“New York’s most famous Bavarian Restaurant”

Well, maybe it used to be. Original Maxl’s served up old-fashioned heavy-on-the-beer-and-schnitzel fare on East 86th Street, when this was the main drag of German Yorkville. 

I’m not sure when it opened and can’t find anything pinpointing when it closed, but I don’t recall ever seeing a cabin-like facade on 86th Street. I’m pretty sure it’s a high-rise now.

Maxlsrestaurant2

A restaurant guide published in 1931, Dining in New York, has this account:

“Don’t even think of missing Maxl’s. It is a restaurant, a night club, an experience all rolled up in one and seasoned with frequent renditions of ‘Schnitzelbank.’ From the outside, Maxl’s is a peaceful German cottage, vine-hung, cozy, and inviting. The inside is something else again.

Maxlsinsidephoto

“There is a stringy three-piece orchestra, which stops every other moment to drink and sing a toast to each newcomer—an orchestra with a temperamental leader, who insists on grinding out well-known German ditties and resents all verbal college-boy intrusions. . . .

“. . . and there is ‘Happy,’ a 300-pound play-boy who, dressed up in knee pads and alpine hat reminiscent of a Swiss yodeler, knows all the words of all the songs.”

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4 Responses to ““New York’s most famous Bavarian Restaurant””

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Wow, what a nice little building! Can just imagine what monster stands there now…Yet in the 30s what Nazi parades were held there too. No wonder it was destroyed.

  2. petey Says:

    “I don’t recall ever seeing a cabin-like facade on 86th Street”

    nor do i, and i’ve lived here my whole life. so perhaps it closed by 1965 or so, tho’ it may well have slipped my notice.

  3. ironrailsironweights Says:

    Assuming the “243” on the sign is the street number, here is what the site looks like today.

    Peter

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    That’s an unspectacular building. I wish they kept the cabin!

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