A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 27, 2006
“Janssen wants to see you!” (Janssen’s Hofbrau Haus)
"Janssen wants to see you!" was the famous slogan of August Janssen's Hofbrau Haus. It had once been of New York's most famous German establishments -- in a city that once had a lot of them.

29 July 1916, Puck, pg. 10:
I admired the sterling portrait of August Janssen by William M. Chase, a sober, dignified work of art, without any psychological fuss or feathers, though sufficiently characteristic to set pealing in your memory the thrice famous phrase: "Janssen wants to see you!" Now you may see him framed, but not subdued.

1 January 1923, New York Times, pg. 3:
Prohibition agents read the sign "Janssen Wants to See You," in front of the Hofbrauhaus, Broadway and Thirtieth Street. They accepted the invitation and arrested Benjamin Altman of 72 Fourteenth Avenue, Brooklyn, who was charged with possessing a pint of whisky.

17 November 1939, New York Times, pg. 21:
AUGUST L. JANSSEN,
RESTAURATEUR, 72

He Made Famous the Slogan,
"Janssen Wants to See You,"
for His Hofbrau Haus

A ROTARY CLUB FOUNDER

He Also Helped to Organize the
Broadway Association --
Came to America at 20

August L. Janssen, one of the best-known restaurateurs in the city, died yesterday in the Lenox Hill Hospital after an illness of several weeks. He was 72 years old and lived at 137 East Thirty-eighth Street.

From 1898 to 1938, the famous slogan, "Janssen Wasn't to See You," drew thousands of New Yorkers to the Hofbrau Haus at Broadway and Thirtieth Street, opposite the old Daly's Theatre.

It was Mr. Janssen's custom to sound a bell whenever a new keg of beer was tapped, and as many as thirty were kept on tap at one time.
(...)
In 1938 the historic Hofbrau Haus was merged with new quarters in the Graybar Building at Lexington Avenue and Forty-fourth Street, which had been opened in 1935. Mr. Janssen also had restaurants at Broadway and Fifty-second Street and in New Haven, Conn. In 1928 he opened five places in Paris, France, which he operated until 1932.

11 January 1945, New York Times, pg. 23:
AUGUST JANSSEN JR.,
A RESTAURATEUR, 40

August Janssen Jr. of 400 East Fifty-second Street, owner of the Janssen Graybar Restaurant, 430 Lexington Avenue, died yesterday in Roosevelt Hospital after an illness of two weeks. His age was 40. He was a son of the late August Janssen, who established Janssen's Hofbrau House at Broadway and Thirtieth Street in 1898. The Hofbrau was closed in 1938.
(...)
The slogan of the Janssen restaurants long has been "Janssen Wants to See You."
..
...
9 August 1961, New York Times, pg. 2 ad:
Janssen wants to see you!
JANSSEN'S
Lexington Ave., at 44 St.
Posted by Barry Popik
Restaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (10) Comments • Monday, February 27, 2006 • Permalink


The Hoffman Haus was the favorite restaurant of J. J. Shubert who had an office in the Casino Theatre a block down Broadway.  While lunching at the restaurant Shubert came to admire the artistry of a piano player who introduced himself to J. J. as Sigmund Romberg.  He hired Romberg to embellish borrowed tunes for shows J. J. produced at the Winter Garden.  Romberg got better work, of course, including scoring the operetta “Maytime” in 1917.

Posted by Weldon Durham  on  11/30  at  04:59 PM

I am in posession of an original Menu for the Hofbrau Haus. Copyright, January 1908, by August Janssen, “Hofbrau Haus Speisekarte” It runs to 16 pages plus the original cover and is good condition.
I am looking to sell and am open to offers before considering selling at auction.

Posted by Brian Bailey  on  11/27  at  04:16 AM

My grandparents were farmers from rural Va when they got married. They went to the Big Apple on thier honeymoon. They had dinner at Hofbrau Haus when it was located on Broadway and 30th St. I have the menu from when they were there. It is 8 by 13 inches and has 13 pages not counting front and back cover. It is beautifuly illustrated and has the history of the restaurant and of Mr. August Janssen. It was copywited in 1908. It is written in German and English. If anyone is interested please email me at 1beachbum@ec.rr.com.

Posted by charlie hammond  on  11/26  at  01:30 PM

Janssen is a very admirable person.

Posted by Love Poems & Quotes  on  02/11  at  06:56 PM

On September 12, 1926, Danny Richardson, second baseman of the great New York Giants baseball teams of the 1880’s, had a heart attack during lunch at Janssen’s. He died on the street out front.

Posted by Frank Vaccaro  on  10/01  at  08:06 AM

From the age of 7 years to 16 years I remember the special treat of being able to meet my father at Janssen’s.  I would travel by myself (even at the age of 7 - things were very different back then) from Beechhurst-(Q15 bus to Flushing and then the #7 train to Grand Central Terminal.  My father Alfred H. Brune was butcher at Janssen Graybar Hofbrau - I do not know the date when he started to work there but he was there until his death on May 8, 1961.
Janssen’s was like traveling back in time.  I remember dark paneled walls, and upstairs past the office of the resturant down a dim lit hall there stood what seem to me to be the largest suit of armour.  When I was little I would run as fast as my small legs could carry me because I always thought that the KNIGHT would come alive just as I was going past and grab me.
My father would let me stay with him in his section of the kitchen - he showed me the walkin meat locker,how beef was aged and how he would prepare cuts of meat for the chef’s. 
By finding this site - it brings back wonderful memories THANK YOU.

Posted by Heide Stagl  on  11/28  at  10:26 AM

"I am in posession of an original Menu for the Hofbrau Haus. Copyright, January 1908, by August Janssen, “Hofbrau Haus Speisekarte” It runs to 16 pages plus the original cover and is good condition.
I am looking to sell and am open to offers before considering selling at auction. “

How much are you willing to sell it for. I’m sort of a collector of rare gems like this so if the price isn’t too high I’ll probably end up being from you. Get in touch!

Posted by husky training  on  03/11  at  06:54 AM

My grand-uncle worked as a waiter at the Hofbrau Haus from 1916 to ? His name was Harry Nauke.  I am trying to learn what became of him and his family.  I only know that on his world war 1 draft registration card it lists that he worked there.  This is a long shot but who knows?  If anyone has any info or photos with employees I would love to see it.

Posted by Daniel Nauke  on  03/12  at  06:38 AM

Hi, Folks -
Does anyone know the name that the Hof Brau House (New Haven CT) was formerly known as?
I remember my late Aunt Ida always referring to it by that name.
Thank you - regards and standing by.
Cordialy,
Dick Radis
dickmagboy@aol.com

Posted by Dick Radis  on  09/18  at  08:33 AM

Hi, again -
I believe the former name of the New Haven, CT was:
ASCHENBROEDEL - that is the name by which my Aunt referred to the Hof Brau House.
Regards.
Dick

Posted by Dick Radis  on  09/23  at  06:35 PM

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