April 25, 2010

The Empire Diner.

We were there in 2008.

Empire Diner

"After nearly 35 years, the iconic Empire Diner in Chelsea is closing its doors."


ricpic said...

It's only after you've learned to cook for yourself that you realize how awful most diner food is, most upscale restaurant food too.

ironrailsironweights said...

Food quality is almost beside the point at a trendy establishment like the Empire Diner.


Scott said...

Since when did "iconic" become the word du jour in hack reporting?

If something is iconic, it means that its appearance is so familiar, recognizable, and riven through the common culture that it has the qualities of a religious artifact.

The Statue of Liberty is iconic.

The Empire State Building is iconic.

The White House is iconic.

The Empire Diner is NOT iconic.

Arnon said...

Terrible food; even more terrible service. Won't be missed. At all.

lucid said...

This is a great photograph, Ann.

From Inwood said...

C'mon Scott, lighten up.

I used to eat in the Empire when I picked up liquor from the Chelsea Piers when people actually worked on them.

OK, My Life As A Boy zzzzzzzzzzzz

One day, about a dozen years ago, my snob cousin from Inwood & I were in the West Village & we had to eat. I suggested to her that we shooy up to the Empire for déjà vu for me. She sneered & we went to a French Restaurant listed in Zagat.

I went one afternoon soon thereafter & got a "cuppa" & a piece a pie for more than $1.00 (Probably $2.00 now.) Besides the fact that I coudda been a contenda, Charlie, I couuda gotten the Empire "Blue Plate Special" for $1.00 40 years earlier.

Soon thereafter New York Mag wrote a paean to the Empire & I called my cousin & said nynna, nynna, nynna. She was not amused.

Will send her a copy of this thread.

PS Derek Jeter is iconic

PPS if you ever go on one of those guided walking tour, almost every other thing they pass is iconic. You want to get your money’s worth.

PPS I was the only American on a Water Taxi & wound up being an unpaid tour guide. As we went up the river from Wall St, the chain link fence of the driving range on the Chelsea piers came into view. Someone asked & I told him. I think that they were all disappointed, expecting to hear that this was where we were gonna move the prisoners from Gitmo, or something. Now I see why tour guides make everything iconic!

From Inwood said...


Last Fall, coincidentally, The Cloisters (for non-NYC-ites, a branch of the Met in Ft Tryon Park) had its annual Medieval Festival & a tour company had a guided tour of Ft Tryon & Inwood Hill Parks. I think that I was the youngest one on the tour, including the Guide. Four of us got ahead of & separated from the rest & since he hadn’t told us his route, I said I’d take the other three on a tour. Every rock & tree I saw was iconic.

Seven Machos said...

If they lost their lease, I wonder what's going in.

The best Italian place in my neighborhood and the best sushi place both came down a couple years ago for fancy apartments and a hotel. Very sad.

Almost Ali said...

If they lost their lease, I wonder what's going in.

Thirty five years ago people ate diner-burgers, now they need prescriptions: Walgreen's.

I preferred the aged hamburger (aka meatloaf, or goatloaf) served in the Market Diner(s). Especially the one at 33rd and 9th.

And the Greeks': "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger! No Coke, Pepsi."

Now the blue-collar joints and their comedians are gone. So too the immigrants who once made Manhattan a "culinary" marvel.

(Ann, interesting picture(s) by the way.)

dick said...

I used to live on 23rd street right around the corner from that diner for about 5 years back about the time they opened. Good times. I remember it well. At the time it was considered way out of anyplace anyone would want to go and then it got the publicity and the customers and they were off and running. That was back when Chelsea was just starting to be gentrified and London Towers was called Leather Flats because of all the leather queens who lived there. Harry Reams lived on 24th street then as well and we used to see him walking his dog shortly after Deep Throat was released.

From Inwood said...

My Cuz from Inwood, but now on Lon Guyland, notes that the Daily News story says that the Empire Diner is only 35 years old &, QED, I must be having a senior moment to think that I was there in the late '50s.

There was a diner there in the late '50s, really... I’m not wrong. I don’t need to see any papers. There is only one property!So there can only be one Diner for this property…. Gurgle, gurgle.

She said that I'd never admit that I was wrong! Moi?

OK. The evidence indicates that I was wrong about the name in the late '50s. And I must admit that my memory could be wrong about any diner ever being there more than 35 years ago.

I'm going to bed. With dreams of Liver & Onions.

PS See http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/diners/diners.html

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