Although the brothers did not live to see the 20th century, their namesake business was successful enough to commission this headquarters building, completed in 1913. A menu from that same year, by the handsome St. Denis Hotel, offered a pint of "Guinness's Stout, E&J Burke" for the then-stately price of 30 cents. The building served as headquarters and for storage only briefly, however, until 1922, when the company moved its Prohibition-era enterprises from Manhattan to Long Island City, Queens.
E&J Burke resumed brewing operations in the 1930s, after Repeal, but despite the company's strong ties to Guinness, its fortunes never fully recovered. The company ceased operations in 1954 — only a few years after Honda (whose Westside dealership appears in the first photo) began a similar journey, kickstarting a business overseas before expanding to these shores.
E&J Burke Surviving signage, 616 West 46th St. (Eleventh-Twelfth Aves.), Manhattan
The 2016 Tony Award winner for best play is set on Grand St. near Eldridge, if I heard the dialogue correctly, but the artwork outside the Helen Hayes wanders farther afield through Manhattan's Chinatown, along East Broadway especially. This photo montage is more fanciful than literal, not only for its juxtapositions but also for its hint of harmony. Onstage, during a holiday meal in a small city apartment, the fabric of a "happy family" wears thin all too quickly.
From across the way, this sign is totally hidden by the awning of Hello Deli; it's visible only from up close. Perhaps this older showbiz-themed business premiered sometime in the 1960s. Exactly when, and just how long a run it had before the lights went dark, is unclear.
Special: a Cuban sandwich with German ham and Swiss cheese on Italian bread, accompanied by French fries, promoted on a Dutch-branded menu board, served at an Irish bar that proudly flies Old Glory. Didn't try it — I was on my way to meet some friends for Japanese.
McHale's Bar & Grill 251 West 51st St. (Seventh-Eighth Aves.), Manhattan 212-957-5138 www.McHalesPub.com
Offered here in a double dose, syrup of figs is the generic name for a type of laxative; the brand name itself is illegible. Previously, elsewhere, an ad for what seemed to be a different brand was accompanied by an inadvertent and very apt visual aid.
Syrup of Figs Surviving signage, West 56th St. near the southeast corner of Eighth Ave., Manhattan
In Turkey, the classic simit resembles a heavily encrusted sesame bagel, with proportions that suggest a game of ring toss. Though a simit loaf loses traditional appeal, it gains in versatility: It more easily accepts fillings like olive ($4.25), and, when need be, more securely holds a sandwich.
Simit Sarayi 435 Fifth Ave. (38th-39th Sts.), Manhattan 646-922-7876 (First U.S. location of this Turkey-based worldwide chain) www.SimitSarayi.com/en_US
(This venue is closed.) Last meal at the "Polish Tea Room.": a roast beef and chopped liver club sandwich (above and first photo below, $11.25). Previously, from several of numerous visits: matzo brie (rhymes with "Midwood High," and more often spelled matzoh brei), bland despite lots of salt and pepper; a pastrami sandwich; cheese blintzes. It's the trio of blintzes, also filled with cherry or blueberry, that many folks say they'll miss most.