Hallowed old Brooklyn restaurant Gage & Tollner on Fulton Street, last seen as a mega-hyped but short-lived Arby’s, has now reopened as a store that sells things like plastic octopus earrings and jumbo aluminum statement rings. The landmark building has kept its signature brass gas fixtures, but they’ve been flanked with rows of high-wattage track lighting to give the place that cheap-jewelry-store ambiance. The Brooklyn Paper reports wall panels have been dropped in to give the space “a more modern feel;” the bar and other fixtures remain at the restaurant, which opened in 1892 at that location and where, for five years, the legendary Edna Lewis once cooked.
In its last iteration, Gage & Tollner was owned by Joseph Chirico, who sold it in 2004 to T.G.I. Friday’s but kept the rights to the name. Chirico, who also owns Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens and pleaded guilty to money laundering in connection with an organized crime family in 2008, is said to have moved the restaurant’s furniture to a Brooklyn warehouse for future use. Though Gage & Tollner was awarded landmark preservation status in 1975, the designation doesn’t apply to all of the fixtures. Or to its interior furnishings.
The New Gage & Tollner Tenant? A Cheap Jewelry Store [Brownstoner via Fork in the Road/VV]