New York 1973
Having escaped to London from war torn Germany as a young boy, George passed a certain tube station with a fairytale name on his way to Medical College each day, and fell in love with that name. Elephant & Castle Prince Street opened in The Village NY in ’73 across from St Vincent’s Hospital where George had worked as an oncologist since the 1950’s. After two decades of short lunchbreaks where he could never get anything he wanted to eat, finally he retired to a life of eating everything he wanted to eat, in his own restaurant with a special name. His passion and obsession for quality was infectious and E&C became a New York classic within a few years. The popularity of the original E&C encouraged George to open several other hugely successful New York restaurants, notably Keens Steakhouse in Upper Midtown, which to this day, two years after his death, consistently ranks in The NY Times top 5 places to eat in the City.
A random, but inspirational event. Liz had been working in E&C NY for nearly a decade as Head Chef and had developed a particularly strong professional relationship with George. When she was denied a return work visa after coming home to Ireland in 1988, George decided to come over here and find a location and premises as similar as possible to Prince Street and establish a new E&C with Liz in charge. Late 80’s desolate Temple Bar was his decision. Back streets, empty pubs, no traffic. Perfect! Doors opened in January 1989 and by Summer of that year the queues had already started for our fantastic food and spectacular atmosphere! Outside the world has greatly changed, but inside our swinging doors we try to keep things just the way they were.
This year sees us heading up to a mighty thirty year milestone in December, where we have become truly embedded in the history and fabric of Dublin cultural life. Now, finally, there is another exciting chapter for the Elephant & Castle story. We are on the move, up and out beyond our old neighborhood in Temple Bar, and into some new ones. So to all of our fantastic customers who may have missed us so many times over all those years because of the endless queues for our small restaurant, we just want to say one thing.
Watch out! You won’t miss us again!