Birth of generation “singles”

Believe it or not, before first TGI Friday’s restaurant women simply did not go to bars to meet men to be picked up. That all changed with an idea of a salesman in 1965 named Allan Stillman. That was the time when legendary bar TGI Friday’s, which stood at the birth of a new generation, so-called “Singles”, had opened the door. Due to desire to date of this perfume seller who just wanted to get to meet with the beautiful stewardesses living in his neighborhood in New York. It was him who changed our view on singles for the future generations. Not only for Friday evening and next generation he made picking up finally fun for us.

Founder of TGI Fridays Allan Stillman

Pan Am Stewardess

Opportunity makes a successful hunter, meaning the opportunity to get know the opposite sex. In swinging sixties for a guy it was not easy to be noticed by a women. Bars and clubs were not as common as we know them today. They simply did not exist.

Not going to the party? No way

Cocktail party behind closed doors only with an invitation. Don´t have it? So you can host your own one. If you had wanted to have fun on Friday with other people, you could go to a restaurant with your other half, or get your best party list ready in advance. There was no space for spontaneous dating. Unfortunately poisoned men and women did not become shy and lonely wandering empty streets, because there were more than enough opportunities to date in New York. According to some authors, the Upper East Side between 30th and 65th Street was home to nearly 800 thousands of other singles. And so the young man looking for flirting with beautiful Pan Am flight attendants decided to step up strongly under the motto “If you want to date in a bar, open your own one.” And thank God I did so!

First TGI Fridays in New York

Not at TGI Friday’s in the evening? Like you don´t even exist 

A new bar opened on 65th Street caused a sensation. Stillman himself confirms perfect timing. The sexual revolution and the newly emerging generation of women liberated from the obligations of the 50s finally had a chance to show to the fullest. “Without trying, I became a real founder of the first singles bar,” says Stillman. A rapid rise of his restaurant confirmed he was right. Lighter sophisticated environment with Tiffany lamps and light blue facade of the building was the opposite to the forgotten men of bars in Wild West style. Women feel welcome and the number of their regular visits grew quickly. Soon hired porter at the door wasn´t able to manage that many guests and TGI Friday’s in New York became the first bar facing queues outside on the street. And income over one million dollars in the first year of existence exceeded all Stillman’s expectations. Further bar expansion soon followed.

TGI Friday First Singles Bar

Born at TGIF 

It was here where first Loaded Potatoes Skins with melting cheese and bacon and infinite number of mixed cocktails instead of shots were served. Bar was an inspiration for Tom Cruise legendary movie Cocktail. Many Hollywood celebrities such as Helene DeGeneres began their career here. But the most important thing for TGI Friday’s, the atmosphere, still remains. The original concept evident in all TGI Friday’s restaurants around the world is based on tradition, social causes and to celebrate the idea of enjoying each day as if it was a Friday. It’s not just a restaurant offering typical American dishes with a wide selection of cocktails. It’s something more. The way you approached your loved one, the atmosphere behind, all of this, without our founder Allan Stillman, could actually have been completely different 🙂

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