Last week, Urbanite discovered the long-anticipated reopening of the Market Diner on 11th Ave and 43rd St. Since the loss of the Moondance and the Cheyenne (which Chelsea Now reports may not make it to Red Hook after all), New York City's diner lovers have been waiting with baited breath for the Market to return.
Being a diner lover myself, I headed up there for a New Year's Day breakfast of challah French toast and bacon.
At first glance, I was disappointed to find the new owners had stripped the spectacular old neon sign and replaced it with something far less than spectacular. Here's what it looked like before:
photo by urbanprose
And here's how it looks today. I'm hoping that little ovoid bit is just a placeholder for something better yet to come:
photo from my flickr
Originally opened in 1962 and closed in 2006, the diner was beloved by Frank Sinatra and west-side gangsters alike. Its closure, wrote the Times, "left some neighbors crying in their egg creams, wondering who will rent the corner lot in Hell’s Kitchen, in a quickly evolving area with an increasing number of high-rise apartment buildings." In March 2008, the Times reported the Market would reopen--nothing less than a miracle in the insane real estate climate.
So I'm not complaining.
The exterior has been beautifully preserved and revitalized, with chocolate-brown eaves and polished chrome along the zigzag roof. The cream-colored stoneface around the foundation has also been kept and the entrance has been re-tiled in orange. The parking has been mostly replaced by an outdoor seating area.
photos from my flickr
The orange and brown color scheme continues inside, with pumpkin-colored booths trimmed in brown piping. Overall, the interior has been stripped and modernized. I've only been able to find a couple images of the Market's former interior:
photo: Sara Krulwich, NY Times
photo: NYC architecture
They've taken out the wavy bits over the counter, the striped tiles, and the attached swivel stools, for a streamlined, simplified look. It's clean and attractive, but not very interesting. Sort of "West Elm'd":
photo from my flickr
As for the French toast and bacon: Yum.