Music Bar, New York 1941
With one of the richest and most varied musical heritages of any city in the world, New York restaurants like The Music Bar were lively spots in the 1940s.
As many servicemen and women flocked to the city for precious days of leave, they wanted to forget about WW2 and let their hair down. Audiences were packed into theatres on Broadway - Cole Porter’s Broadway Melody of 1940 was a big hit - and afterwards couples would head to jazz clubs or to restaurants like The Music Bar on 96th Street to eat, dance and listen to music. Musicians who worked here probably earned a decent living while hoping for their big break. The attractive menu cover is by Hungarian artists Andrew Karoly and Louis Szanto who both emigrated to America in the 1920s. Karoly participated in the Federal Art Project ordered by President Franklin D Roosevelt during the Great Depression to paint murals on public buildings in the 1930s, mostly in Cleveland. The pair later joined forces for commercial works like this charming and inventive menu cover. As you will see from the interior menu, a charge of 75 cents to $1 per person was levied to cover the cost of entertainment at the weekend and the festivities at the Music Bar went on till 4am nightly.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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