HISTORIC EATS: Patrons can fi nally dine in Gage & Tollner’s restored landmarked interiors. File photo by Julianne Cuba
COURIER LIFE, APRIL 2-8, 2021 27
OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE BOROUGH OF KINGS
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
The historic Downtown Brooklyn
chophouse Gage & Tollner will fi -
nally open for inside seating on April
15, marking a return to dining at the
1870s-era eatery that had been delayed
at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
“It’s thrilling, there’s no other word
for it,” the Fulton Street restaurant’s
co-owner St. John Frizell told Brooklyn
Paper. “I’ve just been walking on a
cloud for a week.”
The reopening — which was fi rst
reported by Grub Street — comes after
13 months of pandemic limbo for Gage
& Tollner, which next month will offer
patrons space in the cherry-wood paneled
dining room at half capacity and
spaced-out tables in accordance with
the state’s coronavirus guidelines,
starting with dinner service only
Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
Brooklynites have eagerly awaited
the return of the iconic restaurant,
which once served the borough’s ritziest
patrons from 1879 to 2004, before
shuttering and housing a TGI Fridays,
the fast-food joint Arby’s, and a discount
Frizell and his fellow co-owners
Ben Schneider and Sohui Kim painstakingly
restored the ancient digs to
its former glory for three years and
planned for a grand opening in March
of 2020, but the outbreak of the coronavirus
foiled Gage & Tollner’s return.
Buoyed by fi nancial support from
fans and a landlord who charged
them reduced or no rents for several
months, the owners weathered the
pandemic closure and started doing
takeout and delivery in February, offering
meal kits with video tutorials
on their Instagram page.
“We’re so grateful for all your support
throughout this epic journey —
we wouldn’t be here today without
you,” read a March 25 Facebook post
announcing the reopening.
The restaurateurs decided against
outdoor dining, since they would have
only had room for two tables outside
their lot’s narrow footprint between
Smith Street and Red Hook Lane.
“It’s a big operation, and serving
two tables didn’t make sense,” Frizell
The entrepreneurs waited to set a
reopening date until all of their staff
could get at least one of two COVID
vaccine shots, according to Frizell.
“The possibility to reopen with a
fully vaccinated staff is a complete
game changer,” he said.
He added that they are still hiring
staff and look to open with a roughly
40-member strong workforce.
Next month, guests will be able to
enjoy their seafood classics in the elegant
landmarked interiors, including
their famous brass chandeliers,
leather and red velvet booths, and silk
The menu offers old-school seafood
dishes like Oyster Rockefeller and
She-Crab Soup alongside rib-eye steak,
mutton chops, and fried chicken. Meanwhile,
at the marble bar, you can enjoy
cocktails reminiscent of the 1940s.
For all who bought gift certifi -
cates, the owners asked in the social
media post that they hold on to them
for a little longer before cashing them
in until the business is on more solid
ground. To encourage that, gift certifi
cates sold before April 15 will increase
in value by 10 percent, according
to the post.
Gage & Tollner
to open indoor
dining in April
Gage & Tollner 372 Fulton St. between
Smith Street and Red Hook Lane Downtown,
(347) 689–3677, gageandtollner.
com. Opening April 15, Wednesday
through Sunday from 5-9:30 pm.