It is common knowledge that Sardi’s has it’s walls covered with caricatures of famous performers. But not many know how that got started: The restaurant made its debut in the theatre district in 1921, and quickly became popular with the Broadway crowd. The owner kindly allowed this crowd to keep tabs, with the hope that the tabs would be paid off as soon as anyone hit it big. In 1929, it wasn’t looking likely, that any aspiring performers would become paying customers. However, one of them did, and not only did he pay off his tab he paid off all the tabs. In honor of his generous gesture they made him a caricature and hung it on the wall. Good deeds don’t always go unnoticed. Much like today, the media used this story of generosity in hard times to make headlines and sell papers. Broadway loves a good review, and maybe that’s one reason why Sardi’s is “the longest running show on Broadway” (their line). It is still the location for Tony Awards lunches and opening-night parties, It’s also been said that the food won’t win any awards, but their famed special house antipasto doesn’t disappoint. I save my applause for the bartenders who truly make you feel like a regular on your first visit.
Hours: Tue-Sun, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sun, noon-7pm; Mon, closed
20% discount for Actor’s Equity or Screen Actors Guild cardholders
234 W. 44th St., nr. Broadway, 10036 212-221-8440