You may know it now as the popular suburban chain restaurant, but back in the day, TGI Fridays was the place to be if you were young and single in New York City. Alan Stillman, a former perfume salesman, opened the flagship bar and restaurant in 1965 on the Upper East Side. He had no restaurant experience but sensed a need for an informal place where singles could have a drink and socialize.
So there you have it. Before it became known for slinging American bar-food classics like mozzarella sticks and loaded potato skins, TGI Fridays was the spot to see and be seen for city singles. Yes, feel free to go ahead and let that sit for a minute. In the words of Stillman, the chain may even have been the first city establishment to attract a line of people outside, waiting their turns to be granted entry. Go figure.
Take a look at the video below — brought to us by our good friends at Great Big Story — and prepare to have all your preconceptions about your beloved (or not?) restaurant chain blown to shreds.