Tips On Tables

Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - October 15, 1945

Cafe Zanzibar

Just what does a club like Cafe Zanzibar offer and why is it well along in Its third year of success

In the first place, it’s a large attractive and well-proportioned cafe with deluxe fittings. Second, it has one of the finest revues ever to be presented on Broadway, including such headliners as Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Carter and Moreland and the Golden Gate Quartet.


Now you come to the pluses. You can order a $2 dinner, which allows you to sit at a table and watch the entertainment and dance before and after. Cafe cartoonYou also have the privilege of buying drinks for an amount not appreciably more than at the neighborhood bar.

The Zanzibar is typical of big cafe business. It has an average turnover of 1500 persons week days and 2300 Saturdays, and do gross business of $2,000,000 a year.

“We can thank our new customers and, friends for helping us to achieve that,” said Erbe. During the war former $25-a-week men making $80 came to know and like us. Old-timers who never thought they could afford a club had to do something with money that formerly bought cars, refrigerators and washing machines, so they gave a night to us and continued to do so.” Yes, sir, cafes have grown up!

In 2004, website visitor Eddy wrote: “dear sir, I was born in this nightclub in 1943. My mom and dad were celebrating my dad’s homecoming from the guadalcanal battle in the south pacific. My dad was a marine at the time and had been wounded so badly that he was discharged from the corps. My mom was 8 mo. Pregnant when they decided to have a dinner and see a broadway show. It was in the winter garden. They then went upstairs to a “cafe zanzibar” above the theatre. My mom couldn’t wait to get to a hospital and i started to be born as they were eating dinner and i was delivered by a dining doctor in the lobby? Or ladies room?”