A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/27)
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky—and a dog to eat the rare steak” (3/27)
“What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for” (3/27)
“Good girls are made of sugar and spice. Country girls are made of whiskey on ice” (3/27)
“This whiskey tastes like I’m about to tell you how I really feel” (3/27)
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Entry from April 10, 2005
Take-Out (not Take-Away)
Many countries has "take-away" shops, but New York City has "take-out." Who can forget those little boxes of "take-out" Chinese?

It is either "take-out" or "takeout." Take-away food is nothing new and goes back to the beginning of civilization, but the restaurant tradition appears to have spread widely in the 1930s.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
take-out, a. and n. Also take out, takeout.
Applied to prepared food sold for consumption elsewhere. Cf. TAKE-AWAY a. 1.
1968 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 17 Feb. 47/4 (Advt.), Soft ice cream and take out food. 1970 Times 29 Jan. 27/3 One of New York's finest restaurants will provide gourmet 'take-out' lunches for the hard-pressed executive.
take-away, n. and a.
1. That may be taken away; spec. designating cooked food sold to be eaten away from the premises of sale.
1964 Punch 15 Apr. 572/3 Posh Nosh..was serving take-away venisonburgers.
2. Of, pertaining to, or characterized by the selling of cooked food to be taken away.
1971 Guardian 18 June 11/5 Every take-away pieshop and baker sell a Cornish pasty. 1973 Times 3 Feb. 13/5 Leslie's also do a take-away service.

27 February 1932, Washington Post, pg. 2:
HING FAR LOW
CHINESE RESTAURANT
729 1/2 11 St. S.E.
Chow Mein Specialty
Orders to Take Out

24 June 1939, New York Herald Tribune, Clementine Paddleford column, pg. 9, col. 7:
EDITOR'S NOTE - Anyhow, only in the last two years have we noted that the "take-out" Chinese kitchens (no restaurant in connection with the shops) are springing up in every possible spot. Surely Chinese dinners (Col. 8--ed.) at home must be a growing idea - we didn't call it new. And as Mrs. Kane agrees - "chow mein is swell for a simple supper." We have a list of these Chinese ready-prepared food shops if it interests you. In Yonkers, Jackson Heights, Flushing - all given in the shopping guide today.

July 1947, American Restaurant magazine, pg. 31:
That first year the Spiller's (Alpheus D. Spiller's of York Beach, Maine - ed.) sold only fried clams, fried potatoes and potato chips to take out. In 1939, they added hot dogs and hamburgers to
their list and business continued to flourish.
Pg. 32, col. 1, shows Spiller's signs for 1938 and 1939.
1938 sign:
SPILLER'S
"TAKE-OUT"
FRIED CLAMS
FRENCH FRIES
POTATO CHIPS

1939 sign:
SPILLER'S
"TAKE-OUT"
FRIED CLAMS
FRENCH FRIES
HAMBURGERS
FRANKFURTS

April 1941, Telephone Directory (Wilmington, DE), Classified pages.
Pg. 109, col. 1:
De Matteis John
Italian Food a Specialty
Submarine Sandwiches to Take Out
500 N Union...Wilmgtn-2-9241

Pg. 109, col. 3:
Patsy's Italian Sandwiches
Special Submarine Sandwiches - Take Out
903 W 4...Wilmgtn-2-9433
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, April 10, 2005 • Permalink