RUDY’S, Ridgewood

by Kevin Walsh

Rudy’s Bakery & Café, 905 Seneca Ave. between Myrtle and Catalpa Avenues, has been in business for just over 80 years. The German word Konditorei can be translated as “cakes or baked goods.” Best known for cheese danishes, Black Forest cake and its assorted cookies, longtime owner Toni Binatti has brought Rudy’s into the 21st century with WiFi access, the better to sit inside, sip espresso and munch on goodies.

Why this unsolicited plug for the bakery? Going through the municipal archives, I found the exterior reminiscent of another bakery that held sway on NYC streets for over a century.

Photos: Museum of the City of New York

Cushman’s Bakery was founded by :. Arthur Cushman in 1855, five years before the Civil War. In the early 20th Century Cushman’s expanded into a multi-bakery franchise, with a Cushman’s on virtually every busy shopping strip in town. By the 1930s, Cushman’s had adopted modern, futuristic design for its stores, with rounded exterior display windows and interior cases, and white on white as a color scheme. The design wouldn’t have been out of place at the 1939 World’s Fair or even the 1964 Fair. However, that was the year that Cushman’s sold its last pumpernickel at the Port Authority Bus Terminal west of midtown.

Is the Rudy’s sign imitative or reminiscent of the Cushman’s signs? Could be.

8/7/19

7 comments

Gary Fonville August 9, 2019 - 11:58 am

I remember the Cushman’s that was located on the SE corner of 135th & Lenox Ave, Manhattan and one at the SW corner of 7th Avenue & 125th Street, Manhattan. I remember the distinctive smell when you entered. Maybe it was all that sugar.

Reply
Maria August 10, 2019 - 3:21 pm

Actually “Konditorei” is the German word for pastry or even better: cake shop, nothing else. In it’s original meaning it’s not supposed to be a hang-out place, just a place to buy cakes, as mentioned.

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Kevin Walsh August 11, 2019 - 6:55 pm

Duly changed.

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Peter August 10, 2019 - 3:46 pm

Some coffee shops and similar casual restaurants are time-limiting or slowing down their WiFi to prevent people from camping out at the tables for hours with their computers and ordering very little. Doing so is more polite and less embarrassing than asking these “campers” to leave.

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Wal Purgisnacht August 13, 2019 - 2:17 pm

WiFi may have been installed to facilitate better communication between the linzer tarts & strudels. Alas, even pastries have to stay connected these days.

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ny2az August 19, 2019 - 10:18 am

Give this guy a rim shot!

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James August 19, 2019 - 2:41 pm

I grew up in Ridgewood. On Saturdays my mom would go shopping on Myrtle Ave. There was always a stop at Rudy’s Konditorei. She loved their “butter twist” cake. For me it was Linzer Tarts and let not forget their Mocha Cake. Yummmm

Reply

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