“You really haven’t lived until you’ve had cheesecake at Junior’s.”
That’s one of the most factual things you’ll ever hear. Dining at Junior’s Restaurant on Flatbush Avenue and DeKalb in Downtown Brooklyn is as important of a life experience as riding the Cyclone in Coney Island, having a slice of authentic Brooklyn pizza or walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. But what makes Junior’s continue to be popular after all these years? Here are a few things you may not know about the restaurant that that happens to make the world’s best cheesecake!
Junior’s opened on Election Day in 1950
Before it was Junior’s, it was a full service restaurant with live entertainment called The Enduro. The Enduro closed its doors in 1949 after World War II. Owner Harry Rosen reinvented it as a family style joint and reopened as Junior’s on November 4, 1950 (Election Day of that year) based on the premise that he had the best recipe for New York style cheesecake. Boy was he right. And the rest is history!
Junior’s was named to honor Harry Rosen’s two sons Walter and Martin
It’s still a family run business. Harry Rosen’s grandson Alan Rosen is now the sole owner.
“If you want to see a real slice of New York you’ve gotta come to Junior’s. It’s a mix of people: business men, politicians… even Biggie Smalls used to come here!” -Alan Rosen
Sex & the City was filmed there
There are few things more New York than Junior’s and Carrie Bradshaw, so much so that Carrie and Big had their wedding reception at the classic diner.
Other famous appearances
Junior’s can also be seen in the Robin Williams movie, “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” and LL Cool J’s video for “Doin’ it”.
You remember the line, “I represent Queens she was raised out in Brooklyn.”
Celebrities love Junior’s Cheesecake
- “I literally never tasted a cheesecake quite as good as Junior’s” – Chef Rocco Dispirito
- “Junior’s is my go-to, hands down. …Their cheesecake is amazing.” – Chef Dale Talde
- Sean Diddy Combs infamously sent his group “Da Band” to walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn and get him a slice of cheesecake on an episode of “Making the Band.”
They’ve used the same cheesecake recipe since the 1960’s
Each cheesecake is handmade in small batches in New York and made with Philadelphia cream cheese (they’re even Kosher).
“I’m not gonna be the schmuck who changes it!” Rosen said. “Cheesecake is our calling card.”
A Kuwati prince once had the famous cheesecake shipped to him
Then he called to asked how to top the cheesecake so it would taste exactly like it did at Junior’s.
Want an authentic egg cream?
It’s one of the few places left in Brooklyn where you can get one. Made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup (of course).
Each wall is dedicated to something Brooklyn related
Every wall has a theme and is adorned with cool memorabilia and photos of celebrities and sports figures, etc. They even have an actual seat from Ebbets Field hanging on the columns of the restaurant.
Can’t make it to the original location Brooklyn?
That’s too bad! Luckily for you, though, they also have restaurants in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the Fox Tower at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and even Boca Raton, Florida.
Harry Rosen Way – Cheesecake Corner
Mayor Rudy Giuliani added the name “Harry Rosen Way – Cheesecake Corner” to the corner of Flatbush Avenue and DeKalb Avenue to honor Harry Rosen after he died.
Juniors was almost lost to a fire in 1981
As the fire raged, crowds on the street chanted, “save the cheesecake”. (What else do you expect in Brooklyn?)
The Pastrami sandwich is still one of the top ordered menu items since Junior’s opened as a Kosher style deli in 1950
And you can see why (we just wanted an excuse to show this photo and make your mouth water).
Junior’s is a Brooklyn institution. From their World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake, Pastrami sandwiches, authentic egg creams to their history and love for Brooklyn history and culture, a trip to Brooklyn wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the original Junior’s.
Our Best of Brooklyn Tour will show you all over Brooklyn from famous landmarks to movie locations and it even includes a full sit-down lunch at Junior’s where you’ll get to experience the pastrami sandwich, cheesecake and chocolate egg cream for yourself. Let us show you how we do it in Brooklyn.