A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 02, 2006
“You’re gonna get spoiled” (Beefsteak Charlie’s)
"You're gonna get spoiled" and "I'll feed you like there's no tomorrow" were the slogans of Beefsteak Charlie's restaurant in the 1960s and 1970s.

There really was a "Beefsteak Charlie," one Charles Chessar who died in 1946. He was called "Beefsteak Charlie" by Harry Williams, a sports editor of the Morning Telegraph.

"Beefsteak Charlie's" was located near where John J. Fitz Gerald lived, and it is probable that the "Big Apple" writer frequented the place often.

16 June 1921, Atlanta Constitution, "Bits of New York Life" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 8:
New York, June 15. -- Beefsteak Charlie's is a home-spun culinary institution running off the hip of Broadway in the Fifties. There are no mahogany tables, plush carpets or gold-tinted china, and only the merest silt of walking space between the tables. Yet Charlie knows how to broil a steak and so the public wears a path to this door.

The walls are lined with enlarged photographs of race track spills, for Charlie's friendly little place is the rendezvous of track followers. The waiters always have a "live one" for the next day at Belmont or wherever the "dogs are running."
(...)
Rare beef steak is their epicurean delight. They want plain food with no fol de rol. Both men and women eat onions without apology. And they use the toothpick unashamed. Charlie does not, however, depend altogether on his race track friends. The night I was there I saw a sprinkling of stage folk, three prominent business men, two playwrights and one of the best-known racing editors.

17 December 1922, Atlanta Constitution, "Vagrant Thoughts on Dining Out in New York" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 18:
And nowhere are steak and onions blended so tastefully as at a sawdust carpeted place known as Beefsteak Charlie's, near the Winter Garden.

3 October 1934, New York Times, pg. 23:
BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE
GIVES UP BUSINESS

Closes West Fiftieth St. Cafe,
Rendezvous of Followers of
Sports for 20 Years.

ONCE GAY PLACE IN GLOOM

With Old-Timers Gone, Gossip
of Race Tracks and Glow of
Broiling Fire Fade Away.

"Closed during alteration," a harmless-looking placard on the narrow door of 216 West Fiftieth Street announced Monday morning, but within twenty-four hours, in the throbbing sector where Forties and Fifties merge, the old-timers knew what it meant. Beefsteak Charlie was through.
(...)
One of them, wearing a gray suit and topcoat and a sedate blue bow tie, was Charles Chessar -- Beefsteak Charlie himself.

"After twenty years I'm just dropping out," he said quietly. "I had enough of it."

He recalled his start in the old WInter Garden building twenty-four years ago, about the time Jack Johnson foiled Jim Jeffries's comeback attempt and Donau won the Derby. He moved to Fiftieth Street in 1914.

"They hung the name on me the first beefsteak party I ever had," he narrated. "The Morning Telegraph employes had a party and they wrote a story about it the next day -- Harry Williams, their old sports editor, wrote it. He called me Beefsteak Charlie and the name stuck. I had it registered. Why? Because a lot of the boys tried to steal it. But it's still my name."

25 January 1946, New York Times, pg. 20:
BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE
DEAD AT AGE OF 77

Colorful Restaurateur Here a
Specialist in Culinary Arts --
Had Name Registered

Charles W. Chessar, colorful New York restaurateur known as "Beefsteak Charlie," died of a heart attack yesterday morning in the New Rochelle (N. Y.) Hospital, at the age of 77. He had been in retirement for five years.
(...)
Experiences at Hot Springs, Ark., and Coney Island were followed by employment for eight years in Healy's, famous West Side steak house, and later Mr. Chessar opened a series of restaurants of his own in various parts of this city. All were known for fine food. But it was not until he ran out of provisions one day at the old Broadway Cafe on Fiftieth Street that he became "steak conscious." He clapped two pieces of white bread over a beefsteak, handed it to an incredulous customer. The sandwich was voted delicious and, from then on, Mr. Chessar made steak the piece de resistance of every menu.

25 January 1946, New York Herald Tribune, pg. 16, col. 5:
Charles Chessar Dies at 77;
Original "Beefsteak Charlie"
(...)
The steak house for twenty years after World War I, with its old brown bar, red-backed chairs and the high walls papered with the pictures of horses and "spills," was a meeting place for track followers. It was known, too, for twelve-egg lemon meringue pies, for steaks juicy and large.

28 September 1979, New York Times, pg. A2 ad:
BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE'S
(...)
You're gonna get spoiled.

(Trademark)
Word Mark BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE'S
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: RESTAURANT AND COCKTAIL LOUNGE SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19641117. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19651001
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Design Search Code
Serial Number 73163561
Filing Date March 27, 1978
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 1104998
Registration Date October 24, 1978
Owner (REGISTRANT) BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE'S INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 230 PARK AVE. NEW YORK NEW YORK 10017
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Disclaimer APPLICANT DISCLAIMS THE WORD "BEEFSTEAK" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN.
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

(Trademark)
Word Mark BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE'S "I'LL FEED YOU LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW."
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: RESTAURANT AND COCKTAIL LOUNGE SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19641117. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19651001
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 02.01.01 - Busts of men; Heads of men; Men, heads, portraiture, busts
02.01.32 - Astronauts (men); Frogmen; Men, other, including frogmen, men wearing space suits and men wearing monocles; Monocles (men wearing)
25.01.25 - Borders, ornamental; Other framework and ornamental borders
Serial Number 73079953
Filing Date March 11, 1976
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 1118970
Registration Date May 22, 1979
Owner (REGISTRANT) BEEFSTEAK CHARLIE'S INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 230 PARK AVE. NEW YORK NEW YORK 10017
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Prior Registrations 1104998
Disclaimer THE WORD "BEEFSTEAK" IS DISCLAIMED APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN.
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Other Data THE DRAWING OF THE PORTRAIT DOES NOT REPRESENT ANY LIVING INDIVIDUAL.
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
Restaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Sunday, April 02, 2006 • Permalink