Eat in a restaurant these days, and you probably don’t give the menu a second glance. But it wasn’t always like that. Menus used to be miniature works of art.
The golden age of menu design spanned the 1930s to the 1960s, when restaurant owners marketed their food and themselves like buccaneers. They hired artists to create lobster-riding mermaids, cigar-chomping swordfish and gun-toting cockerels for their menus. It was a time when chefs carried cheery ducks in saucepans, eggs bade you good morning and seals in dinner suits brought you champagne.
Reminisce—North America’s top-selling nostalgia magazine—has featured some of these gastro-antiques that have been restored and preserved. Take a peek:
This 19th century menu from the Café Anglais, which is signed by the artist who drew it, features the head chef feeding the man in the moon.
Will King’s Koffee Kup menu recalls the pulp noir style that defined California’s cities in 1930’s pop-culture (especially the “Open all Night” tagline).
A fancy restaurant in the Newark Airport that attracted more foodies than travelers? Times really have changed.
For more fun-to-read features inspired by the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, early 70s and beyond, check out the website: http://www.reminisce.com/ or download digital editions for the Nook, Kindle or Google Play & Android.