The best old-school butcher sign on Ninth Avenue

You don’t have to be a meat eater to appreciate the old-style store signs at Esposito, a meat market at Ninth Avenue and 38th Street that’s been making sausage and selling cold cuts since 1932.

Yet there’s something a little unusual on the wholesale “Giovanni Esposito & Sons” sign down a bit on 38th Street.

I’ve seen similar store signs at other Italian specialty food shops that advertise “Italian” and “American.” But I’ve never seen one that added “French” to it!

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5 Responses to “The best old-school butcher sign on Ninth Avenue”

  1. Richard Bergman Says:


    My guess about the “French” on Esposito’s sign: In the 1950’s (perhaps earlier) there was a French presence in that part of 9th Avenue. There were French restaurants operated by real Frenchmen; the word was that they were operated by former employees of the French Line ships that docked nearby. Esposito may have prepared meat cut to their specifications. I remember Pharmacy Lecoll on the west side of 9th Ave. between 44th and 45th Streets, owned by Pharmacist Lecoll who stocked French goods and spoke limited English. Love your site! Richard Bergman >

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thanks Richard, I had no idea about this! I know there was a French neighborhood around 23rd Street in Chelsea at one time, anchored by St. Vincent de Paul church. Another French enclave was on Greene Street in Soho. Thank you for sharing and for your kind words; I want to look into this for a future post!

  2. The best old-school butcher sign on Ninth Avenue | News for New Yorkers Says:

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  3. Kevin Says:

    I just hope they own the building. If not, I fear the Hudson Yards monster will gobble them, and all the other small individual businesses, off 9th Ave and turn it into a corporate chain and glass box mall.

  4. matthewgreenbaum Says:

    That’s right, it used to be a French neighborhood; the former French Hospital is up the block, I think.

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