Popovers and Candlelight: Patricia Murphy and the Rise and Fall of a Restaurant Empire
Recounts the true story of an entrepreneurial woman who succeeded in a male-dominated industry in the twentieth century.
What would you do with your last sixty dollars? If you were Patricia Murphy you d turn it into a fortune by buying a rundown Brooklyn diner. On the cusp of the Great Depression, the diner became an overnight sensation, the first of nine popular Patricia Murphy s Candlelight Restaurants that opened over the course of four decades in New York and Florida. Popovers and Candlelight recounts how Murphy bucked Mad Men erasexism in a male-dominated field and created remarkable dining experiences with solid American fare, a talented staff, and eye-popping décor. Dripping in diamonds, she transcended ethnic prejudices to become a socialite and built a brand that sold fragrance as well as food. Mutinous siblings, a desperate manager, and a typhoid outbreak brought it all to an operatic end, but Marcia Biederman restores Murphy and her contributions to their proper place in women s and culinary history. This book will delight readers with its rags-to-riches story and fascinating view of class, gender, ethnicity, and food culture during much of the twentieth century.
An impressive accomplishment on many counts: Biederman describes an important but forgotten chapter in mid-century restaurant history, portrays an outsize, Mildred Pierce like personality, and gives a memorable sense of postwar, populuxe suburbia. Paul Freedman, author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America
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Avenue Bahia Mar Brooklyn Heights brother building Cabana Camillucci Captain city’s club Cordet customers decorated dining rooms dinner dollars eateries father Filipino Florida flowers Fort Lauderdale Forty-Ninth Street Frank Frank Murphy garden gift Gore greenhouse hostess husband interview James Jim’s John Paul Jones John Rogers John’s Kiernan Kinsale kitchen knew Lauderdale Lauraine Murphy’s lease Long Island Macy’s manager Manhasset Manhattan manual for employees Maude mayor menu Mildred Pierce Miss Tango Murphy’s Candlelight Restaurant Nana Nathalie Newfoundland numbers O’Mara orchids owner Palm Beach parking Patricia Murphy’s Candlelight Patricia Murphy’s manual Patricia wrote Patrick’s Patrick’s Day Paul Murphy Placentia plans Rahv rent restaurant’s Robinson Sheila siblings sister Sixtieth Street staff Tavlin Tavlin and Zimmerman tea room Telfair Upper West Side Varney Vincent Westchester Westchester Candlelight woman women Yonkers York