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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 19, 2020
“The sign says ‘Wait for Hostess to be Seated’ but the bitch will NOT SIT DOWN!”

"Please wait for hostess to be seated” is a sign that used to be in many restaurants. A joke was posted on Twitter by Belly Roll Morton on February 21, 2010:

“The sign says ‘Wait for Hostess to be Seated’ but the bitch will NOT SIT DOWN!”

The joke was also printed, in a slightly different form, in the Indianapolis (IN) Star in 1972, and in a 1980 column by William Safire in the New York (NY) Times.

26 November 1972, Indianapolis (IN) Star, “Wives Dumb; Put Up With Men” by Lowell Nussbaum, sec. 2, pg. 1, col. 2:
A LARGE, PRINTED sign in the doorway of the Hilton’s Country Oven restaurant bothers me. It says:

“Please Wait for the Hostess to Be Seated.”

I know that’s the polite thing to do, but no one does it there. The hostesses never sit down, they just keep walking around directing customers where to sit.

16 December 1980, The Morning Herald & Review (Decatur, IL), “‘Signs of the times’ confusing” by William Safire (New York Times), pg. A12, col. 3:
The sign requiring the most patience: At the Howard Johnson restaurant near Cornell University, patrons are greeted with a sign reading “PLEASE WAIT FOR HOSTESS TO BE SEATED.” Reports student Leslie Sara Goldsmith: “I waited patiently for about 10 minutes, but the young lady failed to sit down, and feeling rather neglected, I felt compelled to sit first.”

16 February 1986,Daily News (New York, NY), “Only in New York” edited by Paul LaRosa, magazine sec., pg. 24, col. 1:
Sign spotted in a mid-Manhattan coffee shop:
-- Herbert H. Westphalen Jr.

24 February 2006, Tallahassee (FL) Democrat, “Don’t underestimate the power of signs” by Jerry Osteryoung, pg. 1E, col. 2:
One of my favorite signs in a restaurant says, “Please wait for the hostess to be seated.” Shouldn’t the guest be seated first?

Belly Roll Morton
The sign says “Wait for Hostess to be Seated” but the bitch will NOT SIT DOWN!
10:49 AM · Feb 21, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Joanne Lessner
Replying to @UffishL
@UffishL My all-time favorite sign, in a diner: Please Wait for Hostess to be Seated. Okaaay...and then can I sit?
7:33 PM · Mar 13, 2014·Twitter Web Client

Posted by u/DinglebarryHandpump January 19, 2020
The sign in this restaurant says “Please wait for hostess to be seated.”
I’ve been here two hours and she is still on her feet.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Sunday, January 19, 2020 • Permalink