Exploring the Secret Collection of Vintage Restaurant-Ware @ Fishs Eddy

Fri Apr 26 2024 at 05:00 pm to 06:30 pm

Fishs Eddy | New York

New York Adventure Club
Publisher/HostNew York Adventure Club
Exploring the Secret Collection of Vintage Restaurant-Ware @ Fishs Eddy
New York Adventure Club | www.AdventureClub.com
About this Event

Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, each piece of industrial dishware coming out of an American factory was designed by a team of expert craftspeople and built to last — they called it restaurant-ware. During both world wars, these factories also turned their efforts toward making dishware for the military. After World War II, manufacturing ramped up even more, as people traveled across the country needing more hotels and roadside diners.

But when globalization and mass manufacturing eventually forced many American factories to close, their products was either thrown away or hidden away in the basements of wholesalers. Fortunately, the store owner of one of New York's most eclectic shops made a business around selling this durable dishware, and amassed a timeless collection of plates, glasses, and other items dating back over a century. From plates made for historic railroad cars and private social clubs to serving-ware created for iconic roadside diners, it's time to uncover one of New York's most interesting unofficial museums.

Join New York Adventure Club for a special tour of the secret collection of 20th century vintage restaurant-ware at Fishs Eddy, a New York institution dating back to the 1980s just north of Union Square that sells fun and quirky everyday dinnerware essentials at wholesale prices.

Led by Fishs Eddy store owner Julie Gaines, our unique experience surrounding her extensive personal tablewear collection decorated with beautifully-designed logos, crests, and other insignia will include:

  • The origin story of Fishs Eddy and where Julie and her co-founder got the idea for the store's name
  • A tour through the second floor vintage restaurant-ware collection with historic items such as mugs from grand hotels, original molds for creating designs on dishware, and plates made for historic organizations like the Salvation Army and Girl Scouts
  • An opportunity to interact with century-old items from the American-made collection — after all, they're (nearly) indestructible
  • The challenges facing Fishs Eddy from runaway Manhattan rent to the closure of America's last restaurant-ware manufacturer
  • A brief walkthrough of the first floor to see how the store's layout matches Julie's vision for a fun shopping experience

No experience of the vintage restaurant-ware collection at Fishs Eddy is ever the same.

Click here to see photos from one of our last Fishs Eddy experiences.

See you there!

*Fishs Eddy does not have an elevator to the second floor, where the tour will take place

A bout Fishs Eddy

One day back in the 80’s we found ourselves driving through a small town upstate called Fishs Eddy.

Fishs Eddy, hmmmm, what an odd name, let’s borrow it for our new store!

Soon after opening, we found ourselves in the sub-basements of New York City’s Bowery, once known as the restaurant supply district. There were endless unwanted dishes dating back to the 1900s!

These were more than just dishes, they were pieces of historical significance. So we excavated all of it! decorated and crested cups, creamers, gravy boats, bullion cups, butter, plates, and more.

Soon after, we started designing our own patterns on the same beautiful

”ware” we were finding-made in America, 100% vitrified, sturdy, durable, and made with LOVE from places like Buffalo, New York and Newell, West Virginia!

The End.

No.... it’s not! Big chunks of Fishs Eddy history is missing here! All the events, charities, collaborations, windows, making people happy, ticking some people off (sorryyyy ?)

This is the extremely short version of how Fishs Eddy came to do dishes for 36 years in the greatest city in the world!


"I learned new things about the dish industry in the US, and have a new appreciation for the way things were made in the past. The host is very knowledgeable and so were the people in the group." -Lynn

"There is so much history in that one little room... I didn't have the time, but I would have enjoyed exploring the plates, and the documentation so much more... it was exciting to see it all up close and personal. I'm so grateful they opened up their special stash of history for us" -Patricia

"The founder-owner of this unique New York legacy business provided such insight and was so warm and entertaining. It was a treat! It was so interesting and fun!" -Pamela

"The owner of the store is fabulous!" -Wendy


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Categories: In-Person, Museums & Galleries


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Fishs Eddy, 889 Broadway, New York, United States


USD 35.00

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