Long live the king: Barney Greengrass, the “Sturgeon King,” is 100 years old today, and to celebrate the centennial the restaurant is turning back the cash register to 1908 with a special menu. (Though the retail and mail-order side of the business will stay in 2008.) Customers can pay their respects to the Upper West Side institution by stopping in for a herring plate that costs 60 cents, 15 cent coffee, or a sturgeon sandwich for $1.75 (normally $17.50).
The smoked fish specialist originally opened at 113th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, then moved to its current location, 541 Amsterdam Avenue (at 86th Street), in 1929. Some things like the half-century old wallpaper and the ancient “ice box” have stayed the same, while the mail-order business boomed and a Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills became a reality. Current owner Gary Greengrass compares the place to “an old, comfortable shoe,” and tells the Sun he wants the business to stay in the family, though he’s worried his two-year-old son “might disappoint me and become a doctor or a lawyer.”