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.
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
- The Lost Subway Line of the 1939-1940 World’s Fair
- Vaults Under the Brooklyn Bridge Once Held Private Wine Cellars
- Photo From 1918 Shows a Towering Pyramid of 12,000 German Helmets in Front of Grand Central
Tags : One-Cent Coffee Stand
Neighborhoods : Financial District