NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - New York’s buildings often have amazing histories.
For example, a steakhouse that was originally intended to be an opera house.
Like many NYC buildings, you can pass 151 east 50th street, and be completely unaware of the building’s rich history.
Originally designed as an opera house, the depression closed the curtain on that idea, until the late 1930's when it opened as cabaret "Versailles.”
Ads called it, New York’s distinguished continental rendezvous.
The house band was led by Desi Arnaz while celebs like Judy Garland and Ginger Rogers often visited. In 1958 Versailles shut down, and the building sat vacant until 29-year-old entrepreneur Morris Levy opened the jazz club, "The Round Table."
After that closed, club "Tatou" opened in 1990.
The new owners virtually rebuilt the room and turned this into one of New York City’s hippest addresses. It was where Mariah Carey had her first professional showcase. In 2006, "Nikki Beach Midtown" took over. The stately look was replaced by cool colors and a Miami vibe. Next up, in 2012, "Club Noir" opened, only to close 2 years later and become the Turkish restaurant "Ibis." Now, 151 east 50th street is Empire Steakhouse. The stanchion's outside- a reminder of the buildings past, along with this picture of French actress Edith Piaf who once performed here.
The new owners know this is a pretty special building.
Now that steak is on the menu, Fox 5 wanted to know what makes it so special. We were told, it's dry-aged and cooked on a super-hot infrared, grill.
The perfect bite.