richard f. brunchly was the son of a successful doctor in new york city, but spent his time philosophizing in downtown brooklyn bars.
“philosophizing,” mostly meant drinking grog and eating massive amounts of foods with fellow brooklynites of questionable character and taste… brunchly was lucky–his father didn’t mind him spending his weekly allowance on food and drink. it was after all, the roaring ’20’s, and a few dollars a week went a long way on flatbush avenue.
brunchly’s most beloved food of all was morning food–for which people of that time called “wakey bites.” his favorites were cured pork, eggs with hollandaise, sausages of all type, large fluffy pancakes drenched in mapled syrup. but brunchly could never seem to rise to the occasion. you see, wakey bites were served in the morning–before 11am, when our hero was likely still dozing off a hangover, or worse yet, still passed out drunk.
to resolve this, brunchly opened his own bar and restaurant in brooklyn. he payed only a few dollars a month to rent the dingiest space, in the dingiest neighborhood (red hook), and employed his shadiest and shiftiest friends to cook and serve.
the result was that each day, around 1 or 3 in the afternoon, large pots of coffee were served to whoever showed up with a hangover and a nickel. soon afterwards, bacon, eggs, pancakes, toast, and orange or vegetable juice flowed from the kitchen in large quantities. by late afternoon, the locals had crowded the place and were adding liberal amounts of vodka or champagne to their juice flagons…
the tradition took off and “the brunchly meal” was born.
not long after, the name was shortened to “brunch” and roustabouts and vagabonds all across the city were partaking in this new-fangled tradition. coincidentally, this made brunchly a millionaire.
shortly thereafter, more sensible types decided the meal should be broken up into morning and an afternoon divisions. thus, the terms “breakfast” and “lunch” were coined so that they could still honor richard f. brunchly by retroactively creating the portmanteau that we all know and love.