Gage and Tollner
Gage and Tollner Restaurant
Gage and Tollner site, October 2008
|Location||372 Fulton St., New York, New York|
|Area||less than one acre|
|NRHP Reference #|||
|Added to NRHP||June 3, 1982|
Gage and Tollner was a restaurant on Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn. It had been in business since 1879 and in the same location since 1892 until it closed on February 14, 2004. The Brownstone where it was housed has been in existence since 1875.
It was built about 1875 and is a four story late Italianate style brownstone building. The painted wood storefront was probably added in 1892 when the restaurant opened. It includes a portico with modified Doric order columns. The interior retains the original Victorian design including Lincrusta-Walton wall covering.
Gage and Tollner's began when Charles Gage opened an "eating house" at 303 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, in 1879. In 1880, Eugene Tollner joined him and the restaurant became known as Gage and Tollner's in 1882. The restaurant moved to 372–374 Fulton Street in 1892.
Gage and Tollner retired in 1911 and sold the restaurant to A.H. Cunningham and Alexander Ingalls, with the provision that neither the interior nor the name be changed. They sold the restaurant eight years later to Seth Bradford Dewey. The Deweys bought the entire bu1lding in 1923 and continued to run the business until 1985.
In the 1980s the restaurant and building was bought by Peter Aschkenasy who brought in famed chef Edna Lewis. She helped "transform" the restaurant by adding her famed Southern cuisine, such as cornbread, catfish and a "legendary she-crab soup". Joseph Chirico, who owned the restaurant since 1995, made the hard decision to close the restaurant since "the business was dragging every day."
Shortly after it closed, T.G.I. Friday's moved in. T.G.I. Friday's vacated the space in 2007. After gaining interior design approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, an Arby's franchise, owned by Raymond Chera, opened at the location on January 21, 2010. In August 2010, the Arby's franchise closed. As of 2012 the space is inhabited by a discount costume jewelry and leather coats store. Most of the antique fixtures have disappeared or have been covered up by modern lighting and fixtures.
Beginning in the fall of 1995, Chirico made some renovations and closed down the restaurant until April/May 1996. He said "he has tried to retain the historic flavor of the restaurant while providing modern amenities."
"Milford Prewitt, a former writer and editor for Nation’s Restaurant News, described the restaurant as one of the most “romantic dining environments in the city, contributing to its ranking as one of the top restaurants for marriage proposals.” Or, as L.J. Davis wrote in an essay in the nostalgic anthology Brooklyn: A State of Mind, “You go to Gage’s (as many regulars call it) for the experience, the way you go to heaven for the climate and to hell for the company.”"
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Fulton Street, Forgotten NY Streetscenes
- Anthony W. Robins and Anne B. Covell (February 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Registration:Gage and Tollner Restaurant". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved February 20, 2011. See also: "Accompanying three photos".
- "Gage and Tollner's of Brooklyn, 1956 Review". tipsontables.com.
- "Bklynr – Empty Places". bklynr.com.
- "Eat and Be Merry - On Saturday 2 Classics Die - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. February 13, 2004.
- "tien mao's little read book...: Gage & Tollner Transforms to T.G.I. Friday's". tienmao.com.
- Kaufman, Sarah R.; Sederstrom, Jotham (March 11, 2009). "Arby's to move into famed Gage & Tollner digs in downtown Brooklyn". Daily News. New York.
- Fulton Mall Arby's Calls It Quits
- "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT - BROOKLYN HEIGHTS/DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN - DINING - Gage & Tollner - The Same, but Different - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. April 28, 1996.
- Where White-Cloth Dining Faltered, Chain Looks to Thrive
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