All that’s left of a Pearl Street Chinese restaurant

Thousands of restaurants have come and gone in New York over the years, and this is one of them: Pearl de Orient, an interestingly named but otherwise ordinary sounding Chinese restaurant in the Financial District.

Aside from an ad in New York from 1993, I couldn’t find a trace of the place. The corner of Pearl Street and Maiden Lane looks like it’s been renovated and modernized since then.

All that’s left of Pearl de Orient is this matchbook. Remember restaurant matchbooks?

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18 Responses to “All that’s left of a Pearl Street Chinese restaurant”

  1. mcrmom614 Says:

    I love restaurant matchbooks. I still have one from Asti (I went there once). My dad or someone else picked up one from Windows On The World (never ate there). RIP.

    • Zoe Says:

      To mcrmom614

      I ate at WOW in the late 80s to celebrate my childhood friend’s on the fly wedding at the downtown court building. It was just the three of us & during the ‘nouveau cuisine’ craze; so I was literally served about three tiny glazed onions (forgot what those are called… ‘pearl onions’?) & a sliver of fish (?). The bride wore red even though not of Chinese heritage & they are still married; so perhaps leave off the white & switch to *lucky* red girls…

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I have one from Asti; it’s very 1970s!

  3. Kenny Says:


    Lox Around the Clock Matchbook Cover
    • Zoe Says:

      To Kenny

      This photo looks like she was ‘exacto-knife shopped’ (pre-photoshop) onto the pool image.

      Should this have had a ‘trigger warning’ — since we are not in Europe? I was not expecting this Kenny! There are Muslims & Christian Arabs & Roma/Sinti & Orthodox Jews who have modesty rules/customs/etiquette who read Ephemeral’s blog Kenny. You may have just singlehandedly shifted that demographic by posting this!

      • Kenny Says:

        Dick’s Last Resort with a dozen or so nationwide locations distributes the offending matchbooks.
        Please raise your hand if you are personally offended, not if you are offended for others.
        Some of the matchbooks on the flickr page bring back happy memories, and no one’s memories should be edited for those who wish to recolor the world.
        New York City has never been a place for the fragile delicate modest.
        Long Live Harglos, Kennys Castaways, The Garage, Dicks and every customer who lit a match gotten from them.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Lox Around the Clock and Tennessee Mountain! These are killing me with nostalgia

  4. Zoe Says:

    It’s interesting to see the word ‘Orient’ still used then Ephemeral. (Full later zipcode hence printed after early 1960s).

    Also I love that it says ‘gourmet’… late 60s/early 1970s then? (When the term ‘gourmet’ was attaching itself to everything from cheese & butcher shops to health food to ‘Syrian’ grocery shops like Sahadi’s in Brooklyn).

  5. peopleplaceswords Says:

    My (then teenaged) sister had a large matchbook collection in the 1960’s. It might have been dumped when we moved. Wrapped sugar cubes are a similarly bygone souvenir, which my mother stole by the handful. After a trip to Europe, her suitcase contained so many that she was question by US customs, who suspected drugs. I have samples of her stash.

    • Zoe Says:

      To peopleplaceswords

      Very funny suitcase/customs/sugar/drugs story! I don’t remember sugar cubes being wrapped w/ advertising.

      re. ‘left border of matchbook/not looking real’: That is simply from the image having been printed out multiple times side by side on a larger sheet of cardboard & then having been cut imperfectly to separate the images. They didn’t print each matchbook separately. They were mass produced/printed/cut mechanically/automatically.

  6. Zoe Says:

    To Kenny

    Can we “raise (our) hand(s)” *only* if we are “offended for others” …vs. for ourselves…

    What happened to your photo — now replaced w/ ‘Lox Around the Clock’. Should be ‘Lox Around the ClockS’ to rhyme.

  7. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I have many vintage matchbook covers and will post some more soon! I’m glad I’m not the only person who gets a kick out of them….

  8. Chris F Says:

    Just reading this entry. PdO was a favorite hangout for insurance business lunches back when three martini days were the rage, as was smoking, both of which i’m happy to say are antiquated habits.

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