21 February 2011

Astounding News About Lüchow’s

There are few vanished New York businesses this blog has been more obsessed with than Lüchow’s, the monarch of all German eateries in Gotham history. So it is hardly surprising that my elbows slipped off the desktop when I read this item on Grub Street.

Lüchow’s bar is not gone forever, but lives on at a Bay Ridge joint called Cafe Remy!

Reports the food blog: 
Walk into Café Remy and the back bar may seem familiar — the three mirrored arches with floral wood carvings, flanked by bottle cabinets, were left over from the space’s previous incarnation, T.J. Bentley’s. But it turns out, they date back even further. Remy owner Eddie Batiz tells us that the owner of T.J. Bentley’s bought the face of the back bar at auction some time after 1982, when Lüchow’s closed after a century on 14th Street. The panels, says Batiz, were transported directly from Lüchow’s to Bay Ridge. When Batiz moved Remy Lounge from its original Manhattan location into the T.J. Bentley’s space in 2007, he wasn’t about to get rid of the bar. “It’s a beautiful bar,” he tells us. “So I had to design the place to try to match the bar.” And so a bar that once saw tuxedoed string ensembles performing waltzes is now on duty at reggaeton parties. Who knows what Victor Herbert (the composer who founded ASCAP at Lüchow’s in 1914) would think of that.
Sweet, suffering Lord, what a find! What's more, there are further chunks of Lüchow’s sitting in a Hudson, New York, antique store run by Steve Stollman, a man who restores and sells antique bars. If you have the lettuce (I wish I did), you could have a larger arch (eight feet long) from the back bar for $4,000, a smaller one (four feet long) for $2,500, and a eight-foot-by-eight-foot wall panels for $3,500. 

According to Grub Street, "Stollman helped restore the bar before Lüchow’s closed in 1982. Years later, he snuck into the building just months before it was demolished (it was razed in 1995 after a suspicious fire and eventually replaced by an NYU dorm). “The roof was breached,” he says. “There were homeless people living in there. People’s legs went through the floor; it was so rotted out. I climbed in and peeled the paneling off the walls and got some of the columns and some of the back bar.”

God bless Stollman.


upstate Johnny G said...

WOW!! As bummed as I am that Luchow's fell to the wrecking ball (so much for their motto "New York City changes, Luchows remains the same")....it's great to know that at least some bits of Luchows remain. You weren't just whistling Dixie about the cache in Hudson either. Check it out...

Anonymous said...

I have a small piece of Luchows history. It is a bronze ashtray/tip tray in the shape of a oyster shell with the figure of a nude women laying on a Lilly pad observing fish and crab. On the back it is stamped.
" Diamond Jim Brady Room "
" Luchows "
" New York , N. Y. "
If anyone has information it would be appreciated, ie. date, origin, etc
If anyone has information

Anonymous said...

The ashtray was available during the ownership of the restaurant by Jan Mitchell. I worked there and also have one and also one of the steins from that period.

Anonymous said...

I recently received an original menu for the Luchow's 60th anniversary in 1942. It is in pristine condition. If anyone has an interest in this, please post and I will answer.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I am interested. Email me at lostcitybrooks@gmail.com.

Unknown said...

I only went to Luchow's once, on a date in the 1970s with the man who is now my husband. The meal was forgettable, but the place was not. I was so sad to see if move uptown, and then close.