Brooklyn's Gage & Tollner closed
Last week, it was announced that one of Brooklyn's classics, Gage & Tollner, would be closing on February 15. Gage's (as the true Brooklynites called it) was a legend--it was about 125 years old, still housed in a brownstone on a block of Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn where it was surrounded by slew of sneaker electronics and cut-rate merchandise shops. The interior was landmarked by the City of New York's Landmarks Preservaion Commission--woodwork, lincrusta wallpaper, and original gaslight chandeliers that were lit every night.
In the past 25-30 years, it had changed hands several times. About 20 years ago, the then-owner brought southern cuisine legend chef Edna Lewis in to offer southern regional specialties in addition to the classic seafood preparations that the restaurant was so famous for. A few years ago, a new owner came to the rescue after the restaurant almost closed for good following bankruptcy--the menu changed, the quality of the food slipped, office closures reduced the lunch clientele, and downtown Brooklyn, although surrounded by burgeoning neighborhoods, still failed to recover in a way that it needed to in order for Gage's to attact a dinner crowd that would have supported the restaurant as the new neighborhoods supported the storefront restaurants that were opening all over brownstone Brooklyn.
A true and irreparable loss.