I attended the Global Woman New York Summit at The Producer’s Club on West 44th Street, ending at Sardi’s. I’ve been a member of The Global Woman Club since 2018, and it’s been great. But one of the most excellent parts of the Club is the women I have met from all over the world who are also part of the Club, and so now we get to Sardi’s.
Broadway Theater Culture
Elisabeth Villiger Toufexis, Global Director of Global Woman Cyprus, and Susanne Fagerstrom, Global Director of Global Woman Stockholm, flew to New York City to attend the conference. I couldn’t resist taking them to one of my favorite restaurants, Sardis, to share part of the Broadway theater culture with them.
Here’s a bit about the iconic, century-old restaurant before I post photos. In 1921, Vincent Sardi, Sr., and his wife Eugenia opened the restaurant we know today. Inspired by Joe Zelli’s Restaurant in Paris, Sardi Sr. hired Alex Gard to draw caricatures of the famous theatre folk who patronized his establishment in exchange for one free meal a day. Today there are more than 1200 portraits on the walls of Sardi’s of New York City’s cultural elite.
Today, the restaurant continuers the caricature tradition. Each year Richard Baratz draws approximately 20 new portraits unveiled at a champagne reception attended by friends of the honoree and the media. Among the hundreds of recent caricature wall additions are Christian Slater, Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg, Charlton Heston, Brooke Shields, Nathan Lane, and Dame Edna.
Dennis King once remarked of Sardi’s, “It is much like the Mermaid Tavern of Shakespeare’s day. It is the greatest theatrical restaurant in the world. But it is more than a restaurant. It is a message center, a lover’s rendezvous, a casting center, and even a psychiatrist’s couch.” It also gave birth to a popular radio show in 1946, “Luncheon at Sardi’s!”
If you’re in the Theatre District, don’t hesitate to visit Sardi’s, but I recommend making a reservation first. Sardi’s is Sardi’s, after all!