Peter Luger Steak House

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Coordinates: 40°42′36″N 73°57′45″W / 40.7099°N 73.9626°W / 40.7099; -73.9626

Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger Steak House Logo.png
Peter Luger Interior.JPG
The interior bar section of the Brooklyn establishment
Restaurant information
Established 1887
Food type Steakhouse
Rating 1 Michelin star (Michelin Guide)
Street address 178 Broadway
City United States Brooklyn, New York
United States Great Neck, New York

Peter Luger Steak House is a steakhouse located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York City, with a second location in Great Neck, New York, on Long Island.

Peter Luger has been named the best steakhouse in New York City by Zagat Survey for 30 years in a row.[1] The Brooklyn location is known for its long wooden bar, and the "dining rooms have a Teutonic air, with exposed wooden beams, burnished oak wainscoting, brass chandeliers and weathered beer-hall tables".[2][3]

In 2002, it was named to the James Beard Foundation's list of "America's Classics".


The Brooklyn location was established in 1887 as "Carl Luger's Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley" in the then-predominantly German neighborhood which would shortly thereafter be in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.[4][5] German-born Peter Luger (1866–1941) was the owner and nephew Carl was the chef;[6] when Peter died the restaurant declined.[7]

In 1950, Peter Luger's son shut the restaurant and put it up for auction. Bernard and Lester Magrill, local auctioneers and frequent patrons, conducted the auction. Sol Forman, who owned a metal giftware factory across the street,[8] bought it for "a whimsically low bid". According to Lester Magrill, the purchase price was $35,000, which included the building as well as the restaurant. According to one history, "the neighborhood was declining, filling up with Hasidic Jews, whose kosher rules forbade the eating of Luger's hindquarters. Forman had been eating at Luger for twenty-five years, and he needed a place to take his clients. He was the only bidder during the auction. The purchase cemented the friendship between the Magrills and Formans and Lester frequented the restaurant almost five days a week for sixty years. Legend has it that Lester visited the Great Neck restaurant one evening and when mistreated by the Maitre'd, he asked to use the house phone. He turned to the offending host and stated, 'It's for you'. On the other end of the phone an irate Sol Forman fired the offending host on the spot and Magrill was immediately seated. A rave from über-critic Craig Claiborne in The New York Times was proof that Forman had kept the Luger faith—and the four-star review generated a new legion of the faithful."[9]

Forman opened a Great Neck, New York location, which was closed in 1984 after a fire severely damaged the restaurant, reopening in a year and a half later in 1986.[10]

Forman died in 2001 at the age of 98.[8][11]

Among the current owners of the restaurant is Amy Rubenstein, wife of Howard Rubenstein, the legendary public relations man whose clients have included George Steinbrenner, Rupert Murdoch, and Donald Trump.[12] Famous guests have included James Cagney, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert De Niro, Henry Kissinger, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Gleason, Chuck Schumer, Johnny Carson, and Jerry Seinfeld.[13] Tennis champion Pete Sampras also liked to celebrate wins at the U.S. Open by feasting at Peter Luger's.

In July 2009, while having dinner at Peter Luger, New York Governor David Paterson secretly had Richard Ravitch sworn in as Lieutenant Governor to oversee the stalemate-stricken State Senate.[14]


To the present day Peter Luger Steakhouse has not and does not accept any credit cards at either Brooklyn or Great Neck locations. Accepted forms of payment are the Peter Luger Card, US checks with ID, and US debit cards. ATMs with a remarkable service charge are provided in front of the restaurants.[15]

Wolfgang Zwiener took the core principles from his years as Peter Luger's head waiter before he opened his own restaurant, Wolfgang's Steakhouse.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zagat, Peter Lugers
  2. ^ "The Special Is Steak, and More Steak". New York Times. February 14, 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-27. The main dining room, with its wood floors, scrubbed-wood tables, dark ceiling beams, large wrought-iron chandelier and stucco walls, says steakhouse. Other rooms are more gentrified, with carpeting, tablecloths, red-leather banquettes and brass Williamsburg-style chandeliers. ... The menu is extremely limited, even for a steakhouse. Steaks are not listed by cut, only as steak for one, two, three or four. It turns out that that steak is a porterhouse cooked precisely to order, flavorful, tender and the pick of the menu. 
  3. ^ "Restaurants". New York Times. April 23, 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-28. The main dining rooms have a Teutonic air, with exposed wooden beams, burnished oak wainscoting, brass chandeliers and weathered beer-hall tables. ... Choices are limited to broiled porterhouse steaks in portions serving one to four, thick double lamb chops, prime rib (an occasional special) and broiled fish. 
  4. ^ Our Story, Peter Lugers
  5. ^ Bernardo, Leonard and Jennifer Weiss. Brooklyn by Name:How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges and More Got Their Names. New York. NYU Press:2006.
  6. ^ Brooklyn by Name: How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges and More Got Their Names by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss. NYU Press: 2006. ISBN 0-8147-9946-9 pgs 27–28[1]
  7. ^ William Stadiem and Mara Gibbs Artisan (2007). Everybody Eats There: Inside The World's Legendary Restaurants. p. 28. ISBN 1-57965-322-7. 
  8. ^ a b Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2008. ISBN 0-15-101202-4. p. 286.[2]
  9. ^ Everybody Eats There: Inside The World's Legendary Restaurants by William Stadiem & Mara Gibbs Artisan: 2007. ISBN 1-57965-322-7. p. 28[3]
  10. ^ "Where the Steak Reigns Supreme". New York Times. May 11, 1986. Retrieved 2010-10-27. The restaurant reopened about two months ago after having been shuttered for a year and a half following a fire. 
  11. ^ "Steakhouse Owner Sol Forman Dies At 98". New York Daily News. November 28, 2001. Retrieved 2010-10-28. Sol Forman, who put the sizzle back in the landmark Peter Luger steakhouse, died last Thursday at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. He was 98. 
  12. ^ Annals of Communications: The Fixer: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
  13. ^ TONY chews the fat with a 37-year Peter Luger institution: waiter Wolfgang Zwiener
  14. ^ Parker, Billy (July 9, 2009). "Ravitch Was Secretly Sworn In At Peter Luger's". Gothamist. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Bruni, Frank (30 June 2004). "Eat Up, but Don't Tell Your Cardiologist". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 

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