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.
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
New York, NY (Btwn 94th & 95th St)