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NYC Restaurant Commercials from the 70s and 80s

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Long before Twitter and Facebook, NYC restaurants used good, old-fashioned, cheaply produced TV ads to get the word out. Most of these gems are lost to time, but via the magic of the internet, a few still remain. Here are seven classic commercials, many of them are for places that are still around today:

7) Teddy's: This Tribeca restaurant on West Broadway near Varick Street opened in the 1920s and went through many different incarnations before closing in 2004. In the 70s, it was a swinging steakhouse:


6) Lenny's: This Howard Beach, Queens red-sauce joint tapped Dana Valery, an Italian Broadway performer and talk show/game show staple from the 60s and 70s, to do their TV spot for them. A class act, all around:

5) Riccardo's: Positioned just two blocks away from the Triboro Bridge, Riccardo's restaurant and catering hall is still going strong today. In the 70s, they had an unbeatable free pasta bar deal:

4) Hotel Seville: This commercial for the Hotel Seville on Madison Ave (now the Carlton Hotel, home of Laurent Manrique's Millesime) features many great shots of their friendly-looking steakhouse. Everybody, including the guy slicing the prime rib, is singing:

3) Roll-N-Roaster: The jingle, dancing, and food porn in this early 80s TV spot for the Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn roast beef sandwich shop are so good, the restaurant still uses the commercial with a URL slapped across the bottom.

2) Tavern on the Green: Not a restaurant commercial, per se, but this 1986 Foldgers ad features Tavern on the Green prominently, as one of “America’s Finest Restaurants.” The big city gourmands simply can’t believe that the coffee was made with Foldgers Crystals!

1) Lenny's, Part II: Following the success of their Dana Valery ad, Lenny’s enlisted Frank Sinatra Jr. for a commercial. Say "Frankie sent you," and you get a free glass of wine on the house:

Further Reading:
· Lenny's Clam Bar [Official Site]
· El Teddy's Has Closed [Wired Forum]
· Riccardo's By the Bridge [Official Site]
· Roll-N-Roaster [Official Site]
· Carlton Hotel History [Official Site]
· All Tavern on the Green Coverage [~ENY~]

All videos via YouTube.

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