Wednesday, February 14, 2007

End of another New York cafeteria

Continuing the theme of understanding the demise of New York City's cafeterias, I found this article about the closing of another cafeteria, Garfield's, which was located at the corner of Flatbush and Church Avenues in Brooklyn. According to the article, it officially close on July 6, 1971, "after declining business had forced its demise."

The article goes on to reference the Dubrow's on Eastern Parkway:

"Garfield's, in its heyday, was known throughout Brooklyn, mentioned in the same breath with Dubrow's on Eastern Parkway and Utica Ave and Hoffman's on Pitkin and Saratoga Avenues, which are also gone."
(New York Times, July 25, 1971)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the articles you are unearthing. Cafeterias really do tell the story of a culture in the 20th Century and a Jewish culture at that. I think it's great that you're trying to connect to what the cafeteria experience was like.

There were times of day when you coudn't find a table at some cafeterias, lunch time at the 7th Av Dubrows, Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. But for the most part there were many tables with people nursing cups of coffee for hours on end. I have 100's of such pictures of people at all those cafeterias that have been mentioned.

Also the Concord Cafeteria that was mentioned - I only knew the one on Collins Avenue in Miami but it seems there was also one in Williamsburg Brooklyn. That one and the Dubrow's on Eastern Parkway would have closed in the 60's as that was when there was a flight to the suburbs by the Jewish middle class in those neighborhoods.

Yes, there was a Burger King for a while on Kings Highway between 12th and 13th Streets, a big one and there still is a McDonald's just the other side of 16th Street. Brooklyn changed in population and its economy through the 60's as did all of the city and cafeterias were one of the things that suffered. And it's still happening today as individual stores and restaurants, beloved New York institutions, are being replaced by corporate chains.