BICKFORD’S, 8th Avenue

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Adjoining the Gross pawnbroker on 8th Avenue near W. 34th ┬áis 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.

6/3/13





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7 Responses to BICKFORD’S, 8th Avenue

  1. ron s says:

    Bickford’s were commonly located at large subway and el stops—Ditmars Blvd. and (I believe) Roosevelt and 74th had Bickfords nearby.

  2. chris says:

    Had they survived? I think some are still around.

    http://www.bickfordsrestaurants.com/history.aspx

  3. Larry says:

    Bickford’s cafeterias had a subsidiary…Ray’s Food Shops….

  4. Jeffrey H. Wasserman says:

    I recall the Bickfords at the corner of 6th Avenue and 23rd Street in the Masonic Hall building. It was a quiet, lonesome affair. A Chase bank branch occupies the spot now.

  5. Larry says:

    Bickfords was a Very Cold feeling place..especially that one in the LIRR station downtown Brooklyn…not like the more Ethnic cafeterias around NYC like Dubrows, Hectors, Garfields, etc, which were always very busy and vibrant….

  6. J says:

    Bickford’s also lent its name (albeit slightly different spelling) to one of the characters in Mark Alan Stamaty’s excellent and recently reissued Who Needs Donuts?

    http://www.amazon.com/Needs-Donuts-Mark-Alan-Stamaty/dp/0375825509

  7. Mr Mel says:

    There was a Bickfords on theSW corner of 3rd Ave &23 St, down the block from the CCNY (now Baruch College) main building on 23rd & Lex. I liked the English muffins, they served hamburgers on them as well. The store is now a Starbucks.

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