Gage and Tollner was once the fanciest restaurant in the city — but now its landmarked dining room is home to a discount jewelery store.
Ladies & Gents opened on Sunday in the former Fulton Mall restaurant, between Jay Street and Red Hook Lane, the latest location for a tri-state chain that sells fashion items to customers looking for glitzy, but affordable, merchandise.
“We’re expecting to do well here,” said Assistant Manager Efi Shalev. “So far it’s been good.”
The shop’s opening is part of the ongoing transformation of a once-fabled location, which housed the fish and chophouse from 1892 until its untimely demise in 2004 led to a rebirth as a short-lived T.G.I. Friday’s and an Arby’s.
The roast-beef-and-curly-fries hotspot lasted just seven months, closing last August.
The ground-floor store remained shuttered for nearly one year, most likely because the site is so difficult to rent because its interior — which features cherry wood paneling, ornate gas lamps and a marble-topped bar — is landmarked.
Ladies & Gents has added track lighting and wall panels to give the space a more modern feel, but the original bar, lamps and revolving door remain intact.
Shoppers were stunned at the transformation.
“They set it up well,” said Vanessa Castro, a nurse from Bushwick. “The prices are pretty good, too.”
But others lamented the change, saying it destroyed a piece of the borough’s history.
“It’s sad,” said Toby Nemiroff, a Cobble Hill resident who frequented Gage and Tollner as a girl. “The restaurant was an experience.”
©2011 Community News Group
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