Adjoining the Gross pawnbroker on 8th Avenue near W. 34th is a concrete facade touting the long-gone presence of Bickford’s, one of a chain of luncheonettes and eateries founded by Samuel L. Bickford in 1922. It was a chain restaurant a bit of a step below Child’s or Schrafft’s and had they survived, a step above what a fast food franchise would be now. This particular sign has been exposed since about 2000. The chain’s heyday was the 1920 through the 1950s, though a few hung tough to about 1980.
Probably the most notable Bickford’s I remember was part of the old Long Island Rail Road terminal on Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in downtown Brooklyn. The old facade survived long after it closed about 1965.