New York Daily Photo Analytics

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sardi's

Unfortunately, the story of Sardi's, like many others of NYC, is best told in past tense. They have not gone out of business, but that which brought the restaurant its notoriety has gone. What's left is more of a cliche for tourists. Sardi's, located at 234 West 44th Street, is in the heart of the theater district and was an integral part of the fabric of that world since Vincent Sardi, Sr. opened the Little Restaurant at 246 W. 44th Street in 1921 - patrons referred to it as Sardi's and so the name stuck. In 1927, they moved to the current location. In 1947, management was taken over by Vincent Sardi, Jr. The restaurant is known for the hundreds of caricatures of show-business celebrities on its walls, inspired by Joe Zelli’s, a Parisian restaurant and jazz club. The Sardi's caricatures were done by Alex Gard, a Russian refugee. The stories surrounding Vincent Sardi, Jr. are legendary and speak of old New York. Sardi's became a Broadway landmark - an institution central to the theater world with actors, agents and critics utilizing it as a meeting place. Vincent loved theater and has been referred to as the "Mayor of Broadway." He was totally supportive of the theater world and was known to carry the tabs of out of work actors. Read his obituary in the New York Times (Sardi died on 1/4/07). Broadway has changed. Stephen Sondheim spoke of a dumbing down of theater and that there is no longer a Broadway community - ''There's none whatsoever. The writers write one show every two or three years. Who congregates at Sardi's? What is there to congregate about? Shows just sit in theaters and last.''

2 comments:

Lucy said...

Sad that the Broadway theater community is no longer as important in NYC as it once was...always used to see it referred to in the old movies -- the romance of the Great White Way and all that...

• Eliane • said...

The details that really jumps at me and makes me smile is the ladies from Spamelot above. The way they are reflected is perfect: it looks like they are part of the Sardi's façade.

Sad when an institution become a tourist trap.