The history of Rolf’s Christmas crowd pleaser

It’s almost impossible to get into Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy around holiday time unless you’ve made your reservation in October. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

It’s almost impossible to get into Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy around holiday time unless you’ve made your reservation in October. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Rolf’s, a German/Bavarian restaurant in Gramercy, has been known for years for its stunning display of antique dolls complemented with rows and rows of Christmas ornaments and lights strewn throughout the space during the holiday season.

But few know the history behind the tradition, which began 35 years ago and has since made the venue world-famous.

It was in 1981 when the original owner of the restaurant, Rolf Hoffman, died due to lung cancer at the age of 49.

Robert Maisano, who now owns the place, knew Hoffman and recalled how he very much wanted to keep the place a German restaurant, serving up heaping plates of schnitzel, sausages and potato pancakes.

Maisano hasn’t strayed from this mission, though the emphasis on transforming Rolf’s into a winter wonderland each year is his own.

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Robber punches woman at Kips Bay spa

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Kips Bay robbery suspect (Photo via NYPD)

By Sabina Mollot
Cops are hunting a brute who robbed a 40-year-old woman, punched her multiple times and then demanded she strip.

Police said this happened on Wednesday, shortly before 1 p.m. at a Kips Bay acupuncture center/spa. The man strode into the business, Green Tea acupuncture wellness, at 240 East 28th Street, before demanding money from the cash register. He then punched a female employee repeatedly in the face and on her body. While grabbing her by the neck, he also told her to take off her clothes, police said. She didn’t although she did at that point give $500 to the man who fled in an unknown direction.

The woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

The suspect is described as black-Hispanic, 6’2″ tall and 220 lbs., with blotchy skin, brown eyes and short curly black hair. He was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, blue jeans, black sneakers and a multi-colored back pack.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.