Bickford's, Inc. history is provided by:

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1922 - 1982

Founded by

Samuel Longley Bickford (1885 - 1959)

Cafeterias <> Coffee Shops <> Service Restaurants <> Drive-In Restaurants <> Specialty Restaurants <> Industrial Food Services <> Institutional Food Services <> Packaged Ready-To-Serve Foods <> Own Brands <> Private Brands <> Bake Shops

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"Breakfast at Bickford's"

(From: The New York Times - N Y Today)

Index of Locations and Photos

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"The Bickford Story" - pages 1 & 2 ------ pages 3 & 4 ------ pages 5 & 6 ------ pages 7 & 8 ------ pages 9 & 10 ------ pages 11 & 12

1923 Newspaper Review ------- Books Movies Plays ------- Winston Churchill ------ Herbert Hoover ------ "Do You Know Him?"

An Old Custom ------ SLB Memorial ------ "Christmas Flight" ------ New Products

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 The New York Times, N Y Today (12/10/2000)

"Breakfast at Bickford's"

Just this summer, a Bickford's cafeteria reappeared after 35 years at one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in New York, Eighth Avenue and 34th Street.

If you lived in New York anytime from the 1930's through the 1960's, chances are you knew Bickford's. They were up and down Broadway, on Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street in Brooklyn, Main Street and Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

"Breakfast at Bickford's is an old New York custom," a 1964 guidebook said. "In these centrally located, speedy-service, modestly-priced restaurants a torrent of traffic is sustained for a generous span of hours with patrons who live so many different lives on so many different shifts."

To say the least. The best minds of Allen Ginsberg's generation "sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's," he wrote in "Howl." The Beat Generation muse, Herbert Huncke, practically inhabited the Bickford's on West 42nd Street. Walker Evans photographed Bickford's customers, and Andy Warhol rhapsodized about Bickford's waitresses. Bickford's made its way into the work of writers as diverse as Woody Allen and William Styron.

Cheesecake, apple pie and rice pudding were some of the favorites, recalled Jeffrey S. Bickford. His grandfather, Samuel, founded the company, and his father, Harold, was president. The third-generation Bickford, who is now a financial forecaster, worked in the branch on the Avenue of the Americas and 44th Street when he was a teenager, cracking eggs, washing dishes and waiting on tables.

"The food was good and the prices were reasonable," said Mr. Bickford, whose Web site ( contains photographs, contemporary articles about the chain and a directory of the branches that existed as of 1959.

Beginning in the 60's, Bickford's fell victim to rising labor costs and rising crime, which kept people home after dark. "The night business disappeared," Mr. Bickford said. "It just totally evaporated."

So did Bickford's. There were 48 Bickford's in New York in 1960, 42 in 1970 and 2 in 1980. Then they vanished altogether.

Or so it seemed until five months ago, when a failing metal facade was removed from the Adult Entertainment Center at 488 Eighth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets, to reveal: Bickford's.

Bickford's, trim and tidy in white terra cotta, its distinctive script logo in a stepped entablature over a field of Art Deco chevrons; serving up fur-lined handcuffs instead of lamb stew, to be sure, but unmistakably Bickford's nonetheless.

"It's a gift back to the street of a beautiful facade," said William K. Dobbs, a lawyer and amateur preservationist who has immersed himself in Bickfordiana ever since discovering the old facade. He determined that the branch at 488 Eighth Avenue, whose telephone number was once CHIckering-3339, went out of business in the mid-60's. It was replaced by a restaurant called Snacktime, which was supplanted by the adult book store.

 Initial Public Offering for stock ownership: September, 1929 (This IPO was already sold out on offer date.)

From the 1929 prospectus at the time of the IPO, Mr. S. L. Bickford, President of the Corporation, summarizes from his accompanying letter as follows:

History and Business: Bickford's Inc. to be incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, is acquiring the business of five corporations, all previously controlled by the same interests and operating a total of 34 lunch rooms. Twenty-four of the lunch rooms operate in Greater New York, while the balance are located in and around Boston, Mass. In both Boston and New York City, the Corporation operates its own bakery and commissary.

