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.
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.