Galishoff's Dairy Restaurant
Cris Dolandis came from Greece and when I first began to work on this painting series he worked for Galishoff’s. Later he became the owner and asked me to paint the restaurant for him.
The store is a landmark, but for me it was more than that. Throughout the two year period in which I have painted there it became like another home.
The atmosphere of the place invites it. Goldie, who is in her 80’s and nearly blind, waits until she sees the lights go on at 4:30 A.M. and comes to sit down for breakfast. She lives nearby and later during the day she comes back again. Goldie sits until the shoppers begin to stream in and when the restaurant gets crowded she leaves.
In the early morning, the owners and the employees of the nearby stores come in. Some order and some just sit and talk. At that time, it is more like a clubhouse than a restaurant. They leave when it’s time to open the stores and then the elderly wander in. They order thick soup and that as well as the fresh bread brought in a basket is often their only meal of the day. No one hurries them and they sit for hours. Lucy Calas, the red haired waitress, tells them to take home what they can’t finish. By noon, every chair is filled with fashionably dressed women, with families, and with businessmen who have eaten their lunch at the same table for years. On Sundays you always have to wait for a table. In the middle of the afternoon it is quiet again and the elderly drift back. In the winter of 1973-74 I did two paintings while sitting at Galishoff’s. Cris not only let me paint from the table next to the window, he supplied me with coffee and cheese bagels for which he would never let me pay. Cris stands on the right side of the restaurant with his wife on his left. His mother-in-law is standing on the left side of the entrance speaking to Sam Yellin, who stands holding his dog. Sam hands out cards which say, “If you want to buy, give me a try.” (Open Tues. through Sat. 11-6 215 Canal Street NY 10013 Jewelry, watches, diamonds)