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 five classic New York restaurant commercials:
5) Fortune Garden Pavilion: This commercial is a strangely hypnotic blast from the past. Fortune Garden Pavilion isn't around anymore, but according to the ad it was "one of the most beautiful restaurants in New York" serving "some of the most exciting cuisine in the world."
4) Lenny's Clam Bar: Some of the other Lenny's commercials have '70s C-list celebrities like Frank Sinatra Jr. and Dana Valery. This one just has the owner, Joe, and a few rotating plates of Italian food. At the end of the ad, he makes a great offer: "Visit one of the Lenny's nearest you and enjoy a glass of wine on the house."
3) Beefsteak Charlie's: The owners of this chain understood that people in the tri-state area like singing waiters and big, glistening piles of cold shrimp. The best part is when the guy with the handlebar mustache says, "I'm Beefsteak Charlie, and you're gonna get spoiled with free shrimp!"
2) Bombay Palace: According to the announcer, this 52nd Street restaurant serves "Indian food, the way you prefer it." His pitch: "Come to the Bombay Palace where Mayal, your host, ushers you into an exotic world of superb Indian cuisine."
1) Tom the Turkey: And, because it's almost Thanksgiving, here's a classic commercial for the Carvel ice cream shops, narrated by gravelly-voiced owner Tom Carvel. "Nowhere else can you buy that kind of ice cream, folks."