Thursday, February 21, 2013

Which Ratner's?

In 2008, we took a look at the mysterious Ratner's of Second Avenue. Few images can be found of this Ratner's--it turns up as a sidebar in photos of the Fillmore East or, in its first incarnation, side-glanced in street shots from ancient archives. We found a menu from 1970 and parts of the old Ratner's mosaic wall that still exist today at Met Foods.

Still, the Second Ave. Ratner's remains something of a ghost.

Now we have this gorgeous interior photo of a Ratner's from reader Rebecca Krupp (click to see larger detail):

Rebecca writes: "My grandmother Ruby Krupp is seated in the center. The picture would have been taken sometime between 1931-1938. Maybe someone else could identify some of the other people in the picture."

But is this the Second Avenue Ratner's or the more famous and photographed one that vanished more recently from Delancey?

If it is Second Avenue, then it might be the original Second Avenue Ratner's, which sat on the corner of Second and Sixth during the 1930s, before moving mid-block. In fact, the fan/scallop motif on the exterior in this NYPL digital archive shot looks a lot like the motif in the interior photo.

from NYPL


S.S. said...

I ate quite a few times at the Ratner's midblock in the late 60s.

I recall it as quite wide, without booths and a fountain. This photo does not ring a bell.

Mark said...

It doesn't look like the Ratner's that was adjacent to the Fillmore. That was a huge room filled with back to back booths. The columns had enormous capitals on them. It must be the older location.

Jeremiah Moss said...

did anyone dine there in the 1930s? it could be the original 2nd Ave Ratner's, before it moved north a few doors, no?

Bennett said...

Ratner's on 2nd was probably one or two storefronts wider than this room *appears* to be. It could be an illusion, however, based on the section photographed and the way it's cropped.

Nick said...

I remember the 2nd Av. Ratners - my mother painted stage sets (and I even acted in a couple of plays) at the old Cafe La Mama theatre, the. on 2nd Av. when it first started in about 1965 ...I was 7,8 years old. We would go to that Ratners sometimes. I remember it seeming huge, with lots of booths, but I was only a kid. And I specifically remember having a Dr. Browns celery tonic there.

Anonymous said...

I used to eat at Ratner's quite a bit in the fall and winter of 1967. They had a great bean and barley soup, which they served with a whole basket full of small fresh-baked rolls. We used to order one soup and then, stash all the rolls in our pockets. This was on Sixth Street near the Fillmore, where I worked off and on for two years. Ratner's definitely had booths.