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Ellen's Stardust Diner
Photograph: ShutterstockEllen's Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner may be in danger of closing

The retro Times Square diner has been home to many who work on Broadway.

Emma Orlow
Written by
Emma Orlow

As we documented back in 2019, New York City diners were already on the brink of death due to a variety of reasons, including rising rents and changes in customers’ dietary restrictions and other consumer food trends. But with COVID’s attack on the hospitality industry, New York City diners are in an even more dire position. 

It’s looking like Ellen’s Stardust Diner —which first opened in 1987—may be in danger of closing. A sign obtained by Time Out New York posted on the diner’s door earlier this month from Sterling Landlord Corp. says that Ellen’s owes $618,459.22 for the above property and that they are required pay that money to their landlord by August 7th, 2020 or the business will have to vacate the premises. We reached out to Ellen’s Stardust by email and phone but did not hear back at the time of publication. 

Time Out
Photograph: Time Out New York

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, located at 1650 Broadway at 51st street, is a retro, 50s-style diner known for its singing servers. According to its Wikipedia page, it was a set location for the film New Year’s Eve featuring Sarah Jessica Parker and has been known to be a home for dozens of employees who went on to work in top Broadway shows, such as Wicked, Avenue Q and The Lion King, among others. 

With tourists largely cleared out of the Times Square area these days and Broadway shows and other cultural events in the area on indefinite pause, it seems fair to assume that foot traffic has been down these days at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. On top of that, with outdoor dining being the only full-service restaurant experience permitted in the city, so much of what makes a diner atmosphere charming does not translate in this new dining landscape. 

But perhaps there is still hope. Earlier reports of East Village haunt, Odessa diner turned out to be false: the diner was actually just getting a construction overhaul spruce up. Here's hoping Ellen's can hack it, too. 

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