Tag Archives: Key West diner

Upper West Side: Key West Diner Reopens as Manhattan Diner on Upper Broadway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Fey graces the wall of the Manhattan diner. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Garish appears to be the decor of choice for any diner that’s located on Broadway between 94th and 95th streets. Manhattan Diner, a remake of the venerable Key West Diner, hews to that course with a mishmash of blues, reds and yellows, evoking an 80s disco down on its luck. (This new Manhattan Diner is also a replacement for the old Manhattan Diner at 77th and Broadway, according to MyUpperWest; yes, it’s confusing.)

The look is a bit jarring, but that’s OK.  It’s a diner. A huge blow-up photo of Tina Fey hangs on the wall.Wonder if she goes there for a quick omelet before work?

I loved the feel of the old spot. All those 1970s faux-tropical pinks and turquoises, not to mention the flamingos. It was a great piece of kitsch.

Manhattan Diner, Broadway, Upper West Side. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

A major improvement is the food. Of the three diners in the neighborhood run by the same owners–Metro, City and Key West–Key West was the weakest on the good eats scale. The grilled cheese was fine, but not as oozingly tasty as up the street at the Metro Diner. That situation has been remedied! Now, you can get a grilled cheese and tomato (the acid test for an establishment calling itself a diner) that’s overflowing with melted cheese and grilled to perfection.

“Business is just OK,” the manager told me. “I don’t think people know we’re here,” he said.

Now you do. Can’t speak for the food other than the grilled cheese but Yelpsters have given it a thumbs up.

Manhattan Diner (the old Key West Diner)

2532 Broadway
Between 93rd and 94th streets
New York, NY 10025

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Sneak Peak: Key West Diner on Upper West Side Dropping Tropical Look; New Name Needed

The Key West Diner is being renovated. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

For 22 years, the Key West diner, an Upper West Side institution, has served standard diner fare in tropical-themed dining room that can only be described as extreme diner kitsch. Now, the neighborhood eatery which for years has boasted a vibrant–some might say garish—turquoise and tangerine decor designed to evoke its sub-tropical namesake, is undergoing a gut renovation intended to create a more modern look.

When will the new place, a favorite of upper Broadway denizens and of guests of the Hotel Newton next door, open?  November, says owner Frank Tsiamtsiouris.

And, to go with the new, sleeker interior, management is searching for a new name for the place. The owners are asking the public for suggestions. Send  them as comments to this post, and I’ll pass them on.

Key West Diner pre-renovation in its tropical phase.

As for the menu, “it will be pretty much the same,” says Tsiamtsiouris. That means you’ll still be able to get their refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade—maybe the last of its type in any diner in New York.  Also likely to be kept around are the gargantuan omletes, mammoth salads that are enough to feed a family of five and other over-sized dishes.

As for the color scheme, dabs of tangerine will still exist here and there. But “there will be some browns, along with a higher ceiling, and a terrazzo floor,” says Tsiamtsiouris, who also owns the nearby Metro and City diners on Broadway as well as two other diners elsewhere in the city.

“After 23 years, the floor was breaking” and there was other structural deterioration too, he says, explaining why he decided to renovate now.

Key West Diner
2532 Broadway
New York, NY (Btwn 94th & 95th St)
212 932-0068

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