We're still trying to determine exactly why the classic chrome railcar-style diner Relish abruptly closed earlier this week, but this long goodbye was taped up inside the glass doors the other night. Written by owner Sandy Stillman, the missive is more of a love-letter to Williamsburg than farewell card, and explains the closure in vague terms, simply that announcing that it's time for Relish to "take another step so it can wake up rested stronger and cuter than ever."
In other classic diner news, diner advocate Michael Perlman (who previously helped save the Cheyenne Diner from the wrecking ball) is on the warpath over the changes being wrought at The Empire Diner in Chelsea. The landmark diner recently changed hands (the owners of the Coffee Shop in Union Square have taken over) and at some point in the past month the Empire State Building model was unceremoniously removed. According to Perlman:
The Empire is "a 1946 Art Deco freestanding diner by mastermind Joseph Fodero of the Fodero Dining Car Co). It is of a dying breed, since it is one of the last of 2 highly intact examples in Manhattan, which was once dotted with freestanding diners. As many people as possible need to call the Landmarks Preservation Commission's investigation unit and main phone number, and ask why the Empire State Building model was removed from the top corner of the landmarked facade of the Empire Diner at 210 10th Ave, and also mention that the new operators likely plan on changing the famed name (according to many press clips), which to our knowledge also has protection under the Landmarks Law.
Anyone who wants to join Perlman's diner crusade can call Diane Simonson at the LPC investigation unit at (212) 669-7948. (And while you have her on the phone, ask her how come the Statue of Liberty crown on Teddy's couldn't get landmarked!)