A kosher restaurant feeds the Garment District

Lou G. Siegel (reportedly the G. stood for nothing) was a Romanian immigrant who opened his eponymous kosher restaurant on West 38th Street in 1917.

The timing couldn’t have been better. West 38th Street was the center of the booming Garment District, and Jewish workers and execs flocked for decades to the massive dining room for artery-clogging, traditional Eastern European eats.

This place went all out, “employ[ing] two rabbis full time to supervise the shopping and cooking. So exacting were they that one Rabbi sealed the refrigerator after dinner and the other unsealed the refrigerator in the morning,” stated a New York Times article from June 29, 1996, when Lou G. Siegel’s served its last stuffed derma.

Lou himself died in 1965, after falling down the restaurant stairs. The space is now occupied by Ben’s, a Kosher deli chain that uses a lot less neon on its facade.

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7 Responses to “A kosher restaurant feeds the Garment District”

  1. Weeder Says:

    “Lou G. Siegel (reportedly the G. stood for nothing)”

    Just like Harry S. Truman, who added the S to provide himself some gravitas.

    • petey Says:

      at least in ‘maynard g. krebs’ the ‘g.’ stood for something. it stood for ‘walter’.

  2. wordgrl Says:

    I had a wonderful lunch there with my dad (who worked across the strreet) in the 70’s — wonderful not so much for the food as for the company.

  3. Big Sis Says:

    It was a decent place, fun setting.

  4. fiftiesblue Says:

    I just ate at Ben’s yesterday! It is such a fun place!

  5. Scottienyc Says:

    My grandparents were married at Lou’s on September 18, 1938.

  6. Linda Samuels Says:

    Whenever we’d meet my Uncle Phil in New York City, he’d always take us out to Lou Siegel’s. I can still taste the dill pickles and pastrami sandwiches on rye. The best ever! Miss Lou Siegel’s and miss my Uncle Phil.

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