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was cruising 6th Ave this afternoon headed for the subway, when I saw the name LUCHOWS on the spine of a lil russet colored book. Further looksee showed a 1963 printing of the Luchows German Cookbook by J Mitchell. All of 3 bux it set me back.

I read the intro and story of the place.

I miss it and I was never there.

Did it in fact close in 1982?

Who was Ludwig Bemelmans (the guy that wrote the intro)

Someone please share recollections of the place. Preferrably the GOOD ones of its real heyday not the decline and fall lamentations.

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Who was Ludwig Bemelmans (the guy that wrote the intro)

I have a copy of that great book, also. (Still use the recipes)

Bemelman is the author of the beloved "Madeleine" children's books. They have always been popular, but have made a big comeback with DVDs. He also did the drawings. You can probably do a google on him for information.

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Bemelmens was an artist and writer for both children and adults. His early jobs were working in restaurants. He was also a part owner of a restaurant and painted the murals in the bar at the Carlyle Hotel in NY. The bar is known as the Bemelmen's Bar. Bemelmens himself is best known for the Madeline series of children's books.

Ludwig Bemelmans, author and illustrator of more than 40 books for children and adults, was born in the Austrian Tyrol on April 27, 1898. His father was a painter; his mother was the daughter of a prosperous brewer.

Bemelmans was a rebellious child, and never completed his formal education. When he was a teenager, his parents apprenticed him to his Uncle Hans, who owned a string of resort hotels in the Tyrol. After the 16-year-old Bemelmans shot a head-waiter during a dispute, his family gave him the option of going to reform school or emigrating to America.

Bemelmans chose the latter and arrived in New York in 1914, carrying two pistols with which to fend off hostile Indians. --from the www.penguinputnam.com page on the author.

Is that when Luchow's closed? I guess so. I remember it fondly, although I hadn't been there in a while when it closed. I remember thinking I was sorry to see it go in spite of the fact that I wouldn't have been likely to be eating there much. I suspected I knew I'd miss it more in 20 years. I remember the herring in mustard sauce in the dining room and I remember beer and hamburgers in the tap room. It was a large sprawling German restaurant with ornately carved wood paneling. It went clear through from Thirteenth to Fourteenth Streets. There was an oomp-pah band in the dining room, at least on some nights. That's what made the bar room so attractive. :laugh:

All of 3 bux

There's only one of us. :laugh::laugh:

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Now that you mentioned it, I think there was a Luchows that opened somewhere after the one on 14th Street was torn down. I was never there, but seem to recall it didn't hold a candle to the original one according to reports.

Luchow's moved to midtown Manhattan in 1982 and closed a few years later.

For the history buffs and those old enough to be nostalgic about Luchow's, here are a few clippings.

Luchow's 75th Anniversary- Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - April 1957.

World War Two Rationing in NYC from the New York Herald Tribune - Sunday, July 11, 1943, with just a brief mention of Luchow's.

Robert Buxbaum


Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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We ate once at the Luchow's at its original location. It was in the 1970's, and our daughter, who was maybe 5 or 6 at the time, was with us. We ordered goose which, I think, was one of their specialties. Even now, I remember it as being delicious. The atmosphere was very gemutlich, and it was a happy family experience all around.

We also went once to the second incarnation. It was on Broadway, around 49th St., and I think you had to walk down a flight of steps to get to it. It wasn't that the food was bad, but something important was missing. They couldn't recreate that certain, intangible feeling that the original location had. :sad:

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I went to Luchows on 13-14th sometime during the early 70's. They had an annual venison festival. It was a group outing with classmates from Cooper Union, so it was just a 6 block walk. I remember consuming many beers and consequently remember little else. Except the roving Oompah band. That was unforgettable.


Everybody has Problems, but Chemists have Solutions.

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When I was growing up, Luchows was the one place I always wanted to go. I think because of their commercials, which showed the large room and waiters carrying huge plates of food. My parents always said I had to wait for my 16th birthday. Alas, by then it had moved uptown and was not getting good reviews. (I think we went to Maxwell's Plum instead.)

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I received a copy of the book in beautiful shape last year. And the Bemelmans line drawings certainly fit my memories of the place. My clearest food memory was of the marinated herring. And the recipe is in the book. :smile:

Edited by Richard Kilgore (log)
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I know certain aspects of Luchows menu wouldve hit my tasebuds squarely on target...pork sausages in some form...german potato salad....beer...dessert...beer.....

I was 21 when the 14th Street spot closed.....I was certainly old enough...but I was from a single parent home...and somehow I think if my mom couldve afforded it for a special occasion...if Id thought to ask...shed have taken me.

I remember the commercials too. Was the area *that* salty then? I was used to being a bit further uptown hanging out then cuz thats where my mom worked.

Last German food I had before this @#$%^&*ing diet was right from Karl Ehmers in Ridgewood. We had one of the guys in the firehouse bring the stuff to work with him and we pigged out for lunch....grilled bratwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut ....no beer of course....oh man what a feast.

Edited by nyfirepatrolchef (log)
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If we can manage to rouse Irwin Koval (codename: wescza, or something like that), I believe he did time at Luchow's. He's been such a gracious storyteller on other subjects, I'm sure he'd have some fascinating input.

GG Mora: You've roused me. It's true that I was involved indirectly with Jam Mitchell's original "Luchows" in NYC.

I became involved when Jan, became interested in the new super recipe that i'd introduced at 'Stuebans Tavern" Restaurant on 47th Street in NYC for Sauerbrauten for the owner then Simon Adler who later owned Keelers Restaurant in Albany NY.

I recommended that they utilize Triangle Tip, then refered to as Bottom Sirloin in place of the Eye Round generally used in German Restaurants in Yorkville, Ridgewood and most places in the New York Area.

The Sauerbrauten was a big success with Luchows customers, and I became quite friendly with the various Chefs and Mitchell himself. I had the opportunity to dine there often together with James Beard who lived close bye in the Villege and enjoyed the Ambience and food. It was truly a special place. I always have felt that it should have been made into a historical location, since there are few places like this remaining anywhere with so much history and tradition. I certainly wish there were more German/Austian Restaurants still in business.


I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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