The New York Times reported select New York City restaurants are offering deals to commemorate the end of AMC series Mad Men, providing cocktails for $19.69 to evoke the year depicted in the final episodes. It would actually be more fitting if the establishments charged all White people $66 for drinks.
A $19.69 Liquid Lunch to Honor the End of ‘Mad Men’
By Patrick McGeehan
New York is preparing to celebrate the end of the “Mad Men” era with discounted dining at a select group of restaurants — with a twist or, perhaps, an olive or two.
Instead of choosing a two-course meal for the bargain price of $19.69, customers can opt for a liquid lunch: two cocktails for the same tab. That may not sound like much of a deal, but at some of the establishments that are participating a single martini can run as high as $17.
“It’s $19.69 for two cocktails,” said Edward A. Hogikyan, the senior vice president for marketing at NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency.
The price was intended to evoke the year depicted in the final episodes of “Mad Men,” the cable television series about the advertising business in Manhattan in the 1960s. It will be offered from March 23 to 29 as part of a citywide promotion of the show, which begins its final season on April 5.
Mr. Hogikyan said officials at NYC & Company and AMC, the network that airs “Mad Men,” thought that a special edition of the traditional Restaurant Week would be an appropriate way to celebrate a show steeped in drinking and power lunching. The city has been staging Restaurant Week at least once a year since 1992 as a way of filling tables during slow tourism periods.
In the beginning, restaurants offered three-course lunches for $19.92. That price rose just a penny a year for several years, but eventually jumped to account for inflation. In February and March, Restaurant Week prices were $25 for a three-course lunch and $38 for a three-course dinner.
“21” Club on West 52nd Street, which opened in 1929, is another participating restaurant that Don Draper and his fellow “Mad Men” could have frequented. At “21,” the promotion does not include a meal, just a choice of two of five cocktails: a Bloody Mary, a vodka gimlet, a Tom Collins, a Manhattan or a martini.
Avery A. Fletcher, director of sales and marketing for the “21” Club, said the offer was a “substantial incentive,” given that the regular price for one of those drinks was $17.
“We thought this was a fantastic opportunity to say farewell to a fantastic TV show,” Ms. Fletcher said. “The characters would have been right at home here.” The price may be a significant discount off the standard menus at the participating restaurants but it is far from representative of what the “Mad Men” characters would have paid in their prime.
Ms. Sims said she had a sign that was found in one of many boxes stored behind a wall at P.J. Clarke’s that she believed dated to the “Mad Men” era. It advertised hamburgers for $1 each, she said.
On the New York Public Library website, a 1969 menu from the New York Athletic Club offered martinis and three other cocktails for $1. Under the heading of “fancy drinks,” a gin and tonic was $1.25. In today’s dollars, that would be less than $8.