Sunday, September 18, 2022

Jack Delaney’s

[Jack Delaney’s Restaurant, 72 Grove Street, New York, New York, c. 1939–1941. Telephone: WAtkins 9-9215. From the NYC Municipal Archives Collections. Click for a much larger view.]

According to this 1942 review of Jack Delaney’s Restaurant (now online with three picture-postcards), “the chief picture you’ll take away is one of horses, horses, everywhere horses.” Jack Delaney (d. 1966) was a horse breeder who opened his restaurant in 1927. Jack Teitelbaum, or “Jack Lane,” mentioned in the 1942 review, was the house pianist for thirty years, still the house pianist at the time of his death in 1964. One more Jack: in 1939, Jack Kerouac and his father celebrated a Horace Mann football win at Jack Delaney’s.

In 2008, The New York Times printed an excerpt from a novel that mentions Jack Delaney’s. The copyright restriction accompanying the excerpt is pretty scary, so I will paraphrase salient bits: Jack Delaney’s began as a speakeasy. A sulky cart hung from the ceiling. I can’t agree with the novel’s narrator that the cart was the oddest thing about this establishment: for me, the rooftop wins out. And yet another Jack: the actor Jack Warden once lived above the restaurant. But not when this photograph was taken: he would have been in the Navy or the Merchant Marine then.

This Grove Street address is now a Starbucks. The bank next door is now a Chase Bank. Here’s much, much more about 72 Grove Street, with cameo appearances by Kerouac, Edwin Denby, and Frank O’Hara.


September 19: A reader shared a 1940s menu from Jack Delaney’s. Among the offerings: “Imported Large Sardine Sandwich.”

September 20: A reader shared this ad:

[The Villager (November 10, 1960). Click for a much larger view.]

Tack : “stable gear,” “especially articles of harness (such as saddle and bridle) for use on a saddle horse.” The description of the Tack Room, as best as I can make out:

Settle down and relax before our log burning firestone. Watch the glowing embers dance before you, the sounds of crackling pine logs. Amble over to our open hearth and watch the steaks sizzle before your eyes. Listen to show tunes played for you nightly by your Host and Hostess Lee(?) and(?) Ben Rozet at the piano.

It’s new, it’s different.
It’s tops in leisure dining.
The advertisement may be found at NYS Historic Newspapers, a great free resource. A 1961 squib in Down Beat let me figure out at least one of the names:
Ben Rozet, pianist with Artie Shaw’s band in the 1930s, is featured at the piano bar in the Tack room upstairs at Jack Delaney’s in Greenwich Village.
Thanks, Brian.

Related reading
More OCA posts with photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives

[For completists only: you can see the cart hanging from the ceiling in the third picture-postcard: “Where to Put On the Feed Bag.”]

comments: 4

Anonymous said...

nice job

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, reader.

Anonymous said...

here's a menu

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Anon. I should’ve thought to check the menu collection. I’ll add the link to the post.