Three Generations. Countless Stories.
The history of The Palm is as vibrant as the caricatures that decorate our walls.
1920 Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi come to the U.S. from Parma, Italy.
1926 Bozzi and Ganzi make plans to open their own Italian restaurant in the heart of an Italian neighborhood on Second Avenue and register their establishment with the city. The new restaurateurs want to call their establishment Parma, but because of their Italian accents, the name mistakenly registers as “Palm.”
1931 The Palm’s reputation as a steakhouse begins to take hold, thanks to Ganzi and Bozzi’s willingness to cater to their clientele of local journalists from publications and companies such as the New York Daily Mirror, Hearst Corporation, King Features, and United Press International. When a newspaperman asks for a steak, Ganzi runs up Second Avenue to a butcher shop, buys the steak, and cooks it to order.
1940s The next generation of family owners, Walter Ganzi and Bruno Bozzi, take over restaurant operations from their fathers. The Palm adds a two-pound lobster to its menu, popularizing the surf and turf combination. The Palm maintains its popularity during the war because Ganzi and Bozzi are able to continue providing beef to customers despite short supplies.
Late 1940s Skyscrapers are developed on the block between 44th and 45th streets on Second Avenue. Bozzi and Ganzi are offered a considerable sum of money for the building that houses The Palm but they decide to stay, setting a precedent that the restaurant will remain in its original Manhattan location, where it still operates today.
1963 The Palm’s third-generation owners, Bruce Bozzi Sr. and Wally Ganzi Jr., begin working at the Second Avenue establishment. Bruce and Wally loosen dress restrictions (no ties and jackets required) to create a more relaxed atmosphere that attracts a younger, trendier clientele.
1965 Bruce and Wally introduce the four-pound lobster to Palm customers, disproving the theory that the meat from large lobsters is tough. Lobster sales increase nearly tenfold in the next few years, and The Palm is firmly established as a leading restaurant for steak, lobster, and Italian heritage dishes.
1967 The Palm expands, opening a second dining room upstairs.
Late 1960s The second-generation Bozzi and Ganzi owners retire from the business.
1972 The Palm opens in Washington, D.C. largely due to the encouragement of George Bush Sr., the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, who encourages the owners to bring their “good American fare” to the capital city.
1973 To keep up with customer demand, Bruce Sr. and Wally Jr. open Palm Too across Second Avenue.
1975 The Palm opens a successful new location in West Hollywood that quickly becomes a mecca for celebrities.
1978 The Palm opens in Houston.
1980 The Palm opens at the Huntting Inn in East Hampton, N.Y.
1980 The Palm opens in Chicago.
1981 The Palm opens in Miami.
1984 The Palm opens in Dallas.
1989 The Palm opens in Philadelphia.
1993 The Palm opens in Las Vegas.
1995 The Palm opens in Atlanta.
1995 The original cartoons and caricatures at the flagship Palm location on Second Avenue are restored by hand. For the artwork alone, each dining room is insured for half a million dollars.
1996 The Palm restaurants across the United States celebrate their 70th anniversary.
1996 The Palm opens in Boston.
1996 The Palm opens in Denver.
1997 The Palm opens in Charlotte.
1998 The Palm opens in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1998 The Palm’s loyalty program, The 837 Club, is launched in its first market, Washington, D.C.
1998 The Palm opens in Mexico City.
1999 The Palm opens on New York’s West Side, its third New York location.
1999 The Palm opens in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
1999 The 837 Club is introduced companywide.
2000 The Palm launches its website.
2000 The Palm opens its third Texas location in San Antonio, The Palm’s 20th location in North America.
2000 The Palm opens in Nashville.
2001 The Palm opens in Orlando.
2001 The Palm opens in Tampa.
2001 The Palm celebrates its 75th anniversary.
2002 The Palm opens its second Los Angeles location in Downtown L.A.
2005 The Palm opens in Atlantic City
2005 The Palm opens in San Diego
2006 The Palm celebrates its 80th anniversary, continuing its tradition as one of the oldest family-owned restaurant groups in the country.