Wednesday, December 30

The one-cent coffee stands for poor New Yorkers


"The first booth opened on Ann Street off Broadway in 1887, close to City Hall and the high-octane newspaper offices of Park Row. Called St. Andrew’s One Cent Coffee Stand, it served a half-pint of coffee (plus milk, sugar, and a slice of bread) for a penny. Within months, four more one-cent coffee stands appeared on busy downtown intersections. The menu included hearty fare like beef soup, pork and beans, fish cakes, and fish chowder—with no item costing more than a cent. The concept sounds like a 19th century version of today’s sidewalk coffee and donut cart. But St. Andrew’s wasn’t catering to busy commuters. The clientele was the city’s down and out—the 'newsboys, emigrants, poor families, and street waifs,' as one writer put it in Frank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine. ..."
Ephemeral New York
1¢ coffee
Half a pint of coffee, with milk and sugar and a slice of bread, 1 cent

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