It’s a “G” Thing: Dean Poll brings Gallagher’s Steakhouse into new era

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Just steps away from the bright lights of Broadway and the heart of Times Square is a steakhouse unlike any other.

“Restaurants like Gallagher's you just can’t recreate," Dean Poll, owner, said. "It’s part of New York."

Gallagher's Steakhouse first opened in 1927 as a speakeasy during the prohibition and it quickly became a go-to gathering spot for gamblers, sports figures and actors.

Dean Poll is the restaurant's new owner, a dream decades in the making

“My father had a restaurant in Brooklyn, Sheepshead Bay, Pappas restaurant," Poll remembered. "We lived on Long Island and I would drive in with my father on the weekend and work for the restaurant from a very early age.  I cleaned the floors, cleaned shrimp and folded napkins.”

From there, Dean knew he wanted one of his own someday.

"My brothers Gill, George  and I started our first restaurant on Long Island in 1980," he said.

Then in 2000 he came to the city.

"I bid on the Boathouse in Central Park."

A few years later, he set his sights on Gallagher's.

“This restaurant was owned by Jerome Brody, he was a well known restaurateur in his day,” Poll explained. “He had passed away in 2001, and I pursued his widow Marlene in 2004 and asked her if she would be interested in divesting herself from Gallagher's but it didn’t come to fruition at that time."

But in February 2013, she finally agreed.

“The restaurant when we took it over was tired, so we wanted to preserve the history of the restaurant and update it at the same," Poll said.

But what didn't change, the quality of the food. Gallagher's is actually one of only a few restaurants in the city still allowed to cook using hickory coals

“I started as a dishwasher, then I was bus washer and then I worked in the kitchen,” Roberto Gonzalez, a longtime employee said.

And for employees like Roberto Gonzalez, Gallagher's has been more than just a job.

“I started in 1978," he said. "[I've stayed]because it's a good house, it was a family before and now it is still a family.”

A family Dean Poll wants everyone to be a part of.

 

PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI