Things that are no more- Dave’s Luncheonette on Canal Street.
Is there egg in an egg cream? The best egg cream in New York? When you get mentioned in a Lou Reed song you join select few; Marty Scorsese films, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dave’s Luncheonette on canal Street.
In Lou Reed’s song, Egg Cream, he mentioned a few places and Dave’s is one. Dave’s Luncheonette on the corner of Broadway and Canal Street was a throwback: the marble counter, the stools, the colors. It was like stepping back in time.
While looking for photo’s of Dave’s for this, i came across this amazing picture by Robert Carrithers. For the first time in over 25 years I was standing at that counter again. That photo brought up such memories. I’m grateful Robert let me share it here with you.
In the 80’s, Dave’s was an oasis. Frequently I’d be walking from the village to ride the Staten Island Ferry and stopping at Dave’s for an egg cream was heaven. At that time, the Chinatown area was still desolate and not the hub for tourists seeking fake name brand goods. But Dave’s… ahhh I could walk up to that glass windowed counter that you know had been there for decades and Id order my vanilla YEAH vanilla egg cream. Sue me, not chocolate, rebel all the way, even for an egg cream. If I was hungry, I’d order a hot dog. Typical griddle hot dog with good spicy mustard.
For me and Mr. Reed, Dave’s was always all about the egg cream. That Styrofoam cup would be put in front of me and that first sip getting through the foam… No Straw needed, you needed to taste and feel that silky goodness. The egg cream at Dave’s Luncheonette had a flavor like they had just made a real cherry coke with the same spoon that they used to mix up the milk, seltzer and syrup. It wasn’t a bad thing, just what made an egg cream at Dave’s unique.
This time it wasn’t gentrification that killed part of the city. I can remember the sticker on the door with the info about taxes. There was going to be an auction. I really wanted to go. Even at that time at that age, I was conscious of fading and disappearing history and wanted a piece of it. I had a final exam the day of the auction and now only have my memories and Lou Reed’s song.
In the meantime, we can still go to Gem Spa or Eisenberg’s for a great egg cream.
Places that are no more… Dave’s Luncheonette