Faded lettering, shown on the 124th St. side of this blocklong building, marks a former Kress 5-10-25 cent store. The far side of the building (not shown) is home to a T-shirt and sneaker outlet, one of many along the 125th St. corridor. The massive barrel vault, however, is a legacy of an older and much grander establishment.
The Pabst Harlem Music Hall and Restaurant opened its doors in 1900. Like the Pabst Hotel, built one year earlier on the site of present-day Times Square, the Pabst Harlem figured in a nationwide marketing program to identify the brewery with prestige properties and advance "the cause of Pabst beer." A contemporary postcard view reveals a restaurant that could accommodate 1,400 customers at once, all dining in grand fashion. The PBR would be flowing, too, you'd imagine, though perhaps only in a side room off the glamorous main hall.
The Pabst Harlem closed in 1917, not long before the advent of Prohibition.
Pabst Harlem Music Hall and Restaurant
243 West 124th St. (Frederick Douglass-Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds.), Manhattan