mitchell's sign
Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

When Mitchell’s Liquors on 86th street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue took down its neon sign earlier this month as part of a renovation, a cry of “Oh no!” rang out through the hills. The lovely red, green and blue sign was installed in the 1940’s by the Midtown Neon Sign Co., according to the New York Neon Blog (yes, there’s a blog for everything).

The website Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY, which chronicles the disappearance of authentic New York, reported that the sign was gone for good. But it seems all the angst was misplaced: the sign was back today, in all its glory.

(Neon enthusiasts also prematurely lamented the sign’s demise in 2012.)

John Wells took the picture below after the sign was taken down, and shot the nighttime photo below that before it was removed.

Update: Commenter Jeremy notes that the sign above does appear somewhat different from the original in the bottom picture. You can see in the vertical section that the letters appear more rounded than the old sign. Mitchell’s, which is undergoing renovation, hasn’t answered the phone so we cant confirm whether it’s the same sign yet.

mitchell's sign2

mitchell's sign3

HISTORY, NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Jeremy says:

      I’m no neon sign expert, but the sign looks a little bit different to me.

      • Cato says:

        I walked past it this evening. It looks like what is up (and shown in the photo) is only the metal frame; the actual neon tubing is not there yet. So what you see is not colored as it would be with the tubing; it is just the bare metal.

      • West Sider says:

        Whoa, good eye. It’s particularly noticeable in the vertical sign, where the letters now look more round. Maybe you ARE a secret neon expert. WSR

    2. Sean says:

      The Days of Wine and Roses!

    3. Nelson says:

      I miss the wine shop on Broadway & 84. A little oasis. But Cornell Weill had to have more lobby space……

    4. AC says:

      Wait until it gets lit up. That should make the difference!

      Speaking of wine and liquor stores , , , back in the day before Crave Fishbar; before Brother Jimmy’s; and even before Amsterdam’s, there use to exist a HUGE Liquor store at 426 Amsterdam Avenue. It had a neon sign that hung vertically from the 5th floor down to the 2nd Floor. The adjacent residents at 424 and 428 would have that red, bright light illuminate their rooms at night (similar to Seinfeld’s skit on Kenny Roger’s Chicken). That neon sign was visible from 72nd street and Amsterdam!

    5. Robin says:

      The side one that says Liquors is definitely not the old sign…..not the same typeface!!! Notice the squared off Q U & R not in the new one!