On the Radio: Learn how you can help revive Gage and Tollner restaurant

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Light it up: Deep in The Brooklyn Paper’s archive was this photo from 1997, in which “Wayne lights the gas lights at 5pm every day at Gage & Tollner.”

Brooklyn Paper Radio


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Finally, someone is doing right by Gage and Tollner — and you can hear all about it on Brooklyn Paper Radio.

The venerable Downtown restaurant — which has been closed since 2004 — is being brought back to life, and this week’s guest, St. John Frizell, explained to hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno how he and his team are going to recreate many of the celebrated bistro’s signature dishes, including its world-famous turtle soup.

Just don’t expect to get any actual turtle in it.

“It’s going to be mock turtle meat,” said Frizell, whose first name is pronounced “sin-jun,” “Because it is difficult to source responsibly.”

But you can expect the inside of the latest iteration of the historic restaurant to look just like your grandparents remembered it, because its interior — which included gas-fueled chandeliers — is landmarked, and, according to Frizell, is in pretty good shape despite the space having been used as an Arby’s, TGI Friday’s, and jewelry store since going out of business.

“The first moment we walked in, it was like walking into a cathedral,” Frizell said. “It was quiet, it was majestic, it was beautiful.”

The amply mirrored interior will be spruced up, a tiki-themed cocktail bar will go in upstairs, and two private dining areas on the second floor will be readied for events, according to Frizell. And if all things go as planned, Gage and Tollner will reopen about a year from now.

But reviving a Brooklyn institution takes a lot of cash.

To get it done, Frizell, who also owns Fort Defiance in Red Hook, is teaming with other Brooklyn restaurateurs, including the owners of the Good Fork on Van Brunt Street, and anyone that wants to invest in the project — with the promise of a return on their investment. To find out how to become a part of the reborn legend, visit or for all the details.

Or, you can just take a listen to the show and hear them — along with lots of interesting anecdotes, including how DiMiceli’s heart breaks just a little bit every time he walks past the old “G&T” — right here on

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 2:30 pm — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

Updated 11:04 am, July 25, 2018
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