Jack Demyan (1923-1999)
Clove Lakes Stables
Oil on canvas, 30” x 38 ¾”, 1995
Gift of Bonnie Backus
Jack Demyan (1923-99) is a legendary restaurateur and a prolific painter known for capturing nostalgic scenes of Staten Island. In 1954, he opened Demyan's Hofbrau, a favorite watering hole for judges, public officials, lawyers, and artists drawn by his gourmet cooking and personality, and ran it until it was destroyed by fire in 1980. He personalized the Hofbrau, giving select regulars their own booths with name tags and dedicating a room to John A. Noble. Eventually, he set up an easel in his office at the restaurant, and created more than 2,000 works of art. "I would paint the night through. I had a brainstorm and wouldn't stop until I had finished.” He helped and supported Noble in difficult times and they were fast friends. Demyan’s works were included in exhibitions at the Art Lab, the Wagner College Gallery, and Staten Island Museum, and during his later years he volunteered his time teaching art classes at schools across Staten Island.