March 16, 2017

RESTAURANTS: The Terrace

Continuing our survey of Tudor City restaurants of yore, today we turn our attention to The Terrace, the complex's most enduring restaurant with an impressive 27-year run (1953-1980).

1959 ad
The Terrace was set in the No. 45 space that was originally the Tudor City Restaurantand then The Cove. Why did it succeed when its predecessors failed? The answer lies in the advertisement at left ‒ the newly opened U.N. provided a new client base, and The Terrace was busiest at lunchtime and at the cocktail hour.

In 1977, the restaurant added live piano music and underwent a renovation. According to the New York Times: "The bistro has just had a complete face-lift and cheerfully looks it. Entering the snug, low-ceilinged lounge, you see spring-green walls with city panorama photos by a line of tables. The bar is a comfortable roost, with a stone-and-beam decor and a courteous, red-jacketed server. A couple of dry vodka martinis were $1.75 each. If the transplanted bar looks familiar, it should. Here, in new quarters, is the famed Little Bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where the dry martini was first concocted."

Ultimately this reinvention proved fruitless, and The Terrace shuttered in 1980. It was replaced in 1986 by the rollicking Cinco de Mayo, subject of a future post.

Above and below, 1960s-era postcard views of The Terrace's Mad Men‒esque dining room and bar.


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