Raise your hand if you have an Arby's tumbler imprinted with the face of MAE WEST?
• • The roast beef sandwich chain, based in Georgia, is claiming to have sealed a juicy deal on their first Kings County outpost.
• • The fast food franchise will take top shelf space on Fulton Street inside the landmark that once hosted the venerable Gage & Tollner, where Mae West used to dine. Former patrons of Gage & Tollner were frequently high-fliers [think "Diamond Jim" Brady] along with colorful entertainers such as Jimmy Durante.
• • In 1879, a decade before Battling Jack West and Tillie Delker took their wedding vows, Charles Gage decided it was time to open an "eating house" in Brooklyn at 303 Fulton Street. By 1892, a year before Mae West was born, Gage & Tollner relaunched their dining saloon at 372—374 Fulton Street — — in a brownstone built in 1875 (before the district became commercial).
• • It seems odd to think of fast food served in an historic gaslight-era rowhouse that once boasted a prestigious steakhouse catering to swells and stars. But Raymond Chera, a Brooklyn-based franchisee, insisted that its gas lamps and wall-length mirrors will survive the dramatic transformation. “We’re keeping everything in place, and anything we move in will be non-permanent and easy to move out,” said Chera. “It will probably be the most beautiful Arby’s ever.”
• • But will the Mae West etched glassware return to Arby's? Stay tuned.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •