Search Results for: first restaurant

America’s first restaurant

It’s always risky to declare that anything is a first. In some ways Julien’s Restorator, newly opened in July of 1793, may have been similar to the taverns that had been in business in Boston for ages. Almost any kind … Continue reading


Filed under restorators

Restaurant design and decoration

In the second half of 19th century restaurant decoration – in restaurants that had any — was mainly the work of painters who created baroque fantasies on walls and ceilings. Rooms reserved for female diners seemed to be more likely … Continue reading


Filed under chain restaurants, elite restaurants, lunch rooms, restaurant decor, uniforms & costumes

Learning to eat (in restaurants)

Eating in restaurants is so common today that it is hard to imagine that it in the past many people found it confusing and embarrassing, especially in more formal restaurants. They had trouble figuring out menus, felt nervous and self-conscious, … Continue reading


Filed under elite restaurants, menus, patrons, racism, restaurant customs, restaurant etiquette, women

Christian restaurant-ing

There are a lot of reasons why a restaurant might choose not to sell liquor that have nothing to do with religious beliefs. But restaurants that brand themselves as Christian absolutely never serve alcoholic drinks. This has always been their … Continue reading


Filed under alternative restaurants, atmosphere, chain restaurants, family restaurants, night clubs, Offbeat places, patrons

Spooky restaurants

Montmartre in Paris was the birthplace of what would come to be known in the U.S. as the theme restaurant. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Parisian entrepreneurs conjured up fantasy atmosphere in strange and unsettling forms. Themes … Continue reading


Filed under alternative restaurants, atmosphere, night clubs, Offbeat places, restaurant decor, theme restaurants

Taste of a decade: 1880s restaurants

In the 1880s a wider range of foods became available to people living in cities, allowing restaurant menus to became more varied. Cold storage warehouses and refrigerated rail cars brought cheaper Chicago beef and out-of-season produce. Mechanically frozen ice, free … Continue reading


Filed under lunch rooms, patrons, racism, technology, women

Anatomy of a corporate restaurant executive

It strikes me that much more has been written about and by chefs than those restaurant personnel who mostly work behind a desk. Business people lack the glamour of knife wielding chefs. They are not surrounded by flames. They have … Continue reading


Filed under chain restaurants, food, proprietors & careers, theme restaurants

Odd restaurant buildings: “ducks”

Ducks are commercial buildings that look like what they sell, as illustrated by the Freda Farms ice cream stand in Berlin CT. The term was actually inspired by a Long Island store that sold ducks (to eat). It has been … Continue reading


Filed under odd buildings, roadside restaurants

Restaurant-ing with Mildred Pierce

Many Americans are familiar with the story of the fictional Mildred Pierce, the mid-century wife and mother who kicks out her unemployed, philandering husband and becomes the family’s breadwinner so she can support her two daughters, especially her musically talented … Continue reading


Filed under drive-ins, proprietors & careers, roadside restaurants, women

High-volume restaurants: Crook & Duff (etc.)

Luxury restaurants are more likely to become memorialized by time, but often ordinary restaurants have a history that is equally rich and played a more significant role in the everyday functioning of society. That was certainly true of a restaurant … Continue reading


Filed under popular restaurants, proprietors & careers