1. The 1960s Bar Car

While drinking alcohol on the subway is not permitted today, at least for a brief time, is was an amenity on the train from Times Square to South Ferry. In the early 1960s as part of the New York City’s Transit system massive cleanup campaign a “bar car” was put into use as a way to promote it. As opposed to the fairly sparse decor of regular subway cars, the bar car was done up to make riders feel like they were travelling first class. In a car like the Blue Jay pictured above, there was added plush carpeting, draped curtains, pastel lighting and of course, a bar manned by a bartender serving champagne and bagels. The one-time publicity stunt ran in January 1962 on a single roundtrip, between Times Square to South Ferry and back. The bar car is one of the vintage amenities we would like to see return to the subway!

Hungry for more? Join us for our upcoming tour of the New York City subway!

Underground NYC Subway Tour

Tourgoers look at an art installation at the 14th Street subway station

Next, check out our fun facts about opening day of the NYC subway!