart".

Not trying to be snarky here....If it makes the customers happy....it's a good thing.