The lunch rooms operated are of the self-service type and serve a "limited bill of fare," which makes possible the maximum use of equipment and a rapid turnover. Emphasis is placed on serving meals of high quality at moderate cost.

The business has operated a bonus system, and has encouraged stock ownership by employees with the result that employee relations have always been satisfactory.

Purpose of Issue: The entire proceeds derived from the present financing will remain in the business, and the greater portion of the proceeds is to be used for expansion purposes.

Management and Control: The management and control of the Corporation will continue with those who have successfully built up this business. All of the present executives have been officers of the predecessor companies for seven years or longer and will own substantial amounts of both the $2.50 Convertible Preference and Common Stocks.

Listing: Application will be made to list the $2.50 Cumulative Preferred and Common Stocks of this Corporation on the New York Curb Market.

Public Offering

34,000 Shares $2.50 Cumulative Convertible Preference Stock

34,000 Shares Common Stock

Unit: 1 share $2.50 Cumulative Convertible Preference Stock and 1 share Common Stock

Price $56. per Unit

First series Preference Stock shall consist of 52,804 shares.

Preference Stock (No Par Value)............................Authorized 75,000 shares ...................... Issued 52,804 shares

Common Stock (No Par Value)...............................Authorized 500,000 shares .................... Issued 248,744 shares



Main: General Offices, Commissary & Bakery

Formerly located at: 43-31 Court Square, Long Island City, New York

- Bickford's Inc. and subsidiary companies as of December 31st, 1959 -

Bickford's, Inc. - North-East Coast Locations

 New York, NY



  • Interior view (1930 - 40's)
  • Cafeterias

  • 1259 Broadway
  • 1914 Broadway
  • 2552 Broadway
  • 2870 Broadway
  • 3381 Broadway
  • 3540 Broadway
  • 4259 Broadway
  • 4766 Broadway
  • 459 Lexington Avenue
  • 580 Lexington Avenue
  • 505 Fifth Avenue
  • 429 Seventh Avenue
  • 556 Seventh Avenue
  • 255 Eighth Avenue
  • 488 Eighth Avenue
  • 427 Ninth Avenue
  • 81 West 23rd Street
  • 225 West 42nd Street
  • 251 West 50th Street
  • 102 West 86th Street
  • Coffee Shops

    Ray's Food Shop

    • 157 West 14th Street

    Bick's Food Shop

    • 736 Ninth Avenue




    • 390 East Fordham Road
    • 517 East Tremont Avenue
    • 1065 East Tremont Avenue
    • 2435 Grand Concourse
    • 534 Willis Avenue




    Coffee Shops

    • 425 Fulton Street
    • 2847 Church Avenue

    Ray's Food Shop

    • 1720 Church Avenue


    Longley's Cafeterias

    • 160-16 Jamaica Avenue
    • 40-18 Main Street
    • 46-04 Queens Boulevard
    • 74-02 Roosevelt Avenue
    • 22-55 31st Street
    • 37-66 82nd Street

    Coffee Shops

    • 45-31 Court Square
    • 60-22 Roosevelt Avenue
    • 169-02 Hillside Avenue

    Bick's Food Shop

    • 153-41 Hillside Avenue



    • 25-02 Francis Lewis Blvd.


    Yonkers, N.Y.


    • 7 South Broadway

    Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

    Coffee Shop

    • 3 1/2 South 4th Avenue

    Jersey City, N.J.

    Coffee Shop


    Hotel Holland

    • 8-10 Journal Square

    Patterson, N.J.

    Bickford's Cafeteria

    • 244 Market Street

    Baltimore, MD.


    • Towson Plaza Shopping Center



    • 3 North Calvert Street

    Commissary and Bakery

    • 125-129 North High Street

     Pittsburg, Pa.

    Service Restaurants

    Bickford's Oliver Restaurant

    • 527 Smithfield Street

    Bickford's Oliver 212 Restaurant

    • 212 Oliver Ave

    King Edward Restaurant

    • 212 North Craig Street

    Royal York Restaurant

    • 3955 Bigelow Boulevard

    Coffee Shop

    Bickford's Oliver Corner

    • 6th and Smithfiled Streets

    Drive-in Restaurants

    Mooo Shop #1

    • 1840 Belmar Avenue Youngstown, Ohio

    Mooo Shop #2

    • 1749 Washington Road Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Mooo Shop #3

    • 10499 Frankstown Road Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Mooo Shop #4

    • Lancaster Pike and Sproul Road Vilanova, Pa.

