One-Cent Coffee Stand Fed Hungry New Yorkers Back in the Day

Posted On Mon, March 14, 2016 By

Posted On Mon, March 14, 2016 By In History

The corner coffee cart is a well-known part of New York City’s landscape, but it may have been first actualized as a much more charitable endeavor. Back in 1887, the first one-cent coffee stand for poor New Yorkers opened on Ann Street off Broadway. Standing in front of City Hall’s high-octane newspaper offices of Park Row, St. Andrews One Cent Coffee Stand served a half-pint of coffee with milk sugar and a slice of bread for just a penny.

St. Andrews One Cent Coffee Stand, Clementine Lamadrid, Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine St. Andrews One Cent Coffee Stand, Clementine Lamadrid, Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine St. Andrews One Cent Coffee Stand, Clementine Lamadrid, Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine

After just a few months business was booming and four more coffee stands were opened on busy intersections throughout downtown. In addition to coffee, the cart also served hearty fair including beef soup, pork and beans, fish cakes, and fish chowder. However, no item sold from the cart cost more than one cent. Unlike today’s sidewalk carts servicing busy New Yorkers, St. Andrews was catering to a different customer.

St. Andrews’ clientele was the city’s down and out, newsboys, immigrants, poor families and street waifs. The cart was founded by Clementine Lamadrid to help feed struggling residents who might otherwise have been too proud to accept free meals. At the time, the city offered little assistance to those in need, and one-cent coffee and food was somewhat affordable for a street kid or jobless adult.

It appears that the old-school food stands only lasted through the 1930s, but they certainly left their mark helping thousands of hungry New Yorkers.

[Via Ephemeral New York ]

All images via Ephemeral New York

RELATED:

 

 

Tags :

Neighborhoods : Financial District

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.