Walter Rosen, the longtime owner of the iconic Junior's Restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn, has died at age 81, according to the Times. His father, Harry Rosen, opened the original Junior's, including the famous location on Flatbush Avenue. Walter took it over in the mid-1970s, but his time and dedication to the restaurant started earlier. The New York native worked in the diner with his father as a teenager, doing everything from busing tables to cooking on the line, according to a statement from the restaurant. "He believed in hard work, cleaning every corner, wiping every plate and made no apologies for it," the statement says.
Over the years, Junior's grew in popularity and became a New York icon for its cheesecake and sprawling space. Walter Rosen passed the buck along to his sons Alan and Kevin about 20 years ago. Still, he went to the restaurant weekly even in retirement, and when his sons considered selling the property, he opposed the decision. "His life’s work was contained in those four walls in Brooklyn, New York," his son Alan tells the Times. Walter Rosen died peacefully on Thursday after a battle with bladder cancer. Services will be on Sunday, and donations can be made in his memory to the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation.