26 February 2007

Schrafft's in Name Alone

Outlets of Schrafft's, the New York restaurant chain that belongs in the same humble everyman chowhouse category as Child's and Horn and Hardart, used to blanket the five boroughs (one was in the Chrysler Building), but the only evidence I've ever seen today that the legendary diners ever existed is on Smith Street near Fulton mall, across the street from the bus stop.

There, at the top of some dark iron shopfronts are two sets of fancifully curved, raised metal letters spelling out "Schrafft's." The building, which dates from 1925, as far as I can gather, was once home to ice cream sundaes and cheese bread and cocktails and such. (Schrafft's often had both a soda fountain and a bar, so that both kiddes and their parents could get a buzz on.) The words don't stand out, since the gothic limestone building is rather dingy. Don't know when this one shut down.

The chain was found in the early 1900s by one Frank Shattuck, who, for some reason, chose to double up on the "F"s rather than the "T"s when he named his restaurant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great find!

The company was founded by William Shrafft as a candy company in Boston. Shattuck bought the company and created the restaurant chain, mainly in New York.