“Come for a cocktail and stay for dinner”

Something about this ad, from the July 4, 1936 New Yorker, is really appealing right now on a hot, muggy night. The many Schrafft’s restaurants that dotted the city from 1917 to the 1970s were famous lunch and ice cream spots. Here they were chasing a grown-up, urbane customer.

Schrafft’s is immortalized in J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. “There’s a Schrafft’s on 79th Street!” says a tired, thirsty female character stuck in traffic after an abruptly cancelled wedding. “Let’s go have a soda and I can phone from there! At least it’ll be air-conditioned!”

Today, 222 West 57th Street is Lee’s Art Shop. Vanishing New York has more Schrafft’s history, including the fate of an unusual Schrafft’s building on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, here.

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9 Responses to ““Come for a cocktail and stay for dinner””

  1. ollie Says:

    actually, a friend’s sister took me to a Schraffts in the upper east side in 1989…

  2. W.H. Auden: An English Poet in the East Village « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] from 1947, is titled “In Schrafft’s,” the name of the chain of ice cream parlor/restaurants that dotted the city until the 1970s, begins: ”Having finished the Blue plate Special/And […]

  3. AdrianLesher Says:

    In downtown Brooklyn, there are remnants of a Schrafft’s facade on Jay Street between Fulton and Livingston.

  4. karen gibney Says:

    I am wondering if anyone can help me. my great grandparents owned a restaurant in new york city (rector st?) i think. this was back in the 1930’s and i was wondering how i can go about finding out the name somehow. any help would be so appreciated. My grandmother is almost 100 years old and cannot remember the name and i would love to provide her with that. thank you

  5. Michelle... Says:

    This is so cool..I pass by the former Schrafft’s factory frequently and never knew they had restaurants too!

  6. A 1950s menu from New York favorite Schrafft’s « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the 1970s, the city was dotted with Schrafft’s restaurants, a mini-chain in the tradition of Child’s and Chock Full o’Nuts that offered sandwiches […]

  7. NLM Says:

    I went to Scraffts in Scarsdale with my mother, grandmothers and aunt as a child in the 60’s

  8. stephen kohn Says:

    I grew up with Schraffts. We lived on West End Avenue and 83rd Street and there was a Schrafft’s around the corner. You could have the most delicious butterscotch sundae for 25 cents..

  9. An 1897 building and a changing West 57th Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] became a Schrafft’s, the casual lunchroom-restaurant chain with franchises all over the city (and such a storied New […]

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