Junior’s Patriarch Walter Rosen Passes At 81

Junior’s Patriarch Walter Rosen Passes At 81
(Courtesy Rob Nguyen via Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_nguyen/5472622043/in/photolist-9kABSt-8xnCfp-8xqE3j-3WxDap-8xqEfN-8xnBVX-8xnC2D-8xqEpq-8xnC8k-aW5w3k-8xqEn5-48ryw6-8xnC3T-3WBZZy-e81Gwj-8xnBYr-ahArv2-4S9LNZ-5pobLc-aW5vJK-bccaBr-6BocX7-6aUsbU-xxUHyU-aqKKfn-8pN9LD-xVn4N-8CK2U4-dzoygh-8fQaJF-4S9L5t-gSkCZZ-uELuhW-gSkwy1-KzfYi-99PjyB-8gvqhs-9SfdEF-4oJrGi-ckTaqA-ckTadw-6aUrT5-hjw2oP-3WxGf8-6aQgvp-6aUruL-6VBhQb-8xqEsb-7umc2c-yT9Z )
(Courtesy Rob Nguyen via Flickr.)

One of Brooklyn’s most famous restaurants lost its patriarch when Walter Rosen passed.
Rosen, 81, stewarded the growth of Junior’s Restaurant from a single location on Flatbush and DeKalb into national prominence after taking over from his father in 1950.

“His life’s work was contained in those four walls in Brooklyn, New York,” Rosen’s son told the New York Times.

Rosen was born into the restaurant business on April 24, 1934 to Harry Rosen and the former Ruth Jacobsen. In the 1970’s, Harry Rosen turned the family business over to Walter and his brother, Marvin. The pattern repeated itself when Walter turned the family business over to the next links in the family chain, his sons Allan and Kevin.

The Times documented the growth of the Junior’s from a small sandwich shop to a national landmark:

Mr. Rosen’s father had originally owned a sandwich shop called the Enduro that grew into a chain with five locations in the city. The Brooklyn location was the site of what would become Junior’s.
By the mid-1970s, Harry Rosen, who died in 1996, had turned over control of the restaurant to his sons Walter and Marvin; about 20 years ago, Walter’s sons Alan and Kevin took over.
Over the years, politicians, including President Obama, would routinely stop by to be seen eating a slice of Junior’s vaunted cheesecake.
Junior’s eventually expanded, opening branches in Times Square and Grand Central Terminal and selling its cheesecakes by mail order and online.

The family said the cause of death was bladder cancer.  Rosen is survived by his wife Sandy, his siblings Marvin and Marcia, his sons Allan and Kevin, and his five grandchildren.


Sign in or become a Bklyner member to join the conversation.