Diners in the City Disappear, But Borough Eateries Persevere, Data Shows

By Devin Holt

There has been a recent media outcry about diners closing in Manhattan. Crain’s New York Business, AM New York and the Daily News have all lamented the loss of classic cheap food spots like the Market Diner, Yaffa Cafe and the 3 Star Coffee Shop, which now sits quietly with papered windows and a closure notice from the health department taped to a window.

Lesley Jackson, who spent the afternoon on Black Friday sitting in the Upper West Side Starbucks directly across from the former 3 Star, said it was the kind of place that made New York unique.

“It’s one of those classic diners,” Jackson, 67, said. “One of those places that is just very, very laid back.”

But it isn’t all bad news for fans of pancakes, round coffee pots and cheap burgers. There are still plenty of places that call themselves diners available to anyone willing to ride the subway, according to data from Reference USA, a business and consumer research firm. In 2009 there were 207 restaurants in the five boroughs with the word diner in their name. Reference USA has the total at 204 for 2015.