Zum Stammtisch was founded in November of 1972 by John Lehner and two other partners. Before immigrating to the United States in the 1950’s John Lehner was a coppersmith in Freising, Bavaria Germany. His father had a small bar/restaurant in town and it was always John’s dream to open his own German Bar/Restaurant. Shortly upon arriving in the United States, John was drafted into the U.S. Army. After serving two years, he came back to New York and met his future wife Erna. They were married shortly thereafter and had two children... Werner, born in 1967, and Hans, born in 1973.
After a difficult beginning and a lot of hard work, it was clear to see that the Stammtisch was working out to be a popular restaurant and a great meeting point for a lot of the local Germans and Europeans. The two partners John started out with were bought out within the first ten years, and from that point forward, John ran the day to day operations. Zum Stammtisch was expanded in 1988 when the neighboring building became available. John took advantage of the space and designated it as a room for party groups in addition to a separate smoking and non-smoking area.
John Lehner had started training his children very early in the art of running a restaurant. They both worked their way up from the bottom, learning every job in order to fully understand how a restaurant really works. After falling ill, John Lehner passed away in October of 1993. Hans and Werner took over and have been running the business ever since, maintaining the strict standards set by their father while fusing their own ideas to keep things authentic and true to the original concept John Lehner brought to this country so many years ago.
Over the years, Zum Stammtisch has gained much recognition, being featured on numerous television shows and written about in various food magazines and articles. Some of these prestigious achievements include but are not limited to: the Food Network’s “Dining Around” with Kelly Choi and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, the CW11 News, Newsday and more. Zum Stammtisch has also received high ratings from ZAGAT (23 Food, 20 Decor, 20 Service).
After years of success with Zum Stammtisch, Hans and Werner decided to expand the Stammtisch name even more, opening up a German pork store, located right next to the restaurant. Stammtisch Pork Store & Imports offers authentic German meats and delicacies you wouldn’t find anywhere else! Visit our pork store for the freshest wurst and an extensive selection of German imports: meats, cheeses, salads, breads, chocolates, dairy products and so much more!