Love this story, glimpsed in the Times' City Section yesterday.
When a buisness at 673 Eighth Avenue near 43rd Street took down a sign on the storefront last November, they found an older sign beneath it for the Dixon Cafeteria, a midtown place not heard of since the 1960s. It was a large neon sign, the hot-pink neon long gone but the metal outlines of the letters in "Dixon Cafe" still there.
Dixon Cafeteria was in business from just after World War II until the late 1960s. The owners were Marty Hodulick, John Rucando and Cash Petrovich. Before that, the space was a casket company. (Coffins near Broadway—imagine!)
The place was apparently known for its whole-wheat bread and homemade yogurt. Pictures make it look quite spacious, with a long cafeteria line, a brown and yellow art deco decor and elevated seating opposite the line. Reminds me a bit of the Junior's set-up. There was a counter, a steam table and free seltzer. All New York restaurants should have free seltzer, don't you think?
The sign is gone now, covered up again, just as it was 30-some years ago. It's brief appearance is very telling of the way things work in New York. Landmarks aren't preserved because of diligence or intent, but out of laziness.