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Allen's was founded in 1987 and is named after my mentor, Joseph C. Allen. It was Joe Allen with whom I opened the eponymous restaurant at 86 John Street, Toronto, in 1980, as well as the much lamented Italian gem Orso in 1985. Joe Allen Restaurants still exist in New York, Paris, Miami and London, and Orso flourishes in New York, London and Los Angeles.
Joe Allen's very first independent venture (He had previously worked at the legendary P.J. Clarke's) was called Allen's (1960-1964) and was located at 73rd Street and Third Avenue in New York. Many scenes in the film "How to Murder Your Wife" with Jack Lemon and Terry-Thomas were shot in Allen's, with Joe behind the superb half-round bar. It was a saloon restaurant typical of Irish New York and today's Allen's salutes and honours that predecessor and model.