The Empire Diner is a restaurant in New York City that launched a vogue for upscale retro diners, and whose Art Moderne exterior became an iconic image in numerous films and television programs.
Constructed by the Fodero Dining Car Company in 1946 and operating as a Manhattan diner until being abandoned years later, the diner was refurbished in 1976. Additions includied a stylized Empire State Building outline on its roof. It became a city fixture and an artists' nexus from then on. The Empire opened on February 29th 1976 (Leap Day). The restaurant closed on May 15, 2010, and The Highliner opened briefly in its space that same year. The restaurant reopened under the name Empire Diner, under executive chef Amanda Freitag, in January 2014, and closed after less than a year of service in December 2015. Empire Diner reopened under executive chef Jestin Feggan of Cafeteria, a Chelsea favorite for over two decades, and its managing partner Stacy Pisone in April 2017.
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