The she-crab soup is on!
The famous 19th century chophouse Gage & Tollner, which closed in 2004 after 125 years of serving oysters and chops to Brooklyn’s Downtown residents, will return early next year, the chefs reviving the spot announced last week.
Co-owner St. John Frizell said that he did not want to jinx their chances by announcing an exact date, but if all goes well the historic Fulton Street eatery will open in late January or early February of 2020.
During a discussion at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Dec. 9, Frizell and co-owner Sohui Kim described their plans for the restored Gage & Tollner, which is famous for its landmarked interior, featuring brass chandeliers, cherrywood paneling, and rows of gleaming mirrors.
The pair studied old menus, preserved in the Historical Society archives,
“It’s going to be an oyster chophouse, not a steakhouse. We’re not so meat-heavy, but we’re going to offer a little bit of everything,” said Kim. “We’re nodding to the past, but looking to the future.”
The restaurant’s famous “she-crab soup” will return, as will the clam belly broil and the mutton chop, she announced to applause from the audience.
Frizell is designing original drinks for a second-floor tiki bar, but the cocktail list in the main room will be filled with old school classics, including the Manhattan, Sazerac, and Sidecar.
“Upstairs we’ll be able to get weird,” he said. “Downstairs, it’ll be just like it was in 1944.”
The downstairs bar will also serve a “Brooklyn cocktail,” Frizell revealed, using a recipe invented at Gage & Tollner in 1934, using Jamaican rum, lime, and grenadine. Frizell is tweaking the beverage for the modern palate, he noted.
“We want it to be a Cosmopolitan for the new millennium — delicious and totally crushable,” he said.
Gage & Tollner [372 Fulton St. between Street and Red Hook Lane Downtown, (973) 715–5156, www.gageandtollner.com]. Opening in 2020.