From the look of this menu cover, it would be fair to say that the portions of food and drink at Rector’s in New York in the 1950s were … generous. Happy customers are downing giant cocktails, wines, beers and brandies and tackling enormous plates of food.
Located at Times Square, on Broadway at 43rd Street, the name of this establishment was probably a tribute to the famed restaurateur and hotelier George Rector, who opened a restaurant on nearby West 44th street in 1899, just as the city’s famous theater district was being established.
Rector’s became famous for its ornate furnishings and elaborate cuisine – a 1900 menu offered 358 different dishes - and was that era’s great Bohemian after-theater restaurant, patronized by high society and celebrity clientele.
One of the most interesting regulars was James Buchanan Brady, known as Diamond Jim Brady for his habit of wearing part of his 20,000-diamond collection attached to his suspenders and cufflinks.
Weighing 250lbs and sporting three chins, Brady’s typical meal at Rector’s included 4 dozen oysters, one dozen crabs, six lobsters and a tray of French pastry and coffee. He didn’t drink alcohol or smoke.
In 1913, Charles Rector sold out and Rector’s became the Claridge Hotel which mobsters such as Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Frank Costello would use as their headquarters during Prohibition, when they provided booze to speakeasies.
The Claridge was demolished in 1972 and we presume Rector’s met the same fate.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.