New York Restaurateur Dean Poll likes classics. He eats at the Four Seasons and The 21 Club. He owns The Boathouse, in Central Park. To him, it’s not worth it unless it’s a legend.
So when he had the chance to purchase Gallaghers, an 85 year-old steakhouse founded by a former Ziegfeld girl and a gambler on West 52nd Street, he took it.
“There are very few restaurants that have been around for 80 years like Gallaghers has,” Poll told Business Insider. “I wanted something you couldn’t replace.”
But the place, famous for putting its meat locker on display for all diners to see, needed a lot of work.
“Tastes change. There’s old and well preserved and there’s old and not well preserved,” said Poll.
Before his revamp, Gallaghers was the latter.
So Poll went to work. Most of the staff — he kept. The pictures of sports figures, politicians and other famous people that have patronized the restaurant over decades — he re-framed. The bar is just where it’s always been.
There are new twists, though. The lighting gives the restaurant a brighter, cleaner feel than before. Poll added a raw bar to the menu, and the kitchen is open.
That raw bar really kicks up the menu too. The Hamachi Crudo was an especially delightful surprise on a menu mostly made up of steakhouse classics — mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, Porterhouse for 2. Nothing new there, but everything executed with a steady dismount.
That’s as it should be. Most of the staff seemed like they could serve at Gallaghers with their eyes closed. This is not a place to ask for complicated exceptions or additions, this is a place where you do the dance. If you do it, you’ll like it.
So now Poll is working on the private space upstairs and on launching Gallaghers’ lunch menu on April 2nd.
“Everyone says it feels like Gallaghers,” he said. “I used to get calls all the time saying, ‘I hope you don’t mess it up.'”
Check out a few shots of the Gallaghers’ new dining room and famous meat locker below: