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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 13, 2005
Steak Row (East 45th Street)
"Steak Row" used to be East 45th Street, from Lexington to First Avenue. The defunct Pen and Pencil Restaurant helped to give it that name.

However, it is not correct to say that "Steak Row" has disappeared. There are many fine steakhouses in this area, even if the name "steak row" is no longer used.

5 April 1949, Courier-Post (Camden, NJ), "It Happened Last Night" by Earl Wilson, pg. 28, col. 2:
Danny Stradella (of Danny's Hideaway) refers to E. 45th St., where his and so many other restaurants are located, as "Steak Row."

6 October 1950, Nashville (TN) Banner, "It's All New York" by George Hamilton Combs, pg. 15, col. 1:
Steak row on West ("East" is correct -- ed.) 45th has at least four hearty restaurants a block -- Pen and Pencil, Press Box, Editorial and Danny's Hideaway only a few of them. Newspaper, syndicate and advertising clientele.

25 January 1953, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM33:
ALL New York connoisseurs of steak know of Steak Row, that district around Third Avenue and East Forty-fifth Street where there are many restaurants dedicated to the meat. The daddy of the area (he claims) is John C. Bruno, tall, gray-haired Italian American who operates the Pen and Pencil. He has been working for thirty-seven years in restaurants here and in France, Italy and Switzerland.

15 March 1959, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM44:
THE restaurants of "Steak Row" (East Forty-fifth Street) give much the same report).

Hart's Guide to New York City
by Harold M. Hart
New York, NY: Hart Publishing Company
Pg. 979:
As for steak, there's not even a question that New York serves the best. "Steak Row," along 45th Street between Lexington and First Avenues, has spilled over into the neighboring streets. The area is justly famous for prime beef. Nowhere in Europe, regardless of price, can you get the kind of steaks you are served in New York. A good New York steak would make at least two Portions in a very fine restaurant in France. Even the term steakhouse is not known abroad.

11 April 1965, New York (NY) Times, pg. 93:
Owned the Pen and Pencil
Steak House Here
John C. Bruno, who became one of the nation's most celebrated authorities on steak during 28 years as owner of the Pen and Pencil Steak House at 205 East 45th Street, died yesterday at New York Hospital after a brief illness.
Mr. Bruno's Pen and Pencil paved the way for a string of successful restaurants that gave the nickname "Steak Row" to East 45th Street. He was called the "Daddy of Steak Row."

Two noted "Steak Row" establishments are Danny's Hideaway, operated by Dante Stradella, Mr. Bruno's brother-in-law and former Pan and Pencil bartender, and The Pres Box, owned by three of Mr. Bruno's former staff members.

8 December 1967, New York (NY) Times, pg. 81:
Iron Forge Steak House, 230 East 44th Street, 867-6888. This is a relatively new restaurant in what is called Steak Row.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Sunday, February 13, 2005 • Permalink

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