À la carte

101  Bernarr Macfadden One Cent Restaurant  NYC c1931.jpg


One-Cent Restaurant


À la carte


New York City


ca. 1931


Bernarr Macfadden (1869–1955) was an early advocate of a healthy diet, vigorous exercise, and the pure health laws. He promoted his ideas in a magazine, Physical Culture, which became the foundation of his publishing empire. When the Depression hit, he used his fortune to establish a charitable foundation that provided nutritious meals at very low prices. In December of 1930, the first One-Cent Restaurant opened in New York. There were eventually six such eateries in the city. A penny purchased items like two slices of whole wheat bread or a cup of “raisin coffee” that provided iron in liquid form. A complete dinner cost ten cents. Notices like “Lots of Room,” “All Welcome,” and “Ladies Invited” convey a spirit of hospitality.