Almost all the German cafes, restaurants, and beer halls in Yorkville are closed. Cafe Geiger. Rheinland Restaurant. Bavarian Inn and Bar. Cafe Hindenberg. Foresters Restaurant. Maxl’s. Bremen House. Cafe Wieneke. Once thriving businesses, now a memory.
But one German restaurant perseveres — Heidelberg Restaurant. It’s been in the same location for more than a century: 1648 2nd Avenue at 85th Street.
Back in the ‘60’s, when I was a teenager and then a young adult, New York City was a big draw for certain young people, primarily or entirely because the drinking age was 18. It was, as now, 21 in New Jersey and Connecticut. New York raised it to 19 in 1982 and then to 21 in 1985, under pressure from the not-fun-loving Feds.
For a long while preservationists kept their gaze mostly west of Lexington Avenue, but with development pressures rocking Second Avenue, they are making up for lost time. Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, a steward of Upper East Side preservation for over thirty years, is moving its mission to Yorkville.