Zucca’s Italian Garden: call Bryant 5511

Zucca’s appears to have been a popular Rockefeller Center–area restaurant in the 1930 and 1940s, at least popular enough to have its own postcard and very earnest slogan: “the quality of our food is always higher than the price.” 

zuccasitaliangarden

The Bryant 5511 (or 10122) on the back of the postcard phone number predates the two-letter, 5 digit exchanges that existed until the 1960s, when letters were phased out of phone numbers.

zuccasitaliangardenback

Zucca’s was owned by Louis Zucca, whose daughter Rita Louisa Zucca renounced her U.S. citizenship during World War II and became known as an “Axis Sally.” She was convicted of broadcasting Nazi radio propaganda to American troops stationed in Europe.

Tried by an Italian military tribunal, she was sentenced to four years in prison, according to a 1945 New York Times article.

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8 Responses to “Zucca’s Italian Garden: call Bryant 5511”

  1. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    Although the postmark on that card was May, 1931, that Bryant 5511 number was already obsolete by then. It was in December 1930 that the 2-letter 5-digit phone numbers started, and the number wouod bave become BRyant 9-5511. But if you check your dial, notice that dialing BRYant 5511 would still work — the Y and 9 were the same hole. Most of the 1930 changes worked that way, though not all.

  2. David B. Moretti Says:

    interesting piece of history. If only a time machine could take me there.

  3. Hunter College’s “Axis Sally” « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] who broadcast axis propaganda for Germany, Italy, or Japan. Another Axis Sally was the daughter of midtown restauranteur Louis [...]

  4. Robert Shellito Says:

    We have several plates that say Zucca’s on it that have a red stripe on them as well. If anyone is interested in them…please contact the above email address. Thank you

  5. Kristin Freid-Krupp Says:

    My dad, Harold was Louie Zucca’s partner. My mother, Katharine came up with the idea of an Italian smorgasboard set in the middle of the main dining room. Anyone having any information about this restaurant please email me.
    Thank you’
    Kristin Frederica

  6. Janice Vogini Says:

    I am Louis Zucca’s grand niece. I fondly remember my Dad taking me to Uncle Louie’s. The chef’s would come out and pinch my cheeks! They would give me breadsticks and butter. I still use my Zucca imprinted silver and have some of the old menus and such.

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