‘Sturgeon Queens’ Documentary Highlights 100-Year History of Russ & Daughters

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 at 6:05 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

This year is a significant one for neighborhood favorite Russ & Daughters. Triple digit candles for that birthday fish cake. Yes, the Lower East side mainstay celebrates its centennial, and with some big moves. Notably the introduction of a new cafe around the corner at 127 Orchard street.

The iconic appetizing store is also the subject of a new documentary film by veteran filmmaker Julie Cohen. Apparently her work on the project dates back to 2008, when PBS had commissioned her to produce the Jews of New York series. Russ & Daughters played a role in that film and sparked enough of a creative fire for Cohen to dig deeper.

Fast forward six years. The public is now ready to pull back the lid on Sturgeon Queens, timed for release during store’s hundredth anniversary.

The basis of the film’s content revolves around interviews conducted with survivors of the second-generation store owners, Hattie Russ Gold (100) and Anne Russ Federman (92) of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

The film is unusually presented, in that it lacks the “stiffness” of a traditional narrator. Instead, loyal altacocker customers take the story along its route. Some big names were interviewed for the project, as well. According to The Jewish Week, celebrity customers like Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mario Batali, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg collectively share their beloved store experiences. And all were lured with the promise of Russ & Daughters appetizing.

Unfortunately, The Sturgeon Queens won’t be screening in the city anytime soon. The closest it’ll come is Westchester next month. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until next fall for the PBS premiere.

Recent Stories

Meow Parlour Returns from Pandemic Shutter with Help from Petco Prize

Eighteen months suffering a pandemic purgatory, the Meow Parlour finally returns to the Lower East Side. The seven-year-old cat cafe reopened at 46 Hester Street two weeks ago, thus concluding a closure that began at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020. Meow is in soft relaunch mode, open on Saturdays and Sundays from […]

Fifteen-Story Condo Tower Slated for Lower Orchard Street

The southerly base of Orchard Street is about to receive some additional heft. Fifteen stories’ worth, in fact. The dormant building at 24 Orchard Street will meet the wrecking ball in due course. The property itself changed hands in November 2020 for $6.7 million, and now the listed owner, she’ll entity NNYY LLC, is planning […]

Photographer Captures Three Years Passing by the Former Essex Market

As the former Essex Street Market buildings continue to devolve into decrepitude, out come the artists, taggers, and the like. Commenting on the “fast transition” of the Lower East Side and its residents, photographer Kristofer Dan-Bergman over the weekend pasted a series of posters at 120 Essex Street. The project is called “LESWall(k),” with each […]

Cafe Skye Joins Clinton Street Dining Scene

The windmill stopped, but the sky is here. Rather, Skye. The new cafe recently opened in the narrow storefront at 43 Clinton Street, which previously housed Windmill, the sister location of Le French Diner. Originally from the Atlanta area, Skye Cafe owner Cameron Bean “hopes to blend the warm qualities of southern hospitality with the […]

Queens Man Arrested in Connection with Stabbing Death of Grubhub Delivery Worker on LES

Police announced Friday night the arrest of the suspect wanted in connection with the murder of a Grubhub deliveryman last week. Joseph Sandoval, 23, from Jamaica, Queens, was collared Thursday and charged with one count of murder in the stabbing death of Sala Miah. As reported, Miah had taken a post-shift break in Sara D. […]