William Steinway frequented Luchow’s, a German restaurant in what was then New York’s theater district, at 110 14th Street, on Manhattan’s East Side. Started by August Luchow in 1882, the restaurant drew celebrities, tourists, and ordinary New Yorkers to its original location for 100 years.
Luchow’s was across the street from Steinway Hall, and William Steinway, along with other family members and employees, was a very frequent patron.(2) His meals at Luchow’s ranged from solo lunches and dinners to more formal affairs. Among the latter was a farewell dinner for the pianist Ignacy Paderewski, at which William was reported to have “kept the party in continual laughter with his funny stories.”(3)
Some claim William loaned August Luchow $1,500 to $2,000 to buy the restaurant from a previous owner.(1)(4) The story may be apocryphal, however. William’s Diary does not mention the transaction, although the diary has numerous entries concerning other loans and investments.
Diamond Jim Brady, Lillian Russell, Theodore Roosevelt, Victor Herbert, Thomas Wolfe, and Richard Rogers were among the celebrities to whom the restaurant played host to over the years.(4) In 1982, Luchow’s moved “uptown” to what is now the theater district on the West Side of Manhattan, however, the restaurant closed just two years later.
The site of the original Luchow’s now houses a New York University dormitory.
1. Gill, Brendan. “Where the Wurtzburger Flows.” The New Yorker (May 13, 1950), pp. 19-20.
2. The New York Times, April 18, 1896
3. The New York Times, October 12, 1905
4. “Then and Now Chowing Down at Luchow’s.” The New York Daily News, September 14, 1997.