06 April 2011

Have You Been to the Bazar Francais?

Most old businesses are lucky to have a single reminder of their existence survive their closure. Charles R. Ruegger must have been born on a bed of clover. His Bazar Francais, opened on Sixth Avenue near 22nd Street in 1929, has scattered remnants all over the place. There's the faded, hand-painted wall sign, seen above. And his name is still on the oxidized cornice, seen below. Furthermore, you can see the name of the business, an importer of French kitchen and table ware, on the second floor of the building, seen far below.

Ruegger has reason enough to proudly plaster his name everywhere. By 1929, he has been in business for 50 years. His previous location was West Broadway near Houston. He only enjoyed his new location for two years; he died in 1931. The concern was taken over by a son, then a grandson, then a greatgrandson, all names Charles. It ceased operation in 1975.

You can find more information here, including yet another image of the Bazar Francais name when one of the three buildings that made up the Ruegger empire was renovated in 2008.


ironrailsironweights said...

It looks as if the business didn't quite last until its 100th anniversary. I wonder what did it in.


Christina said...

Yes, I have been to Bazar Francais. In fact, we own at least one item (a rarely used charlotte tin) that we bought there sometime in the mid 1970s. My mother, a superb cook who died in 1972, used to buy equipment there. This was in the days before Dean & Deluca and Williams-Sonoma and other kitchen equipment companies. I think BF and Bridge Company on the East Side had the market pretty much to themselves. We also bought pots at a restaurant supply company (Friedman & Sons?) roughly where Atlantic Yards is.

Prime Pickins said...

Thank you for the pictures! I just purchased a little cookbook in French that has a Bazar Francais, New York sticker. I'm so happy to see where it came from! The book dates to about the same time the structure was opened.

LFA Architects said...

Just saw the cornice then found your info! Thanks! LFAArchitecture.com

saha said...

I have a Bazar francais catalogue from 1957. The items in the catalogue that I have, have been purchased in Paris or d.c. One item I would love to find is the pudding dish with either a rabbit, snipe or pheasant head. They were was so beautifully made. I was delighted to find the web site. thank you. Saha