Lobster King

Submitted by Nessa May 11th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

“Lobster King Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses who won the Prize in Atlantic City’s Famous Beauty Pageant Parade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.”

I am so curious about this postcard! What did they win? What was “the Prize”? How do they serve food or drinks with those claws? Do they have to wear these all the time? Whose idea was this? When did this happen? Did these girls enjoy this? The girl on the top left looks particularly surly.

Also, Is it really necessary to make your waitresses dress up as the food you’re serving? I’m not sure I’d want someone dressed as a cow to bring me a burger. Though I guess someone dressed as an ice cream cone could bring me an ice cream.

I don’t have the answer to any of these questions but this is one of my favorite things.

10 Responses to “Lobster King”

  1. Allee Willis

    I don’t know the answers to any of your questions but I for one would eat at a restaurant every single night if my server came dressed as a lobster.

    When I first started collecting kitschy postcards this was one of the first ones I came across. I love how the color is sucked into the paper. And I love how Lobster King Harry Hackney escaped having to put on a costume himself. He kind of looks like Col. Sanders standing back there.

    I’ve never been to Atlantic City but would make the trip if I knew the Lobster Waitresses were still roaming the boardwalk.

  2. windupkitty

    holy cow. this is triumphant! love your questions, nessa, but maybe the should go anwered…kinda like the meaning of life….i like the idea of dressing like ice cream cones to serve ice cream though…..if you ever want to open a shop, i’m on board!

  3. MyFunCloset

    Fabulous! Love the antenae head gear and claws. Where are those costumes now?
    Atlantic City lost its kitsch glow when the casinos arrived in the late 70’s. Just a handful of original store fronts on the boardwalk in the 80s. I’ll dig out some old pictures.

  4. Celiene

    From the web: “Hackney’s, opened by Harry Hackney in 1912, bragged in its advertising that it was, “as famous as the Boardwalk.” This monster-sized facility could seat 3,200 patrons for dinner, and once claimed that it was the largest seafood restaurant in the world. It was famous for its lobster dinners and its lobster tank where you could literally pick up your dinner. ”

    I hate to see legends die – and old, storied restaurants! His Great Gradndson wrote a book about the restaurant – and here’s a great article about it – but NO mention of the lobster girls! See here: (I got a little weepy!)


  5. Celiene

    I was just telling Allee – I get obsessed! Google ‘Hackney’s Seafood Restaurant’ (Image Search Results) – there are TONS of photos, menus. etc! WOW! What a great place!