Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tramway Diner

VANISHED

Manhattan keeps losing its diners. Sometime recently, maybe earlier this month, we lost the Tramway Diner.



Located in the shadow of the 59th Street Bridge on 2nd Avenue, the Tramway sheltered me not long ago when I was wandering that neighborhood searching for a cheap, comfortable spot for dinner. The Tramway, with its tram-illustrated awning, beckoned, and fulfilled my need for a burger deluxe.

Today, the windows are dark and a sign says "All equipment for sale."

New York described the spot as featuring "nearly floor-to-ceiling windows with eye-catching views of the airborne cable cars ascending to and descending from Roosevelt Island with hypnotic consistency. Grab a window seat at one of the high-backed leather-and-wood booths and you’ll quickly find yourself glorifying the standard menu’s little enhancements like fresh-squeezed orange juice, burgers that weigh eight ounces, and a handful of sandwiches of the triple decker sort."


plazmasas

The interior was nothing special, typical contemporary diner design--except that the ceiling was hung with these adorable little tram cars (they used to light up). Where are they now?


fdelangle's panoramio

16 comments:

Pepe said...

This is so sad to me. Being a long time Roosevelt Island resident, I would go to the Tramway for some quiet time and good food. We only had one diner on the Island and the Tramway was a welcome change. A great view, with a chance to do some good people watching. It will be greatly missed.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Always liked the name of that diner.

Anonymous said...

major bummer. a longtime standby for me on my way back to queens late, late at night. always kept that old school nyc diner vibe in the wee hours: quiet, radio tuned low to some pop station, no obnoxious drunks or tourists. it will probably become a nail salon or a bank now.

Mark said...

Back in the mid-to-late 70's, we used to lunch at the Tramway every day.

I walked past it about a month ago, noting that it was still open, and thinking how great it was that it was still here.

Ah, well.

Marty Wombacher said...

Sorry I never made it to that diner. Too late now.

Bromius said...

How terrible---and how strange. A friend and I stopped in here on a whim less than a month ago. It was maybe 2 PM on a weekday, and the place was fairly full up, including a group of 10 European tourists drinking endless bottles of Heineken. As far as I can remember, there wasn't even a hint of impending closure.

Goggla said...

Dammit, I never made it in there. Those tram lights are really fantastic! I hope someone saved them.

Melanie said...

I passed the Tramway Diner so many times coming home from work on the bus. Sadly I never made it inside either. I like diners.

ShatteredMonocle said...

Go 1 block over for a comfortable, quiet, affordable, casual and delicious Italian restaurant hidden in the back of this Pizzeria. Perfect after a long walk on the bridge. Then go get drunk at the Subway Inn.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=New+York&ll=40.760342,-73.961742&spn=0,0.00515&z=19&layer=c&cbll=40.760273,-73.961571&panoid=q1qSGOIfZBp94mqb3gcKbA&cbp=12,336.24,,0,-11.3

esquared said...

well, if only a kardashian, suri, the gossip girls, et. als., went there, instead of only going to serendipity 3...

Anonymous said...

adorable and iconic...yes. CHEAP? NO! The prix-fixe at Le Bernardin was a better deal. and Viand 61/Madison is much yummier

Ed said...

I hate to pour cold water on this, but as the last "anonymous" posted the food has gotten quite pricey in recent years, without the quality really justifying it. And the cute tram models haven't been there in the past ten years.

This place was probably great in the 70s, but sometimes a business can become a shell of itself long before it officially closes.

Anonymous said...

What's gonna happen to the old guy in the wheelchair that sat outside? He once tricked me into pushing him five blocks. Now it will be an empty bank with a big sign... Ugh

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I used to meet there when we were 16. it was nowhere near where either of us lived, but somehow that's the place we chose as our hangout. We would go smoke cigarettes and eat pancakes at midnight - at that hour the other diners were all older men and women, presumably insomniacs, drinking coffee and chatting with the waiters like old friends (which of course they were...) - this loss is hitting me hard.

BarryboonTyler2 said...

My partner and I would go to the Tramway diner everytime we came to the city. so sad to know that it is no longer open. Miss Anna was always so nice and cheerful. We will miss it.

Anonymous said...

I used to visit this diner when holidaying in NY from the UK. Gutted to now find out it is shut down. I went there with family one years and took my friends the next. Another memory bites the dust. hmph.