Schrafft's, New York 1939
Schrafft’s began life as a candy manufacturer in Boston and in 1898 one its salesmen, a visionary man called Frank G Shattuck, opened the first store in New York. His sister Jane introduced the concept of light lunches and Schrafft’s developed into a chain of restaurants that was particularly popular with women.
In an interview with the New York Times in 2004, Mr Shattuck’s great-grandson Frank said of the restaurant’s refined clientele: “Everyone wore hats and home-made suits. And if you were a lady it was safe to sit at the soda fountain and drink gin from a tea cup.”
Schrafft’s expanded steadily throughout the 20s and 30s and its employment policies were also far ahead of its time – it employed many women as cooks, supervisors and executives. At its peak, there were 50 outlets in the greater New York metropolitan area. In the 60s the restaurants and the candy store businesses were sold to separate owners. Andy Warhol was a regular customer. He liked their egg salad sandwiches. By the 80s, Schrafft’s had all but disappeared.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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