When the SICA arts building at 22 Third Ave., Long Branch was razed last week to make way for a set of condos a blast from the past was revealed: A Coca-Cola advertising sign.
Just a block south of the Third Avenue and Broadway intersection the paint proclaiming “5 cents delicious and refreshing” has been remarkably preserved.
In addition to facing north, away from the sun, when it was originally painted (circa 1910) there was more protection when the SICA building was constructed some 80 odd years ago at the site. What was unveiled was a slice of well preserved American art.
Back when Coca-Cola was a nickle and contained cocaine (later replaced by caffeine) the company would paint the sides of businesses for free to carry their product.
Needless to say the building sporting the newfound sign has gone through a variety of changes over the years. When painted some 100 years ago it was a grocery store. Since then it was, among other things a clothing manufacturing shop and Nordine Cabinets. Now it houses Emporio Cafe and Restaurant.
And, yes, they sell Coca-Cola and no, it is not 5 cents.
Good news for those looking to preserve that work or art – the entire project is on removable slats. Efforts are underway to do just that.