at 234 W 44th St, New York, 10036 United States
Sardi's is a Continental restaurant located at 234 West 44th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue) in the Theater District in Manhattan, in New York City. Known for the hundreds of caricatures of show-business celebrities that adorn its walls, Sardi's opened at its current location on March 5, 1927.Creation and early yearsMelchiorre Pio Vincenzo "Vincent" Sardi, Sr. (born in S. Marzano Oliveto, Italy on December 23, 1885 – died November 19, 1969) and his wife Eugenia ("Jenny") Pallera (born in Castell'Alfero, Italy on July 14, 1889) opened their first eatery, The Little Restaurant, in the basement of 246 West 44th Street in 1921. When that building was slated for demolition in 1926 (to build the St. James Theatre), they accepted an offer from the theater magnates, the Shubert brothers, to relocate to a new building the brothers were erecting down the block. The new restaurant, Sardi's, opened March 5, 1927.When business slowed after the move, Vincent Sardi sought a gimmick to attract customers. Recalling the movie star caricatures that decorated the walls of Joe Zelli’s, a Parisian restaurant and jazz club, Sardi decided to recreate that effect in his establishment. He hired a Russian refugee named Alex Gard (1898–1948) (born Alexis Kremkoff in Kazan, Russia) to draw Broadway celebrities. Sardi and Gard drew up a contract that stated Gard would make the caricatures in exchange for one meal per day at the restaurant. The first official caricature by Gard was of Ted Healy, the vaudevillian of Three Stooges fame. When Sardi’s son, Vincent Sardi, Jr. (1915–2007), took over restaurant operations in 1947, he offered to change the terms of Gard's agreement. Gard refused and continued to draw the caricatures in exchange for meals until his death.
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Sardis's Restaurant is performing website upgrades.