Churchill’s all-night restaurant in Times Square

When Times Square became the city’s premier entertainment district at the turn of the century, palatial “lobster palaces” like Churchill’s was a big part of the fun.


This incarnation of Churchill’s, launched by a former police captain, opened in 1910 at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street.

On opening night, “fully 2,500 guests dined either in the main dining room or the balcony,” noted the New York Times. These guests were the “leading lights of the city’s political and theatrical circles.”

By 1921 it had shut down, a victim of the Volstead Act. This might be a piece of a menu from Churchill’s in 1917, with quite a meat list!

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4 Responses to “Churchill’s all-night restaurant in Times Square”

  1. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    (sigh) $1.25 for a FANCY dinner — today you can’t even buy a candy bar in a drugstore for that! I wonder what a meal in a cheap place cost back then.

    • Bob_in_MA Says:


      You could literally get a free lunch in the blue-collar saloons of the day, but even a simple cafe-type restaurant might be two bits. More expensive places (like Sherry’s) would be $2-3 minimum.

  2. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley Says:

    The postcard is beautifully colored but you readership needs to know, not all postcards are TRUE reflections of locations. The scenes were occasionally altered to make them more attractive – like the ‘Photo Shop’ of today’s advertising.

    This picture shows a flag atop the roof-garden. There is a high possibility the publisher asked for something to ‘fill up that area’ in the card. All the vehicles and people on the street seem to be sized appro. but this is not always the case. These are mostly cut ‘n paste figures added to give the composition action. Sometimes you can spot ‘giants’ a short distance from a mini-car., bi-planes circling overhead, bright colors where the paint never existed, etc…

    So when you find a vintage postcard of a scene or a favorite building, you might check to see if everything is 100% accurate.
    Occasionally, as the years pass, the publisher will omit flags or dismisses the vehicles and you can have an entirely different looking picture postcard.

  3. Churchill’s – The New York City Restaurant Archive Says:

    […] “Churchill’s All-Night Restaurant in Times Square.” Ephemeral New York. Blog, February 16, 2015. […]

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