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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Dumbocracy (dumb + democracy) (4/19)
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Entry from November 28, 2004
“Soup Nazi”
A November 1995 episode of the television situation comedy Seinfeld featured the "Soup Nazi." It was a fictional portrait of a real New York City soup man.

22 November 1995, Boston (MA) Globe, pg. 3:
NEW YORK - Al Yeganeh wants everyone to know that he's no "Soup Nazi."

Yeganeh has been upset for a few weeks now, since the highly rated "Seinfeld" television show ran an episode about a kiosk owner who serves the best soup in New York but treats his customers like residents of a prison camp.

In the show, Jerry, the lead character, carefully follows the owner's rules - pay, place your order, step to the left, briskly - and gets his soup with free bread. His sidekick George breaks a rule, gets charged for the bread and, when he asks why, loses his soup, too. Friend Elaine takes so long ordering that the owner - "the soup Nazi," everyone calls him - bars her from his place for a year.

Many viewers no doubt saw the episode as a parody of New York manners. But the soup stand on the show is a near-exact replica of Yeganeh's takeout establishment, Soup Kitchen International, on 55th Street between Eighth Avenue and Broadway. Except for his mustache, the actor who played the "Soup Nazi" even looks like Yeganeh.

(...)

Since the "Seinfeld" episode aired, the lines at Soup Kitchen have doubled. During peak hours, customers used to wait 20 minutes; now, it's 40 minutes or an hour.

But Yeganeh is far from grateful. "It was a stupid show, an ugly show, a low-quality show," he muttered when the line had diminished to a half-dozen people and he had a little time to talk. "They called me `Nazi' -- what a horrible word!"

http://www.stanthecaddy.com/the-soup-nazi-script.html
JERRY: There's only one caveat -- the guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure. He's secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi.
ELAINE: Why? What happends if you don't order right?
JERRY: He yells and you don't get your soup.
ELAINE: What?
JERRY: Just follow the ordering procedure and you will be fine.

http://www.therealsoupman.com/
Al's (Original Soup Kitchen International)
at 259-A W. 55th Street

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soup_Nazi
The Soup Nazi (a.k.a. Yev Kasem) was a fictional character in the sitcom Seinfeld who was portrayed by Larry Thomas. The Soup Nazi was a stone-faced, immigrant chef, with a thick, Stalin-esque moustache who was well-known throughout the city for his delicious soups. He demanded that all customers in his restaurant follow his meticulous (and seemingly arbitrary) soup-ordering instructions to the letter, lest they be refused service by his insistent avowal, "No soup for you!". Some of the soups that he served were cold cucumber, corn and clam chowders, jambalaya, mulligatawny and crab bisque. He got his comeuppance when Elaine discovered his secret recipes. He made a brief cameo in the Seinfeld series finale.

His character was based on an actual soup vendor named Al Yeganeh, who runs Soup Kitchen International in New York City's midtown area. The store is open only part of the year. In the summer, his customers are greeted with a sign indicating he has gone to "Argentina for the winter."

(Trademark)
Word Mark SOUP KITCHEN INTERNATIONAL
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: carry-out restaurant services. FIRST USE: 19870000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19870000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75293697
Filing Date May 19, 1997
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Yegan Food Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK 259-A West 55th Street New York NEW YORK 10019
Attorney of Record MICHAEL A CORNMAN
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "SOUP" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date January 7, 1999

Posted by Barry Popik
Restaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • (0) Comments • Sunday, November 28, 2004 • Permalink