Longchamps (chain of restaurants)

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HeadquartersNew York, Washington, D.C.
Number of locations
At least 12 at one point
Key people
Henry Lustig (founder), Jan Mitchell, Riese Brothers, Larry Ellman

Longchamps was a chain of several upscale restaurants centered in Manhattan that consisted of twenty or more locations at its peak, including the Showboat Restaurant located in the Empire State Building. The chain's first location was opened in 1919.[1] Longchamps restaurants were known for their natty art deco furnishings and decorations by Winold Reiss,[2] and a number of designs for elements of their physical surroundings were drawn up by New York architect Ely Jacques Kahn,[3] originator of a colorful version of art deco architecture.[4]

In the early 1960s, Longchamps was the first – and perhaps the only – restaurant to introduce complementary Metrecal at luncheon,[citation needed] and was otherwise known for such specialties as Oxtail Ragout, Crabmeat a la Dewey, Nesselrode Pie, and "21-Percent Butterfat Ice Cream".[5] A Longchamps in Washington D.C. was among the first tablecloth restaurants there to allow black customers.[citation needed]

In 1959, restaurateur Jan Mitchell, the owner of Luchow's, became president and majority owner of the chain. In 1967, with a total of eight locations existing in Manhattan at that point, he sold a controlling stake to Murray and Irving Riese.[6][7][8] Restaurateur Larry Ellman, owner of the Cattleman Restaurant, soon became partners with the Rieses and was named president of the chain.[9]

In 1971, the chain sold four of its remaining restaurants to the Riese Organization – also controlled by the Riese brothers – mostly removing it from the "white tablecloth" restaurant business, and a number of the old locations had been turned into steakhouse-themed outlets. In June 1975, the former parent company, Longchamps, Inc., filed for bankruptcy.[5][10][11][12]


  1. ^ New York Times, Feb. 8, 1998 "F.Y.I." (for your information) by Daniel B. Schneider
  2. ^ Winhold Reiss.org
  3. ^ Restaurant-ing Through History "With Haute Cuisine for All: Longchamps" by Jan Whitaker, 2009
  4. ^ (20 March 1938). OPEN NEW RESTAURANT; Longchamps at 253 Broadway Will Be Eleventh in Chain, The New York Times, reporting that 11th Longchamps location was set to open on March 22, 1938 at 253 Broadwayl, opposite City Hall Park, with seating for over 1,000, with interior decorations by Reiss
  5. ^ a b New York Times, Feb. 8, 1998 "F.Y.I." by Daniel B. Schneider
  6. ^ (2 June 1959). Longchamps Is in New Hands, The New York Times
  7. ^ Vartan, Vartanig G. (3 June 1967). Control of Longchamps Is Sold To Brothers Who Own Childs, The New York Times
  8. ^ Grimes, William (1 December 2009). Jan Mitchell, Who Put the ü Back in Lüchow's, Dies at 96, The New York Times
  9. ^ (18 October 1967). Ellman will head Longchamps chain, The New York Times
  10. ^ Hammer, Alexander R. (29 September 1971). Longchamps to Sell Luchow's And 4 Others for $8-Million, The New York Times, reporting that Longchamps Inc. was selling Luchow's, which it had acquired in 1969, as well as four Longchamps locations, to the Riese Organization
  11. ^ Barmash, Isadore (3 June 1975). Longchamps Restaurant Chain Files Voluntary Debt Petition, The New York Times
  12. ^ Grimes, William. Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York, p.260-61 (2010)