Joe Allen restaurant (Photo: Jim Henderson/Wikimedia)
For anyone who’s seen a Broadway show, pre- or post-dinner at the legendary Joe Allen’s has often been part of the experience. Allen died on Sunday, February 7, at 87 years old.
The restaurateur opened the now legendary eating spot in 1965, and decades later, the speakeasy next door, Bar Centrale — often a favorite of actors, producers and the fans who wanted to catch a glimpse of them.
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“Joe Allen was right for the spirit of what theater people want — a glass of wine, a hamburger,” said former New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton. “It was that straightforward food. The atmosphere was very relaxing, it was not much on décor, the food wasn’t too expensive.”
It wasn’t about what came on the plate or poured in a glass. Joe Allen was about the energy of the theater — energy that fed New York City. Fans and patrons turned to social media to pay their respects. Here is some of what they shared:
From Julie, Joe’s daughter
By now you have heard the word of Joe passing and I want you all to know it was very peaceful. He died during a great nor’easter with the wind blowing and the snow swirling everywhere. I thought that was fitting. We held hands and he slipped away.
— Joe Allen Restaurant NYC (@JoeAllenNYC) February 9, 2021
There’s only one #JoeAllen… Strong, Steady, Comforting and Reliable.
He certainly will be missed but we will carry him with us forever.
I know I shall. ❤️@JoeAllenNYC @JoeAllenWC2
📷Jason Woodruff pic.twitter.com/zh7LWJUsik
— Chita Rivera (@Chita_Rivera) February 9, 2021
Bless him! A quiet giant; the breathing heart of Broadway. R.I.P. Joe! pic.twitter.com/zACHO4ORmI
— Don Scardino (@donscardino) February 9, 2021
Joe Allen NYC and ORSO fed and hosted me and mine my entire career; for a long time divine in LA; always HAFH in London; and then— the total *perfection* of Bar Centrale.
You were truly one of the good guys.
— Holland Taylor (@HollandTaylor) February 8, 2021