My grandfather ran a men's clothing store in Wilmington, North Carolina. He made regular trips to New York on buying expeditions and his favorite place to eat there was Jack Dempsey's restaurant, just north of Times Square.
It was still open when I moved to New York in the early Seventies and it quickly became my favorite restaurant in New York, too, though I could rarely afford to eat there. It had white padded booths and a famous round bar in the center of the place, and Dempsey was sometimes on hand, keeping watch over a failing business. Once I was there in the afternoon with a date, just having drinks, and he sent over two autographed postcards of himself. One of my favorite New York memories.
It closed in the late Seventies — I was there on the last night. It was jammed and the crowd was manic and unpleasant. My girlfriend and I managed a quick drink and then fled. Not one of my favorite New York memories.
I still go back there in my dreams.