Where “discriminating” New Yorkers used to dine

Would today’s New York foodies approve of the Skipper restaurants, a mid-century mini-chain of dining establishments centered in midtown?

Well, the food is “well-cooked” and “balanced” (nutritious and no trans fats?), and they do their own baking, which might count as local fare.


The menu items probably wouldn’t go over well. A review in the 1949 restaurant guide Knife and Fork in New York notes the “deviled crab, southern fried chicken,” and “roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.”


And the decor wouldn’t attract a trendy crowd. It’s described in the book as “tearoomy” in the “colonial mood, with colorful wallpapers.” The Skipper sounds like an inexpensive place to grab a bite if you’re hungry and not especially picky.

Interestingly, the chain has a “Men’s Grill” on 44th Street. I know the city had male-only bars well into the 1960s (McSorley’s wasn’t open to women until 1970!). But single-sex public restaurants in the 1940s?

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4 Responses to “Where “discriminating” New Yorkers used to dine”

  1. Steve Says:

    I would dine there simply for the opportunity to hear “Music by Muzak”.

  2. Sneakeater Says:

    1. Looks to me like everything you mention on the menu sounds like it would be POPULAR today.

    2. The City had women-only lunch and “tea” rooms into the ’60s and even the ’70s. I think the most famous one was called something like Mary Elizabeth.

  3. carolegill Says:

    sounds nice to me. sounds like good, solid food, and what’s wrong with roast beef and good old Yorkshire pudding!

  4. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I remember when Horn and Hardart’s had Women Only sections in their restaurants, this was in the 60s, maybe it was for lesbians haha!.

    And ‘Tea rooms’ meant they were for gay men, before anyone knew about the secret term.

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