Last week, NY magazine had a sad article about the slow but sure disappearance of local diners, aka coffee shops, aka greasy spoons, because landlords can get more in rent from other potential tenants. The article has some really interesting detail about the economics of having a restaurant in NY (in the case of one diner, rent went from $3,000 to $35,000 in 32 years; rent should not exceed 12 percent of sales) and economics of certain dishes (burgers are high margin products). Gothamist has always found diners comforting: Straightforward food, menus with something for everyone (You're on a low-carb diet? Get a big salad! You want grease? Get the fries!) and usually delivery if you're hungover at home and really need some French toast and bacon. Where will we be going if there are no more diners? Sometimes we don't want to wait in line to eat!
Ask Gothamist finally gleaned insight into one of the small mysteries we'd been wondering about: Why, when taking care of your bill, do you pay at a cashier instead of at the table?