Monday, August 5, 2013


I've been researching some older New York City buildings for a current project.  I came across an entry for Luchow's, the German restaurant that was located at 110 East 14th Street at Irving Place, near Union Square(  The restaurant was moved in 1982 to the Theater District in an effort to revive its business, but closed in 1986.  The building on 14th Street was torn down in 1995 after it had been gutted by a fire.  I indulged in a fit of nostalgia as I read all of this.  Very early in my career, I began to publish with Thomas Y. Crowell, a relationship that lasted for many years.   
On one of my visits to the city, Robert Crowell, the president of Thomas Y. Crowell, invited me out for lunch. He took me to Luchow's.  This room is where we sat and talked business.  I don't remember what I ate that day.  But I'll always treasure the care with which I was nurtured, mentored, educated, and supported at Crowell:  by my publisher Robert Crowell; my editor Ann Beneduce; my art director Jack Jaget; and my production manager, John Vitale.  I learned so much from all of them.  That was the way it worked in those days.  I am deeply grateful that I was able to be part of those earlier days of publishing.


  1. many years later i served on a library board in newfane, vermont with the same Robert Crowell. it was a privilege to serve with him. he was an extraordinarily decent man for whom i had (and still have, even though he has passed away) the utmost respect.

  2. Thanks for sharing your memories, Wendy! Those were the good old days indeed.
    That looks like a lovely restaurant; too bad the original building burned down. There are (were) so many beautiful buildings in NYC; I always enjoyed viewing them when I lived there.

  3. A friend alerted me to the existence of "Luchow's German Cookbook: The Story and Favorite Dishes of America's Most Famous German Restaurant--with Introduction and Illustrations By Ludwig Bemelmans". How appropriate---the famous Luchow's and the famous author/illustrator of "Madeline"! You can see a photo of the book jacket at Amazon. And purchase (much more cheaply than at Amazon) a copy of this at

  4. Hi Wendy,

    My father, Emil Zahn, was the Executive Chef for Mitchell Enterprises who owned Luchows in the Fifties and Sixties. Mr Mitchell would always give me an old silver dollar from the 1800's on my birthdays.

    And despite my father providing (maybe not creating) many of the recipes in the Luchow's Cookbook, he is only given credit for the improvements he made to the draught beer system in the restaurant.

    You can see a picture of him in Luchows at:

    He retired in 1967, and moved our family down to Ft. Lauderdale where he spent the remainder of his life. He loved cooking for his family and friends, and going to the beach. He died in 1992 at the age of 86.

    Luchows was sold in 1968 to the Riese Brothers of Chicago. They didn't succeed in resurrecting the iconic restaurant, and Luchows was ultimately demolished in 1995. An NYU dormitory was built on the site.

    1. Thank you so much for this verbal sketch of your father, and his part in making Luchows what it was. I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity to experience such a landmark place and its food!