Photo of the Week: Joe’s Restaurant

[Joe’s Restaurant, Fulton Street.], 1958, V1974.4.890; John D. Morrell photographs, ARC.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Joe’s Restaurant, Fulton Street.], 1958, V1974.4.890; John D. Morrell photographs, ARC.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Joe’s Restaurant, located at 330 Fulton Street, was a Brooklyn Heights fixture for nearly 50 years. Joe Sartori and Joseph Balzarini opened their first restaurant in Coney Island.  Due to its popularity and success, they opened the Fulton Street restaurant in 1909, and a third restaurant on Nevins Street shortly after. Joe’s Restaurant became a popular local chain, frequented and loved by many in Brooklyn.

The banquet-style restaurant served an array of cuisine with reportedly over 400 menu items. Because of its proximity to the courthouse and business district, it became a popular spot for politicians, businessmen, and community leaders. It also became a popular family and community center, where birthday parties and family celebrations could be held.

In 1946, the Borough President made plans to expand the courthouse on Fulton Street, and by 1959 the restaurant was demolished to make way for the expansion. Joe’s Restaurant never reopened in another location. The Brownstoner created a wonderful two-part series on this fascinating history. Check it out here.

The photo of the week depicts a view of Joe’s from the inside of the restaurant around 1958, shortly before the restaurant closed for good. This photograph comes from the John D. Morrell photograph collection which contains roughly 2,000 black-and-white and color negatives and prints taken between 1957 and 1974. The photographs are primarily documentary in nature and include buildings and street scenes in Brooklyn. This photograph is particularly unique because it is an interior photograph, and the majority of Morrell’s photographs are exterior views in this collection. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

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One Response to Photo of the Week: Joe’s Restaurant

  1. maria biebel says:

    Thanks for your blog on Joe’s restaurant. Joe Balzarini was my great grandfather. Jie Sartoti and Fred Magiolo were my great uncles. That is hiw they all hecame involved in the Restaurant. I enjoyed yoyr blog. I am glad my Dad, Joe Scavullo grew up there. Maria Biebel.

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