    Mooo Shop #5

    • 1900 Berlin Turnpike Wethersfield, Ct.

    Hayes-Bickford's Lunch System, Inc.

    General Offices, Commissary & Bakery

    32 Garrison Street, Boston, Ma.

    Hayes-Bickford's Lunch System, Inc.

    General Offices, Commissary & Bakery

    • 32 Garrison Street, Boston, Ma.


    Boston, Ma.


    • 675 Atlantic Avenue
    • 272 Boylston Street
    • 685 Boylston Street
    • *1040 Boylston Street
    • 133 Causeway Street
    • 8 Dock Square
    • 26 Huntington Avenue
    • *293 Huntington Avenue & 38 Gainsboro Ave. (annex)
    • 185 Tremont Street


    • 116 Cambridge Street

    *Retail Bake Shops located in Cafeterias at same address.


    Allston, Ma.


    • 151 Brighton Avenue
    • 1101 Commonwealth Avenue

    Brookline, Ma.


    • 1370 Beacon Street


    • 966 Commonwealth Avenue, Cambridge, Ma.


    • 546 Massachusetts Avenue
    • 638 Massachusetts Avenue
    • 1326 Massachusetts Avenue

    Original Pancake House

    • 524 Newbury Street, U.S. Route #1 (North of Boston)

    Bickford's National Food Management Service, Inc.

    General Office: 45-31 Court Square, Long Island City, N.Y.

    Industrial & Institutional Food Service


    American Bank Note Co.

    • Bronx, N.Y.

    Automatic Switch Co.

    • Florham Park, N.J.

    Brillo Manufacturing Co.

    • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    CIBA Co., Inc.

    • Fairlawn, N.J.

    Columbia Broadcasting System

    • New York, N.Y.

    Wilbur B. Driver Co.

    • Newark, N.J.

    Eastman Kodak Co.

    • Flushing, New York
    • Fairlawn, N.J.

    Electro-Mec Laboratories, Inc.

    • Long Island City, N.Y.

    Fisher-Scientific Co.

    • Fairlawn, N.J.

    General Foods Corp.

    • Tarrytown, N.Y.

    General Motors Training Centers

    • Dedham, Ma.
    • Pittsburg, Pa.
    • Tarrytown, N.Y.
    • Union, N.J.

    Henry Heide Co.

    • New York, N.Y.

    International Business Machines Corp.

    • 112-116 East Post Road
    • White Plaines, N.Y.
    • 2 William Street
    • White Plains, N.Y.

    Joseph A. Kaplan & Sons

    • Yonkers, N.Y.

    Kresge-Newark, Inc. (K-Mart)

    • Newark, N.J.



    Manufactures Trust Co.

    • 44 Wall Street, N.Y.
    • 55 Bond Street, N.Y.

    Minerals & Chemicals Corp. (3M)

    • Menlo Park, N.J.

    Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company

    • Boston, Ma.

    Murray Manufacturing Co.

    • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    National Association of Manufacturers

    • New York, N.Y.

    New York Academy of Medicine

    • New York, N.Y.

    Pathe Laboratories, Inc.

    • New York, N.Y.

    Radio Corporation of America

    • Clark, N.J.

    Revlon, Inc.

    • Edison, N.J.
    • Passaic, N. J.

    Rosenbaum Co. of Pittsburgh

    • Pittsburgh, Pa.

    The F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.

    • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Socony Paint Products Co.

    • Metuchen, N.J.

    Standard Motor Products, Co.

    • Long Island City, N.Y.

    Trade Facilities Co.

    • Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Westinghouse Electric Corp.

    • Meter Division, Newark, N. J.
    • Research Division, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    WICC-TV Station

    • Pittsburgh, Pa.

    The H. A. Wilson Co.

    • Union, N.J.


    Barnard School For Boys

    • Bronx, N.Y.

