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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Entry from January 17, 2019
Maitre D’ess (female maitre d’)

"Maitre d’ess” is an infrequently used term for a female “maitre d’.” “As harried maitre d’ess Dorothy puts it” was printed in Variety (New York, NY) on September 10, 1952. “Maitre d’/Maitre d’ess” was printed in a classified ad in the Daily Record (Morristown, NJ) on May 1, 1986.


Wiktionary: maitre d’
Etymology
Clipping of French maître d’hôtel.
Noun
maître d
‘ (plural maître d’s)
1. (informal, chiefly US) A headwaiter.

10 September 1952, Variety (New York, NY), “Night Club Reviews,” pg. 55, col. 1:
El Rancho, Las Vegas
(...)
As harried maitre d’ess Dorothy puts it, “How SRO can a place be?”. applies to biz brought in by freres Harry, Al and Jimmy on and beyond the holiday smash.

1 March 1960, Miami (FL) News, pg. 5B, col. 3 ad:
Bernice Sell, Maitre D’Ess
(Patsy’s Place, 323 23rd Street, Miami Beach.—ed.)

24 January 1962, Variety (New York, NY), “Florida Avec French Touch,” pg. 54, col. 4:
Patsy Abbott, at Patsy’s Place, is her own one-woman operation. In between the indigo stuff she belts a good ballad and has excellent pianistic foil in Margi Sherwin, with Bernice Sell the “maitre d’ess” (so billed).

New York Lunch Book
By Joan Hamburg and Faye Hammel
New York, NY: World Publishing Co,
1972
Pg. 113:
(At La Potagerie, 554 Fifth Avenue.—ed.)
It’s cafeteria style, but you are served by a maitre d’ess (a liberated maitre d’ ).

26 June 1974, Boston (MA) Herald American, “Sinatra Had a Date with an Angela” by Dorothy Manners, pg. 25, col. 2:
The new Maitre D’-(ess) prefers to be known merely as Ms. Emily without giving her last name.

1 May 1986, Daily Record (Morristown, NJ), pg. D2, col. 4 classified ad:
RESTAURANT MANAGER, &/or Maitre d’/Maitre d’ess, high volume, 1st class operation needs 2 qualified individuals call Mr. Knapp for appointment 543-7300 Rt. 24 Mendham.

10 November 1999, Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal, Food & Drink sec., pg. 4, col. 2 photo caption:
MAITRE ‘D-ESS: Debbie Squalilia’s seemingly effortless charm makes every visitor to Harrah’s Steak House feel at home.

White Boy From Wisconsin
Monday, March 29, 2010
Gweilo Road Trip, prt. II
(...)
I turn back to the maitre d’ess, or whatever you call them.  “How much is the breakfast?”

Google Books
Hong Konged:
One Modern American Family’s (Mis)adventures in the Gateway to China

By Paul Hanstedt
Avon, MA: Adams Media
2012
Pg. ?:
I turn back to the maitre d’ess, or whatever you’d call her.

Twitter
Bob Hodds (Bert)
@Hoddsr_aka_Bert
Fabulous looking Maitre D’ess grin
9:18 PM - 12 Oct 2012

Google Groups: ba.food
Naschmarkt, an Austrian restaurant in Campbell
Tim May
4/4/14
(...)
We arrrived in a pouring rain on Saturday for the 5 pm seating. The woman in our group knew the maitre ‘d-ess (?) by name, and while her partner was parking in the rain, we were seated. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Thursday, January 17, 2019 • Permalink