It's easy to tell that 21 Broadway, the home of our first Junzi Kitchen location, has New Haven history. But it's not so apparent that this history involves hot air balloons, a single dollar in savings, and multiple businesses that have fed New Haven.
To get a better sense of the space we're coming into we visited the New Haven Museum, whose library contains an astounding amount of information on local buildings and residents. We saw maps of New Haven from the 1800s and early 1900s, directories of notable citizens and businesses, old advertisements, and more. The librarian who helped us was extremely knowledgeable, and it was a beautiful room to research in.
The 21 Broadway building was constructed in the mid 1800s in an architectural style known as late gothic revival, which may also be found in many Yale buildings. The Connecticut Historical Commission notes that these architectural similarities "create a strong relationship between the university environment and the university-oriented commercial community on Broadway and York Street."
In 1848 the Tuttle Store was opened by William Tuttle to sell groceries and liquors. After a few years William was succeeded by his brother Allen Tuttle, who after a few years was succeeded by another brother Charles Tuttle, who ran the business for the next 45 years.
According to the Commemorative Biographical Record Of New Haven County, in 1856 Charles Tuttle rode in the first hot air balloon ever seen in New Haven. Charles Tuttle, along with Philip Pinkerman and Jas King, ascended from the New Haven Green, floated over the Long Island Sound, and landed on one of the Thimble Islands in Branford.
In the early 1900s 21 Broadway was purchased by Simon Persky, a prominent New Haven businessman who owned over 300 properties in the city. According to A Modern History Of New Haven, Simon Persky arrived in New Haven from Russia with a only a dollar to his name. This single dollar he invested in chair seats, which he peddled. From here he worked and eventually owned a linens business, which delivered orders via horse and buggy throughout the city.
And in the 1940s the storefront was home to Mrs. Kligerman’s, a popular eatery among Yale students run by Sara Harris Kligerman. (We couldn’t find any photos of Mrs. Kligerman’s, but are very interested if anyone knows of some.)
The Tuttle Store, Mrs. Kligerman’s, Junzi Kitchen, and likely a few other stores that we’re unaware of — they’ve all fed New Haven throughout the 160-year history of the 21 Broadway building. We’re excited to build on this history by serving good food and good experiences.
And we’re excited to serve you a bit of history, as chun-bing wraps have fed northern Chinese communities for over 1,000 years and play an important role in Chinese New Year celebrations.
So, once we open our 21 Broadway location in early 2015, we invite you to join in the histories of the 21 Broadway building, New Haven and chun-bing by joining us at Junzi Kitchen.
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