The man who owned Gage and Tollner restaurant for the last nine years of its existence has three words of wisdom for anyone looking to revive Brooklyn’s most famous eatery:
Location, Location, Location.
According to restaurateur Joe Chirico, who put his heart and soul into the landmark before closing it down, no one could ever find the place.
“We had people from all over the world looking for it, but they would always get lost,” he said. “I had to have a guy man a phone just to give directions.”
According to Chirico, patrons — who mostly came by car — had a difficult time navigating the one-way streets of Downtown Brooklyn and finding their way to the restaurant’s valet parking area around the corner. The restaurant itself was located on Fulton Mall, which is closed to traffic.
People would get confused,” he said. “They would see signs that say ‘Street closed to traffic’ and never find the place.”
Chirico, who owns Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens, said that had the restaurant been located on Jay or Adams streets, it would have been a hit.
“It’s a beautiful restaurant, but it’s in the wrong spot,” he said. “But I was proud to own it. If I could do it again, I would.”
Chirico added that he was sad to see that T.G.I. Friday’s, which took over the location after Gage and Tollner closed, is now out of business as well.
“It’s a shame,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful place.”