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The Palm Restaurant Group
Boasting a rich 87-year history, and still owned and operated by members of the Bozzi and Ganzi families, The Palm finds continued success by staying true to their simple, original philosophy: “treat guests like family, serve great food, and always exceed expectations.”
As natives of Parma, Italy, John Ganzi and Pio Bozzi decided to name their restaurant after their hometown. When registering their business in 1926, however, a New York City clerk misunderstood their Italian accents and issued a license for “The Palm.” From day one, Pio and John shared a commitment to quality and generosity of spirit with every guest who walked through their door. What began as a restaurant became a legend – a place to not only enjoy an excellent meal but also catch up with old friends, meet new ones, close business deals, and celebrate family milestones. Thanks to encouragement from George Bush Sr., then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, The Palm first expanded out of New York to Washington, D.C. in 1972. Representing one of the first restaurants of its kind to expand, The Palm would go on to open 28 locations in 3 countries. Today, third generation family members, Wally Ganzi and Bruce Bozzi, Sr., co-chair and co-own The Palm Restaurant Group.
In 2011, The Palm introduced a comprehensive brand refresh that includes an updated look for the company’s overall visual identity, from the menu, tableware, uniforms and signage, to a vibrant new ad campaign and revamped website. The objective was to move away from the corporatization of the restaurant that developed in the 1990s and rekindle the magic of the 1960s. Most notably, The Palm added new and revised dishes to its beloved menu including the iceberg lettuce wedge, sugared donuts, and comeback items such as the 14- and 18-ounce New York strip steak.
Surprisingly, The Palm’s signature steaks were not a part of the original Palm menu. When a guest would ask for steak, John Ganzi would dash to a nearby butcher shop, buy a steak, and then cook it to order. It was only after the steaks became a frequent request that they were added to the menu. Today, in an effort to remain committed to the best ingredients served in large portions, The Palm is proud to serve Prime steaks. As part of the refresh, guests will notice new presentations of old favorites, such as the wedge salad and shrimp cocktail, as well as entirely new menu items including a 15 ounce Jumbo Cold Water Nova Scotia Lobster Tail, a Beef Carpaccio appetizer and new side dishes such as Goat Cheese Whipped Potatoes. Corporate Executive Chef, Tony Tammero, a member of the Bozzi’s extended family and employee of 43 years, is at the helm of the culinary transformations.
The Caricatures & Cartoons
When Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened Palm One, they lacked funds to decorate. Luckily, this location was in close proximity to King Features Syndicate and attracted a large clientele of cartoonists. In exchange for their meals, artists would often draw their own creations on the walls of The Palm. Since then, the flagship Palm has become a living museum of cartoons and caricatures featuring such famous faces as Popeye, Batman, Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible and characters from “The Family Circus.” Over the years, the tradition of decorating with caricatures has continued as The Palm has expanded across the country and internationally. Before a new restaurant opens, 200 to 300 local notables’ likenesses are drawn on the walls, and new caricatures of regulars and celebrities are added frequently.