Now this is what I call an old New York eatery: Ye Olde Chop House began its run in 1800 on Cedar Street before moving to the Trinity Building on Lower Broadway next door to Trinity Church.
The matchbook could be as old as the 1960s or 1970s, when New York addresses still used single-digit ZIP codes.
Apparently the food was quite good, the atmosphere old school. In 1946, when the chop house was still on Cedar Street, the New York Times called out the “mutton chops as thick as your fist” and “split chickens and lamb kidneys with bacon.”
The Times also noted the host, Harry Kramer. “Happily, Mr. Kramer is antiquarian and, except for introducing air-conditioning, has done little in the way of modernization. The original bar, worn almost white with shrubbing, still stands; the floors are the same old pine boards covered with sawdust and upstairs there are two fireplaces with carved mantles that were constructed when the house was built.”
Does anyone remember Asti? This West Village restaurant was famous for 75 years for its opera-singing waiters and theater-world customers.
Shuttered in 1999, Asti now only lives on in vintage ads, like this matchbook cover from 1975. Look at the old two-letter phone exchanges: AL for Algonquin, according to this guide, and CH for Chelsea or Chickering.
In June 1972, New York announced that the Upper East Side restaurant Camelot not only had “sumptuous buffet brunches on Saturdays and Sundays ($5.50 for all you can eat and all the Bloody Marys, champagne and rose you can drink), but now there’s a sumptuous buffet dinner every Monday night for $6.95.”
Looks like a Dallas BBQ is in this space now.