Shanley's Restaurants were Manhattaneateries. Their first location was at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. It was owned by Thomas J. Shanley, Bernard F. Shanley, Patrick J. Shanley and four other Shanley brothers. The restaurants were famous in Times Square until the Prohibition era, beginning with their initial restaurant in 1890. The brothers were born in County Leitrim, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1888. The last Shanley's closed in 1925.
By 1903 there were two Shanley's locations. The second was at 117 West 42nd Street. Another Shanley's was open for business at Broadway and 29th Street, in 1906. As the center of New York City shifted to Upper Manhattan, the eating establishment moved to Broadway and 30th Street. When Adolph S. Ochs built One Times Square in 1904, Shanley's found a new home in Times Square. Next came a relocation to the Longacre Building, directly across the street from Times Square. This establishment closed in 1912 when two of the Shanley brothers opened their largest restaurant, at the corner of 43rd Street. Patrick J. Shanley opened his own restaurant at 117 West 42nd Street, at the same time. This was the final Shanley's to close.
Chronology of establishments
On October 12, 1897 a fire started above the boiler room of the restaurant, ignited by the crossing of electric wires. It was extinguished with a loss of $1,500. One of Shanley's locations was refused an all-night license which was requested during an Old Guard Ball at the Metropolitan Opera House, in January 1903. The 42nd Street establishment was permitted a license.
The Shanley eatery at 1204 South Broadway passed into receivership on November 6, 1905. It was owned by Rose T. Shanley, the widow of Bernard Shanley. In 1903 Rose left the firm and opened her own restaurant next door to the Shanley Restaurant at 1210 Broadway. She leased the entire building at a cost of $20,000 annually. Rose received a bankruptcy petition from a number of creditors. Frederick P. Bellamy was appointed receiver with a bond of $15,000.
Appearances in culture
- This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Big Money by John Dos Passos
- He handed out a half a dollar to the doorman who had whispered "Shanley's" to the taxi-driver in a serious careful flunkey's voice. The taxi was purring smoothly downtown between the tall square buildings. Charley was a little dizzy....
- ... When they got up to the room they kissed each other in a hurry and washed up to go out to a show. First they went to Shanley's to dinner. Tony ordered expensive champagne and they both got to giggling on it.
- Ate While Fire Burned, New York Times, October 13, 1897, pg. 7.
- Receiver For Restaurant, New York Times, November 7, 1905, pg. 11
- P.J. Shanley Dies; Restaurateur, 78, New York Times, August 20, 1947, pg. 22.
- Kidnappers In Broadway, New York Times, June 20, 1906, pg. 1.
- Few All Night Licenses, New York Times, January 23, 1903, pg. 7.
- Dos Passos, John (1936). The Big Money. Harcourt, Brace and Company. p. 561.