Monday, August 8, 2011

The Elder Ratner's

A recent post on the Greenwich Village preservation society's blog, Off the Grid, tells the story of the Saul Birns Building on 2nd Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.

all images from NYPL

You may remember that this building held the Ratner's of Second Avenue in the space where the Met Foods grocery store is today. I've written about that Ratner's before--featuring their 1970 menu and a piece of their tiled wall--but what I did not know is that this Ratner's apparently began a couple doors down, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 6th Street.

That elder Ratner's appears in a pair of NYPL photos found by Off the Grid for their post. Some zooming in reveals it: a wraparound neon sign, an awning, a window with the name painted on the glass. These shots are from 1934 and 1936 when the location of the later, more famous 2nd Avenue Ratner's still held the Stratford Cafeteria, and before the Loews Commodore theater became the Fillmore East.

While folks of the 1960s stopped in to Ratner's for blintzes after seeing the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane next door, folks of the 1930s did the same after seeing a Shirley Temple movie.

Is anybody old enough to recognize this Ratner's from out of the sepia fog?


Grand St. said...

A "deli?" Ratner's? Oy, Jere.

Might as well call it a churrascaria.

Jeremiah Moss said...

dairy restaurant! i will fix it. forgive me.

Mitch Broder said...

I should be old enough to recognize it in a few days. Meanwhile, I wish I were there right now. Thanks for the photos...

Anonymous said...

my grandfather was the vegetable and fruit man for ratners and related to them.