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.