In the days of soda fountains and handmade suits, not everyone desired a quick, get-in-get-out lunch. Schraftt’s provided an escape from the bustle of the city with its comfortable dining rooms and light meals.
In the 1910s, the Massachusetts-based candy and chocolate company expanded to New York with a new restaurant division. Their chain steadily grew, as women flocked to an environment they felt safe in. From the beginning, female customers always outnumbered males.
In the 1960s, 50 locations existed around the city, but it wasn’t meant to last. Although the 70s saw Schrafft’s struggle and failure to adjust to a new culture, we can still celebrate its mission to bring people together in a quiet haven of tomato bouillon and ice cream cake.
Read more at The New York Times on Schrafft’s history and restaurant design.
Manhattan: 5th Avenue - 36th Street. Photo. The New York Public Library, Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, Photographic views of New York City, 1870’s-1970’s / Manhattan. Digital ID 708594f.
Schrafft’s. Menu, 1955. The New York Public Library, Rare Books Division, Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection. Call number 1955-0094_wotm.