New York 1953 To Today: Can We Resurrect The $1.95 Steak Dinner?
Times Square and Central Park attract tourists to New York City in droves, but what were the most exciting sights back in the 1950s? Thanks to an old tourist brochure from 1953, we're exploring back in the day versus today, for NYC tourists.
If you visiting New York in 1953 and you weren't going out for lobster at some place like the Grand Central Oyster Bar, then you were probably licking your chops for a visit to East 52nd Street. And there, setting itself apart from $1.95 steak dinners advertised all around Times Square, was Al Schacht's Restaurant, owned by the baseball player-turned-comedian.
After a short career of playing baseball and then coaching, Schacht toured ballparks, the World Series, and even North Africa during World War II doing his stand-up comedy act as "The Clown Prince of Baseball." When the war ended, he headed back to New York to open his eponymous restaurant and become a satellite of 42nd Street's Steak Row, since his place was constantly buzzing with sports figures and celebs.
These days, Al Schacht's is no more, but a similar joint would be Mickey Mantle's at Central Park South if only it would stop trying to be a TGI Friday's. Maybe head to Chicago instead for Mike Ditka's steakhouse?
· Mickey Mantle's [Yelp]
· NYC In the 1950s Map and More [Jaunted]
[Scan from March 1953 edition of "The New York Visitor"]