New York’s last remaining soda fountain signs

Soda sales are down—and so are the number of soft drink–branded signs fronting the diners and newsstands on New York’s streets.


I don’t think anyone is officially keeping track of how many privilege signs—as these signs are technically called—disappear every year from the city’s dwindling number of independent diners, luncheonettes, and newsstands.

Though their numbers weren’t great 10 years ago, more signs are biting the dust (like two out of the three photographed in this post from 2008).


Luckily two stalwarts seem to be safe: the signs atop the West Village’s delightfully named greasy spoon diner La Bonbonniere and Eddie’s Sweet Shop, a 107-year-old ice cream parlor in Forest Hills.

Let’s hope the rest of the remaining signs scattered around the five boroughs hang on.

[Second photo: Google]

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6 Responses to “New York’s last remaining soda fountain signs”

  1. David Handelman Says:

    There’s also one at Cup And Saucer on the LES.
    See my shot at

  2. David Handelman Says:

    And when I was in NOLA I was heartened to see this vintage fountain — but it’s defunct.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks–I love the Cup & Saucer sign, on Canal…and happy to see that the place is still pumping out classic greasy luncheonette fare.

  4. RD Wolff Says:

    On the SW corner of Waverly Place and Mercer St in the 70s was an old luncheonette that looked right out of the 1940s since it hadn’t been renovated or changed, still had booths even. It was called the “New Way Luncheonette” and was owned by 3 bothers, George, Louis and Bill Gazianis. At that time you could go in and if you were a regular as I was, you could eat and have a tab. I would eat or have a milkshake and it went on a card in a box under the counter, and you just paid your tab periodically. But NYU didn’t renew their lease and they shut down.

    Brad’s is there now I see in street view, and across the street is a pizza place that in the 70s was also a luncheonette

  5. L. Says:

    I pass by Eddie’s at least once a week and the sign always makes me smile!

  6. A Yorkville deli’s wonderful vintage soda sign | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] these signs with soda or ice cream logos are called “privilege signs,” promotional signs paid for by food corporations for small groceries, lunch places, and […]

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