Delmonico’s Restaurant


The traditional Delmonico's restaurants operated in several places in the City of New York since 19th century. They became widely recognized as fine restaurants. All units owned and managed by the Delmonico family closed by 1923. The historic Delmonico's, at 56 Beaver Street (2 South William Street), reopened in 1926 by Oscar Tucci, an Italian immigrant.

Giovanni Del-Monico (as the family name was originally written) and his brother Pietro were from Mairengo, a small village in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. After arriving in the United States they became John and Peter Delmonico, using the English spelling form of their first names in the business.

According to Joe O'Connell (Vice President of the California Barbecue Association -, 2001), in 1824, John Delmonico retired as a sea captain and established a wine store near the Battery. In 1826, John closed his store and went to Switzerland. He came back with his brother Pietro and, on December 13, 1827, they opened a small cafe and pastry shop at 23 William Street. It was listed in New York directories as "Delmonico & Brother, confectioners".

In May, 1829, Delmonico brothers rented a room in the adjoining building, at 25 William Street and, in February, 1830, they rented the entire building, where they opened the "Restaurant Français" in March. In the 1831 Directory, their business was listed as:

Restaurant Français

According to O'Connell "This was the very first restaurant or public dining room ever opened in the United States" and "The restaurant featured a bill of fare [menu], which was itself new. Those who dined at inns were fed on a set meal for a set price". On September 1, 1831, 19-year-old Lorenzo Delmonico, nephew of John and Peter, arrived from Switzerland and began working at the restaurant. "For the next 40 years, Lorenzo Delmonico guided the restaurant to a status and reputation for excellence that has never been matched". Other members of Delmonico family arrived by 1835.

In 1834, the brothers purchase a 220 acre farm on Long Island (incorporated into Brooklyn, in 1855), where they grew vegetables for their restaurant. In the same year, they bought a lodging house at 76 Broad Street.

In the night of December 16, 1835, Delmonico's restaurant was caught about the center of the second Great Fire of New York (after the Great Fire of 1776). The restaurant and cafe were destroyed.

On February 23, 1836, Delmonico brothers reopened the restaurant in their lodging house at 76 Broad Street, which was out of reach of the fire. In August of the same year, they bought a plot of ground on the junction of Beaver and William streets, where they constructed the building, three and a half stories high, completed in 1837. It had an iron balcony in front of the windows on the second and third stories. It was specially designed to be the "Delmonico's Restaurant".

It was said that the marble pillars at the entrance were imported from Pompeii. There were large saloons in the first and second floors. The third floor housed private dining rooms and the kitchen.

John Delmonico died on November 10, 1842. In March, 1843, his widow died. Peter and Lorenzo became the owners of the business with a new name: P.A. & L. Delmonico.

The third Great Fire in New York started on July 19, 1845, killing 30 people. It destroyed about 345 buildings in Lower Manhattan, including Delmonico's lodging house at 76 Broad Street. After the fire, Delmonico brothers began to erect a new hotel at 25 Broadway, over the ashes of the former buildings. The Delmonico's Hotel opened by May 1846 and it added the second building at 23 Broadway by June 1847. It was considered to be one of the finest hotels in the City.

In 1848, Peter Delmonico retired and sold his half interest to Lorenzo.

Below, a list of the premises managed by Delmonico family:

23 William Street - Delmonico & Brother, Confectioners, small cafe and pastry shop, from December 13, 1827 to December 16, 1835 (destroyed by fire).

25 William Street - Delmonico & Brother, Confectioners  and Restaurant Français, from March, 1830 to December 16, 1835 (destroyed by fire).

76 Broad Street - lodging house, from 1834 to July 19, 1845 (destroyed by fire) and restaurant from February 23, 1836 to August 1837.

2 South William Street / 56 Beaver Street - Delmonico's Restaurant, from August, 1837 to July 10, 1890. Rebuilt and reopened on July 7, 1891. Closed 1917.

25 Broadway - Delmonico's Hotel, from June 1, 1846 to 1856. Later Stevens House, now Cunard Building.

Broadway and Chambers Street (northwest corner), Irving House - from July 7, 1855 to October 26, 1876.

Fifth Avenue and East 14th Street - from April 9, 1862 to September 11, 1876. Fourteenth Street house, northeast corner of 14th Street, managed by Charles Delmonico.

22 Broad Street - from 1865 to 1893.

Fifth Avenue and 26th Street - from September 11, 1876 to April 18, 1899.

112-114 Broadway - from October 26, 1876 to 1888.

Fifth Avenue and 44th Street - from November 15, 1897 to May 21, 1923. The last restaurant owned by Delmonico family.


In 1926, Oscar Tucci, an Italian immigrant, bought and reopened the restaurant, first calling it Oscar's Delmonico, at 56 Beaver Street.



Delmonico’s Restaurant


Delmonico’s Restaurant at 56 Beaver Street, corner of William Street in 1907 or before (published in Delmonico's, Fifth Avenue, New York, H.C. Lloyd).




Delmonico’s from Google Street View, April 2023.


Old City of New York


Delmonico’s Hotel


Broad Street Map


Copyright © Geographic Guide - NYC Historical Heritage.


Delmonico’s Restaurant


Old City New York