Monday, January 31, 2005

Painting of Dubrow's

Late Night "Nosh", Acrylic/canvas, 24"x30", 1996, by Ivan Koota

My cousin David sent me a link to another one of Ivan Koota's paintings of Dubrow's. Here's what Koota had to say about it:

"Dubrow's was  also one of several  congenial neighborhood eateries in my area of Brooklyn where  both young and old, the “elegant” and the casual, the couple or the single, could all gather together for a late night “snack.” Either after the wedding,  after the movie,  after the party, or after the gin game,  it was time for everyone to fill up with a danish and coffee or a soda and sandwich before the evening was finally over."

Painting of Dubrow's

Dubrow's Cafeteria, 30" x 40", Oil/Canvas, By Dennis Ziemienski. Go here for more information about the artist or ordering prints of the painting.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A little history

I just spoke on the phone with my mother about this project. She gave me some of the history, which I knew, but never seem to be able to retain. Now I'll have it in a place where I can keep track of it.

Dubrow's was created by Benjamin Dubrow, my great-grandfather. The original was in Brooklyn, and eventually there were three in Brooklyn. One on Eastern Parkway, one on King's Highway, and one of which my mother couldn't remember the location. Irving Kaplan, Benjamin's son-in-law, took over the business and expanded it. There was a Dubrow's on 7th avenue in Manhattan - this is the one I remember - and one on Lincoln Road in Miami, where my grandparents eventually moved. George Dubrow, Benjamin's only son, ran the Manhattan restaurant for awhile, and then when he died young in a car accident his sons Irwin and Leonard managed it.

My mother also told me a personal story: When I was a little girl I went out to eat at Dubrow's with my parents and my grandparents. My grandmother, Sylvia Kaplan, was very pleased that I liked to eat because "her other grandchildren were such neurotic eaters," in my mother's words. She was particularly "ecstatic" that I chose to eat a bowl of broccoli, or "brocci" as I apparently used to call it.

Dubrow's gets a poetic tribute

Dubrow's gets a verse in the poem "I L(o)ve NY" by George Dowden, featured in GRIST On-Line Magazine #4, January 1994:

"Legendary cafeteria Dubrow's, 7th Avenue and W. 38th
Street, what food selection, steam tables, steel
cookers, small inferno, now respectable middle-class
eatery but what New World stories here at all of the

For the full poem, go here.

Dubrow's 1977

This is not the Dubrow's I remember from my childhood; it is not the one from 7th avenue in Manhattan. This is the Dubrow's on King's Highway in Brooklyn. Photo by Jerry at

Painting of Dubrow's

"Dubrow's Cafeteria" by Ivan Koota. Acrylic/canvas, 1993

Here's what he says: "At one time, there were several Dubrow's cafeterias in the city but "ours" was located on the corner of King's Highway and E.16th. The prices were right and the choices astonishing, especially the sliced meat sandwiches and the desserts. And following Sunday lunch, we often went to a movie at either the Avalon or the Kingsway. And it made no difference if you came in the middle of the film, you just stayed on to see it again."

I love this painting. It is close to the dim memory of a memory I have of my grandfather's restaurants.

Dubrow's Cafeteria 1977

Image reposted here. This entry has been preserved in order to save the comments and wonderful stories submitted.

The Beginning

I am starting this journal as a way of remembering and honoring the restaurants I barely knew, and the wonderful, mensch of a man who ran them, my grandfather Irving Kaplan. I have discovered through Google that many people have fond memories of Dubrow's, and my hope is that people will eventually find this blog and post stories, pictures, memories, and whatever else.

I intend to use this journal to excerpt and collect people's musings about Dubrow's, as I find them or hear them. This may include things written online, stories from family members, and I'm not sure what else. Part of the reason I am embarking on this is to see what I can find.