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Men's Grill: 1940

Men's Grill: 1940

December 1, 1940. "Schrafft's, 625 Madison Avenue, New York. Exterior." 5x7 inch acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


I've worked in this building...

This is the old Standard Brands building on Madison Avenue in NYC. I worked there from 1977 to 1981 as a copywriter at Compton Advertising. During that time, Jackie Onassis worked as an editor for the Viking Press, which had their offices in the building as well. She didn't take the public elevators. But one night, when I had to work late I had to take the freight elevator down — and when the door opened, there she was. And like any New Yorker, I got in the elevator and acted as if she was just another late night office worker.

At one point, earlier in its history, the Cuban consulate was in the building so that there were always police on guard outside.

I still go into the building a couple of times a year because one of my doctors has offices there. The building has been re-skinned and renovated inside, but retains its mid-century charm.

Super Marketing!

For the men who imbibe too much they have at the ready candy and other sweets for the sweet to bring home for the late arrival.

Re: Upon Reflection

Samuel Gottscho: the master at work (1950-1956).

Ah, Lunch!

As a young boy in the 1950s, I would often accompany Mom on shopping excursions to NYC (Macy's, Gimbels, Bloomingdale's etc).

Lunch at Schrafft's was my reward for hours of walking up and down the endless aisles.

We never left without a box of candy!

Re: Men's Grill

I'm not sure, but it could be that in reference to the "Men's Grill", it meant just that. In many places (although as far as I know, New York City was Not one of them), proper ladies didn't go into a bar, but were served at a table. This Grill might have been for men only.

[You could order a steak, yes, but there wouldn't have been any men in the Men's Grill without the bar. - Dave]

Deep, dark and wet

Tragedy struck this fine watering hole in '48

Upon Reflection

Hide though he might try, the photographer and part of his tripod can be seen behind the lady in white, all the way to the left.

In the upper right, the reflection of a residential apartment building across the street on Madison Avenue in the 50's in the 40's is a surprise.

No dames allowed!

What is a Men's Grill? Is that a fancy phrase for a bar? If so, it seems that women would have been both welcome and comfortable there by 1940.

[A bar, yes. Schrafft's had a reputation as a "women's restaurant" and tried to expand its clientele with such measures. - Dave]

Classy Joint!

Marble frontage, revolving door, drapes over the windows, lights above and behind the 3D signwriting, logo set into the poured marble chip entrance, neat net curtains above, professional window dressing . . .

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