Stopping in for dinner at the Black Eagle

Something tells me you could get a hearty meal at the Black Eagle Restaurant, courtesy of a proprietor with the great name of Gus Koblitz. 

The address on this yellowed, crinkled business card would have put the Black Eagle on the edge of Yorkville, the once heavily German part of the Upper East Side.


The telephone exchange in the upper left corner looks mighty old. It must predate the two-letter, five-digit formula that lasted into the 1960s.

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5 Responses to “Stopping in for dinner at the Black Eagle”

  1. Lidian Says:

    Brilliant old ad – 1920s, maybe? I know that 86th was the main drag of Yorkville, I remember it very well. Don’t remember this place in the 60s though.

  2. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    Yess that telephone number is VERY old. It has to be before 1920. First, the exchange is AFTER the line number (that means pre-dial; before dial phones happened, the exchange was sometimes put at the end like that). Second, I’m not sure when the 79th St. exchange ended, but there were no numbered street names used as exchanges by 1920. (See my site at for more information.)

  3. petey Says:

    very interesting stuff for this old yorkviller. mr gilson’s site also very interesting. would the 79th street exchange have been connected to the phone building there between 2nd and 3rd?

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Bruce, your phone site is a great resource; thanks for sending in the URL. Many signs around the city still include an old phone exchange, and figuring out what the letters stand for is often a challenge. Very neat stuff.

    Re the previous comment: Does anyone know about the 79th street phone exchange?

  5. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    Earlier I said it had to be before 1920. In fact, I can definitively say it had to be befgore 1910! I did some checking yesterday, and I found that the 79th St. exchange was renamed “Lenox” (nothing to do with Lenox Ave., as it was nowhere near there!) around 1908 or 1909. (I can’t be more precise because the particular reel of microfilm covering that period was missing from the drawer. But by 1910 “79th St.” was gone, while it still existed in early 1908.)

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