We rescue vintage menu art. We seek out menus from restaurants, bars and saloons, cafes, diners, drive-ins, nightclubs and hotels that are on the brink of being thrown away. Some are damaged, so we both physically and digitally repair the wear and tear of time. We get rid of coffee and gravy stains, erase creases and repair paper tears. Some menus are repaired by professional art restorers and others are cleaned up by talented digital artists. Not too much. We want them to show their age – it is part of their charm.
We also work with a select group of private collectors who share our passion for vintage menu art and who have generously opened their collections to us. We also work with public institutions such as libraries and the Culinary Institute of America. Our collection of menus from all over the world dates from the late 19th century through the 1970s. Our favorite period is from the years 1930–1960. This was a boom time when proprietors hired celebrated artists and highly talented illustrators to create stunning imagery to market their restaurants and themselves. It was a time when fish smoked pipes and cigars. Prawns and cockroaches wore top hats and spats. Voluptuous brunettes sat astride lobsters and devil like women drained their cocktail glasses in New York bars.
Our mission is to make sure these historic and imaginative images which record the colorful history of dining out are not forgotten and are seen by more people.