A friend sent me an e-mail today that had those reminisce things listed and one of the items on the list was about Horn & Hardart. I hadn’t seen anything like that in years. And I’m from a generation who missed the heyday.
But I still remember going Horn & Hardart in NY when I was a kid in the late 1970’s.
Horn & Hardart was a food services company of the USA noted for operating the first food service automats in Philadelphia and New York City.
Philadelphia’s Joseph Horn (1861–1941) and German-born, New Orleans-raised, Frank Hardart opened their first restaurant together in Philadelphia on December 22, 1888. The small (11 x 17 feet) lunchroom at 39 South Thirteenth Street had no tables, only a counter with 15 stools.
By introducing Philadelphia to New Orleans-style French-drip coffee, which Hardart promoted as their “gilt-edge” brew, they made their tiny luncheonette a local attraction. News of the coffee spread, and the business flourished. They incorporated as the Horn & Hardart Baking Company in 1898.
Frankly, I wish they were still around today. I remember the food always being different. It wasn’t always great. But it was different. Unfortunately, they are no longer around.
The last New York Horn & Hardart Automat (on the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Third Avenue) closed in April 1991.