7 Responses

  1. Al Cyone says:

    Alas, I never ate in the Oyster Bar but I do remember eating at the Automat across the street (80 East 42 Street). It was in, or close to, the Airlines Terminal building where you could buy plane tickets and then take a bus (probably one of Carey’s) to the airport.

    • William Hays says:

      There was another nearby Horn & Hardart ‘Automat’ on Lex at about 46th St.. The food wasn’t really great, but the service was unique.

  2. Al Cyone says:

    Speaking of oyster bars, after the devastating effects of SuperStorm Sandy several writers commented on the depleted oyster beds of the Hudson estuary and suggested that their revival might be part of a future protection plan. Here’s a teaser:

    Just as corals protect tropical islands, these oyster beds created undulation and contour on the harbor bottom that broke up wave action before it could pound the shore with its full force. But 400 years of poor behavior on the part of humans have ruined all that. As Mark Kurlansky details in his fine book “The Big Oyster,” during their first 300 years on these shores colonists nearly ate the wild creatures out of existence.

  3. William Hays says:

    Good news, methinks: the oyster population is recovering in, of all places, the Gowanus Canal! It will be a while before they are safe to eat. I’d like to see the NYSDEC (nee ‘The Conservation Dept.’) place some emphasis on these old oyster beds. Let the feds make it a ‘superfund’ site and remove all the unfortunates in ‘cement shoes’ from the canal.

  4. My great uncle was the manager of the Grand Central Oyster Bar. I have pictures of him. His name was Sydney Oliver Sampson. Would you like me to send the pictures to you? Also, in any of the items in your collection is his name mentioned?

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