    Delbarton School

    • Morristown, N.J.

    The Emerson School

    • New York, N.Y.

    Riverdale Country Day School

    • Riverdale, N.Y.

    St. David's School

    • New York, N. Y.

    St. John's University

    • Downtown Cafeteria, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    • Downtown Snack Bar, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    • Hillcrest Cafeteria, Jamaica, N.Y.
    • Hillcrest Snack Bar, Jamaica, N.Y.
    • Faculty House, Jamaica, N. Y.

    St. Francis College

    • Loretto, Pa.

    Scarsdale Junior High School

    • Scarsdale, N. Y.

    Scarsdale Senior High School

    • Scarsdale, N. Y.

    United National International School

    • Jamaica, N. Y.
    • New York, N. Y.


    Knickerbocker Hospital

    • New York, N. Y.

    St. Joseph's Hospital

    • Lorain, Ohio


    Bickford's Inc. - South East Coast and West Coast Locations

    M & M Cafeterias, Inc.

    Miami, Florida

    Foster Lunch System, Ltd.

    San Francisco, California

     M & M Cafeterias, Inc.

    General Offices:

    • 127 N.E. 2nd Avenue Miami, Fl.

    M & M Cafeterias

    • *163rd Street Shopping Center North Miami, Fl.
    • 127 N.E. 2nd Ave. Miami, Fl.
    • 4451 N.W. 36th Street, Miami Springs, Fl.
    • 124 S.E. 1st Ave. Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
    • 2394 East Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
    • 1741 Main Street Sarasota, Fl

    *Cocktail Lounge and Package Store located at same address.

    Coffee Shop

    • 111 N.E. 1st Avenue Miami, Florida


    Biscayne Villas Motel

    • 12138 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, Florida


    Cypress Inn

    • 1740 Second Street Sarasota, Florida

    Foster Lunch System, Ltd.

    General Offices, Commissary & Bakery

    • 986 Mission St. San Francisco, CA.

    San Francisco, CA.

    FOSTER'S Cafeterias

    • 2263 Chestnut St.
    • *731 Clement St.
    • 302 Eddy Street
    • 166 Embarcadaro
    • 48 Fifth Street
    • 99 First Street
    • 18 Geary Street
    • 366 Geary Street
    • 5700 Geary Blvd.
    • 400 Golden Gate Avenue
    • 901 Larkin Street
    • 114 Market Street
    • 451 Market Street
    • 1095 Market St.
    • Market & 5th Sts. in J.C. Penny Co.
    • 625 Mission Street
    • 986 Mission Street
    • 1200 Polk Street
    • 470 Sutter Street
    • 97 Stonestown
    • Geary & Stockton Streets in I. Magnin Co. Store
    • Sutter Street at Grant in White House Store
    • Russ Building- 235 Montgomery St. Cafeteria, Snack Bar, Coffee Shop

    *Retail Bake Shops located in Cafeteria at same address

    Moar's Cafeteria

    • 33 Powell Street

    Service Restaurant

    The Cliff House at Seal Rocks

    Drive-in Restaurant

    Otts Drive-in

    • 550 Bay Street

    Coffee Shops

    The Pie Shop

    • 736 Great Highway

    The Bean Pot

    • 780 Great Highway

    The It Shop

    • 754 Great Highway

    Playland Restaurant

    • 860 Great Highway


    • 800 Great Highway


    San Francisco, Ca.

    Retail Bake Shops

    • *731 Clement Street
    • 40 Fifth Street
    • *99 First Street
    • *18 Geary Street
    • 763 Market Street
    • *1095 Market Street
    • 986 Mission Street
    • 470 Sutter Street
    • 150 West Portal Avenue

    Private Banquet Hall

    The Surf Club

    • 660 Great Highway


    Oakland, Ca.


    • 1236 Broadway

    Retail Bake Shop

    • *1236 Broadway

    Berkeley, Ca.

    Retail Bake Shop

    • 2125 University Avenue

    San Mateo, Ca.

    Moar's Cafeteria

    • 70 Hillsdale Plaza

    Original Pancake House

    • 29th Avenue & El Camino Real

    *Retail Bake Shops located in Cafeteria at same address