Designer of NYC "Greek coffee cup" has died


The man who designed the Anthora "WE ARE HAPPY / TO SERVE YOU" blue and white paper coffee cup, an iconic element of everyday NYC life, has died. His name was Leslie Buck, and he was a WWII refugee from Eastern Europe. NYT obit here. (image: Dan Bluestein / Wikimedia - via Instapundit)


  1. Wow. The end of an icon, or an era…if they stop using those coffee cups. Just the sight of one can bring on nostalgia for my original home city – NYC! (Sigh)

  2. Sad news. Bless him :)

    I grew up with those cups and when I was driving a cab in NYC(1970’s)that familiar cup was the best friend a cabbie could ever have.

  3. I know the term ‘Anthora’ is an intentional play on ‘Amphora’, but does anyone have insight on why? I have loved these cups, too, all the 25 years I’ve been in NYC!

  4. I really hope he specified cremation in his will so he could have his ashes placed in a coffee urn. ; )

    Funny how the “little” things in life mean so much and can symbolize someone’s life. It’s nice.

  5. I never lived in NYC but I still fondly remember this design from a video about a restaurant that came on some video compilation disc for the Mac. I loved watching those things as a kid- this is the only thing I remember about that particular video.

  6. The last time I was in New York (outside the Starbucks infested airports) was when I was too young to be drinking coffee. I’ve never actually seen one of these cups up close and personal- but I recognize them every time I watch a movie set in New York.

  7. Am I the only one whose browser is crawling due to the Harry Brown movie advertising? Ever since it showed up I can browse any of the Federated Media sites including BB

  8. #11: You’re not going to enough diners and donut shops.

    (“It is always nice to see said the man behind the counter . . .”)

  9. Yikes, I thought Graham Hill (the maker of the ceramic cups) had passed. Rest in peace Mr. Buck.

  10. Wow, I always just took those coffee cups for granted.
    I just assumed that those cups were a staple of delis all over the country.

  11. So is there only one paper cup supplier in NYC? I’m confused — most places even 10% the size have several designs and suppliers, and the majority are branded to the establishment. There’s even variety in the ‘generic’ types.

    A quick Google gave me no insight into how this came to be. Anyone know?

  12. That’s eerie. I was telling a coworker who had never been to NYC about those cups just yesterday. I hadn’t thought of them in years.

  13. When I saw the pic, I said, “Hey, it’s the cups from Law & Order.” The obit mentioned that they were indeed famous from Law & Order. Funny how a few things seem to be an icon for a city. New York makes me think of Checker Cabs (my grandfather almost bought one in the 1950s, but they were too expensive, at least in Pittsburgh, where he was), these coffee cups and this one set they used all the time on NYPD Blue. Crime, cabs and coffee.

  14. I am not a native New Yorker and my sister and I were wondering if you are still able to go to a cafe and actually purchase a coffee in one of those cups. We are planning a trip back to the city soon and would love to have some coffee in one of them. If anyone can help with that information it would be greatly appreciated. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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