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Delmonico’s restaurant in NYC: Closed forever? (1899)

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Delmonico’s was a hugely-popular restaurant during the Victorian era, which expanded into ten different locations over the years. Not only was the eatery hugely popular, it was known for inventing fabulous dishes, too. Among those recipes credited to Delmonico’s include Baked Alaska, Lobster Newberg, Manhattan Clam Chowder and Delmonico Potatoes. (Eggs Benedict and Chicken à la King might have also been the restaurant’s creations, but of these, the lore is less certain.)

The company closed the restaurant at the Delmonico Building (on Fifth Avenue and 26th Street) in 1899, which led to this story appearing in newspapers nationwide.

Delmonico Building at Fifth Avenue and 26th Street in 1895

Delmonico’s closed forever

Memories that come with passing of the famous eating house

The closing of what was once known as “Uptown Delmonico’s” does away with the most famous eating house in the western hemisphere, and undoubtedly one of the best known in the whole world.

Delmonico came to this country seventy-two years ago, and in nine restaurants in New York has waged a constant battle against America’s national disease – dyspepsia. It was not always the same Delmonico who presided over the establishment, but the same traditions prevailed, whichever member of the family was there.

Though Delmonico’s has changed its location often, it has not changed its habits. What an interchange of experiences and expressions of emotions there must have been among the ghosts of the “Old Guards” Monday night as a gloomy waiter bowed out the last guest and closed the place forever! It will no doubt give place to a skyscraper or a tailor’s shop or a saloon. Already real estate men are sniffing around it and calculating.

Party at Delmonico’s (1877)

New York City, the “flower party,” in aid of the Northeastern dispensary, given at Delmonico’s, Tuesday evening, April 3d [1877]

delmonicos-restaurant-nyc-1877

Party at Delmonico’s (1893)

Delmonico’s, drawn by Childe Hassam (From Century magazine)

delmonicos-restaurant-nyc-1893

 

Top photo: Looking south on 5th Avenue at 26th Street, showing Delmonico’s Restaurant, courtesy Museum of the City of New York; Images 2 & 3 courtesy the NY Public Library.

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