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.

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Entry from May 30, 2006
Coffee Pot & Coffee Pot Canyon (Broadway)
The Historical Dictionary of American Slang cites "coffee pot" from 1928 and defines it: "Esp. N.Y.C. a small lunchroom or diner."

There were so many "coffee pots" along Broadway that Broadway was sometimes called "Coffee Pot Canyon" (first cited in print in 1927). The terms are historical today.


26 August 1925, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, "Lights of New York" by Pierre Van Passen, pg. 6:
New York, August 25. -- Every second or third house on Broadway and the wild side streets is either one of these Java stands called "The Coffee Pot," or a Nedick orangeade establishment. It is argued the orangeade is the more popular in the summer time and because the long thin glasses can easily be filled up with a little something from a hip flask, (done quite openly). But you can do the same thing with coffee. Every doughboy remembers "cafe au rum." And good it is in a snowstorm. It certainly warms the cockles of the heart.

Google Books
27 November 1927, Vanity Fair, "A Primer of Broadway Slang" by Walter Winchell, pg. 134, col. 4:
Broadway is known as 'The Main Stem'. Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it "Mazda Lane" and others refer to Broadway as "The Incandescent District"; "Tungsten Territory", "The Big Artery", and "Coffee Pot Canyon".

20 May 1928, Washington (DC) Post, pg. F2:
No Broadway columnists will be portrayed in the night club scenes, but giggle-water, whoopee-making, getting that way, having a mad on, doing coffee-pot canyon -- all these will be written on the faces of the actors in the Griffith Night Club.

14 June 1928, Life, "Along the Main Stem" by Walter Winchell, pg. 10:
I've discovered other nicknames for parts of the town. Broadway is known as Orange Juice Gulch, Mazda Lane, Coffee Pot Canyon, Fraudway and the Chow Mein Stem. Then there's the Thumping Thirties, the Flaming Forties, the Four-flushing Fifties, the Sexy Sixties, the Salacious Seventies, the Elegant Eighties and the Nancy Nineties.

29 July 1930, Evansville (IN) Courier, "Walter Winchell On Broadway," pg. 4, col. 6:
Abel Green first referred to Broadway as "Mazda Lane," while others call it "Orange Juice Gulch," "The Tungsten Belt," "The Chow Mein Stem," 'The Big Artery" or "Coffee Pot Canyon."

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
25 May 1936, Syracuse (NY) Journal, "On Broadway" by Walter Winchell, pg. 9, col. 2:
Broadway is known as "The Main Stem." Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it "Mazda Lane" and others refer to Broadway as "The Incandescent District," "Tungsten Territory," "The Big Artery," "Coffee Pot Canyon."

Google News Archive
24 July 1963, Reading (PA) Eagle, "Answers to Questions," pg. 10, col. 2:
Q. What are some nicknames for Broadway in New York City? I.T.
A. Some commonly used nicknames are: The Alley, Aspirin Alley, Big Artery, Coffee Pot Canyon, Gay White Way, Dirty White Way, Hardened Artery, The Lane, Main Artery, Main Drag, Main Stem, Mazda Lane, Neon Boulevard, The Big Street.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Tuesday, May 30, 2006 • Permalink