chapter  14
19 Pages

Restaurant Culture


During an economic depression in 1893, George Roeth, an unemployed stonecutter, drunkenly “Curse the rich! Curse them now and for all time!” and fired at the windows of Delmonico’s, the most fashionable restaurant in New  York. He then marched into the dining room waving his pistol. At his arraignment, before the judge committed him to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation, Roeth, “agitated and trembling,” told the judge: “I had the dining room all to myself for a while, and I certainly had more of Delmonico’s than I  ever expected to have again. I  never intended to kill anyone.”1