Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exchanging Pete's

I like seeing old restaurant signs with the words "STEAKS" and "CHOPS" on them. You don't see these words together very often. They're on the Washington Square Diner sign. They were on the Skyline Diner sign, which has vanished along with the Skyline. And they were also on the sign for Pete's Place, which vanished from Gramercy's 3rd Avenue about two years ago.


my flickr, 2008

Barry Popik's Big Apple tells us that, in the 1920s, Pete's was an ice-cream parlor called the Gramercy Sweet Shop, where you could get Chop Suey Sundaes, Pineapple Temptations, and Broadway Flips. Then it was Pete's, for I don't know how long.

This month, after sitting empty for a couple of years, it has turned into Exchange, a Wall Street-themed bar, which seems like bad timing, if you ask me.


Watch the CNN Money video

Author, Gramercy resident, and JVNY reader Charles Bock writes in with the news, saying:

"...what could be more fun than hanging out at the stock exchange? Wait, the thing that would be more fun would be if you could drink beer and watch prices roll by on red LED boards!

It could have been a little fun if the place would have been called sexchange, because lord knows the city could use a few more transvestite bars. Honestly, I'd even be willing to call it even if it was a transvestite bar with stock quotes. At least that would be original.

But no. It's exactly the crapfest you would expect."


"It makes the energy good."

16 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Seriously?

Lisanne said...

Really! Wasn't April Fool's Day a few weeks ago? Hope this one vanishes..

Jeremiah Moss said...

it's no joke. click the link for the video...

Anonymous said...

OMG please NOOOOOOOOOOOO. This is absolutely terrible.

Anonymous said...

Pete's Place was one of the most disgusting places ever. Glad it's gone....

Barbara Hanson said...

How dreadful.

Anonymous said...

WHERE is Patrick Bateman?

Goggla said...

Alright, who's with me for opening Sexchange?

Anonymous said...

yes, where IS Patrick Bateman? - BN

Ed said...

Most of the bars around Wall Street have CNBC on their televisions, and a big part of their clientele in the late afternoon and early evenings on weekdays is people who work there. These places can be sort of interesting on days where something big has happened with the markets.

I have no idea how anyone could think this would be a good idea for a themed bar.

esquared said...

this is something one would see in las vegas or a theme park. oh, wait, nyc is the new las vegas and has become a theme park. nevermind.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i'm with you, Goggla.

Anonymous said...

Pete's Place was a fantastic restaurant - If you want I can send an old picture of my old pal Gus the waiter.

People from around the world would go to Pete's as soon as they landed in NY.

The two Pete's who ran the place were good guys too.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks for writing--i couldn't find any photos of the interior.

Michael Ginsburg said...

Before it was Pete's Place it was the Tiffany coffee shop in the early 1970's. Previously it had been an ice cream parlor and had been closed for many years with the original fixtures untouched. Jimmy, a young Greek man took over the space and keep most of the beautiful old furniture and painted on glass wall menus with prices from the 1940's. He ran a great place and I used to eat there several times a week. I could get a check cashed there anytime (this was in the pre-ATM days when after 3:00 PM when the banks closed getting cash was only possible from local merchants who knew you well). I don't know what happened to Jimmy or if he went back to Greece, which he said he planned to do, but I thank him for the years he was here and ran a great local place.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see it gone. First place I ate my first time in New York. Went in many times over a dozen years and was always remembered and greeted warmly. Best lamb "chops" I ever had, best alfredo, lisagne and loved the house dressing. Pete's is goesn, Sal Antony's, the original Gramercy flowershop, and even the Gramercy hotel is 'gone'- although it's corpse is there and re-animated as a zombie-like boutique hotel.