(Alan Richman’s article appeared in The New York Times, 5/1; via Pam Green.)

These days he generally sits, very quietly. Joe Allen, owner of the 46th Street restaurant he uncharacteristically named for himself, is unfailingly polite, reluctantly conversational.

D D Allen, the interior designer and his not-exactly-estranged wife, said that whenever his friend Al Pacino walked into the restaurant, which was often, with the Actors Studio just blocks away, he’d nod at Joe, and Joe would nod at him. No talk. Just that.

“A lot of people considered Joe to be dismissive, but he just didn’t want to bother anyone,” she said.

The singer and dancer Chita Rivera, whom Mr. Allen was involved with in the 1970s, said of him: “I would look up from wherever I was playing and see him sitting alone at a table, watching me. That’s so romantic, made me feel so good.

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