Friday, December 30, 2016

Death of the Diner

A-ha! I knew I wasn't imagining this. The number of diners in New York City has plummeted from about 1,000 in the '90s to 378 today -- and now the Evergreen Diner, a 92-seat fixture on West 47th Street near my work, will shut its doors for good on Saturday. The Wall Street Journal reports that this marks the latest in a series of recent diner demises throughout the metropolitan area. Other closures of note since 2015 have included the Market Diner, a Hell’s Kitchen favorite since the early ‘60s, and the Del Rio Diner, a popular Brooklyn hangout that dated back to 1976. My neighborhood has lost the Chelsea Gallery Diner and Eros diner (formerly the Wellington) on 7th, the Bright Food Shop, Dolores, Galaxy, Bendix and Venus diners on 8th Avenue (and briefly a Vynl that became Redwood Diner), the Empire Diner on 10th as well as nearby Florent in the Meatpacking District and the Manatus Diner in the West Village in the past two decades, leaving us with The Dish on 8th -- once the gayest eatery on the East Coast -- my beloved Malibu (on 23rd and 7th), the Hollywood Diner (on 6th) and neighboring Chelsea Square and Rail Line Diner (formerly Moonstruck). (I suppose Ridgeway Diner -- formerly Lemon Lime -- on 6th is technically in Chelsea, although I've never been there, and the Good Stuff Diner on 14th is still in business, if you don't mind dodging bullets.) Ironically, the sharp decline in options has had little effect on my waistline.

Barry Levison's "Diner" might have spurred my love of the joints ...

1 comment:

willie said...

That's a shame. I love diners and it seems an odd trend in the city since I've seen an increase of them around my area as people weary of chain restaurants. They're usually a little less pricey and each has a bit of its own personality.