May 20, 2020

Tudor City's Roof Restaurant, Revisited

Another look back at Tudor City's sole attempt at rooftop dining, the restaurant atop No. 25 that ran for two seasons in 1936-37. Above, a rare photo showing the restaurant in operation from a 1937 issue of Tudor City View. It illustrates a story in the magazine's Letters to the Editor column,  reprinted below. 

To the manager of the Tudor Tower Roof Garden: I feel obligated to express my appreciation of the pleasure I derived from dining on the roof last night. The food was good, the service pleasant, and the view simply marvelous. I was surprised at the small number of people taking advantage of this wonderful setting. Why? I am even surprised that it's possible to get a table without making reservations.

Having visited several of the other dining roofs in the city, I feel the Tudor Tower roof equals all and surpasses many. . .Very truly yours, Miss T. C. B.

[The editor responds]. Thank you for your letter. The night you visited the roof must have been a cool one, as people stay away when it's cool. And despite many notices placed around Tudor City, many tenants don't know that the roof is in operation. Last year, we had to add tables to accommodate guests. It may be that this delightful spot is not being properly publicized. Here are some questions that all can be answered in the affirmative.

Do you know that it is the highest open roof in New York? That it's open for dinner from 6:00 to 9:30, with no minimum or cover charge? That after dinner one may linger and partake of soothing drinks until midnight? That the roof is a wonderful place for a snack and a last look at the stars before retiring? That, in the event of inclement weather, there is a large studio room ‒ the South Studio ‒ where one may enjoy dinner and still have an excellent view?

If you have any more questions, Miss T. C. B., drop me a line.

Curious about the South Studio, this blog examined another photo of the rooftop, above, in a view looking north. 
Zooming in, we believe the South Studio space is the tented area at the top left corner. It doesn't look like much, but certainly fine enough for a snack and a last look at the stars before retiring.

Update: Reader Jeffrey Jones suggests another possible site for the South Studio space ‒ No. 25's south penthouse (assuming it was vacant at the time). This makes sense as the penthouses were then referred to as "studios." Below, a close-up of the windowed space at center.
Apparently business never picked up, and the rooftop closed for good at the end of the 1937 season. More about the restaurant here.


  1. One question: What do you think the tall, pillar shaped objects are in the foreground of the photo, next to the railing? If this were a modern photo, I'd think that they were heating units.

    Also, having seen that terrace from the sundeck (pre-construction), I could have sworn that there are still one or two of those round tables still up there.

    1. They are floor standing neon lights.

  2. Good question, your blogmaster has no idea!