…and after

The wrecking ball has done its work to Manhattan Diner, the beloved Greek spot that held down the corner of 77th Street and Broadway for 11 years.

The East Side of Broadway between 77th and 78th Streets was emptied out of retail tenants by Friedland Properties earlier this year to make way for a 20-story apartment building with a CVS on the ground floor. The block was nothing special, but that’s the reason why locals have lamented its destruction. There are too few blocks left in the neighborhood made up of small businesses, and obviously way too many drug stores. Manhattan Diner closed in May, along with a lot of the other small shops on the block: salon Curl Up and Dye, Italian restaurant Vai, the World of Nuts & Ice Cream, New Town Pizza and more.

As New York magazine’s Justin Davidson wrote: “There are two compelling reasons to mourn this block’s destruction. The first is that Broadway’s small businesses are being choked out not by inexorable Darwinism but because landlords and developers almost always prefer to sign a long-term lease with a clean, quiet, stable, and heavily capitalized corporation rather than risk renting to an amateurishly run boutique or a potentially odoriferous diner…The second reason that the demolition of the 77th Street block should cause much gnashing of teeth is that the low Broadway building is an endangered species.”

The CVS is slated to open in 2013, once the high-rise is completed. Curl Up and Dye indeed.

Thanks to Gavan for the tip.

Picture of Manhattan Diner in happier days by diffusor via flickr. Aftermath picture by Avi.

    1. Dee says:

      The Manhattan Diner will not be missed — our “beloved” diner in this nabe is kitty-corner: Big Nicks.

      What WILL be missed is New Pizza Town. Damn good pizza at a reasonable price. Any word on whether it will relocate?

    2. Darryl Carr says:

      As an occasional visitor to New York, this has me seeing red. I know that businesses come and go, but Manhattan Diner was a very good one. I ate there nearly every day when I last stayed on the Upper West Side. They had great breakfasts at reasonable prices and quick, courteous service. I’d hoped to visit during my upcoming visit. RIP.

    3. Lara says:

      I just Googled Manhattan Diner, having recommended a friend go there when she visits NYC this week. My husband and I ate breakfast there almost every day on our honeymoon. Very sad to find out it’s gone!

    4. gill Diaper says:

      We visited before 9/11 – what a wonderful diner – so sad

    5. gill Diaper says:

      My husband ran the New York Marathon – November before the towers came down – we would cross over the road to spend time in the diner. We recommended the diner to many – did not realise it had become a greek diner – but I am sure it would be marvelous. Just looked up the Manhatton and its all gone. Sorry about Sandy – here in UK just cold – and hoping Obama wins.

    6. Rosi Fresneda says:

      What has occurred is an absolute shame!!! I am from miami florida and traveled up to NYC yearly. I looked forward to always eating at the Manhattan Diner, going to the pizza parlor, going to the little market, visiting the ice cream shop and much more. I loved staying in the block because of the location the nice view and the surroundings. I was looking forward to traveling with my children now and show them around to where their mom and dad always traveled to and what we did. That has been destroyed! Shame! shame! Shame on you!

    7. I’m very upset. I just went online to read their menu, thinking I’d take my young friend there for some delicious matzo ball soup tonight. Who can afford a $25 entree on Amsterdam? This restaurant was my home away from home when I lived at 73rd and Broadway. So many good memories. Kind staff. Excellent spot to people watch. Amazing matzo ball soup and sandwiches. I never had one of the decadent desserts spinning around on that wheel, but dang. Dang dang dang. I miss “my” New York.

    8. Nanci Eisner says:

      Food Emporium is closing on 68th Street. Rumor has it that a Walgreen’s will be opening (they own and Duane Reade). Does that mean they will close the nearby Duane Reades (of which there are many)? What supermarket will be in this area (Trader Joe’s is great, but it is a TJ brand only), Fairway is too far to go, as is Whole Foods, plus they are not regular supermarkets. Pioneer is antiquated & filthy. Dirty rugs on the floor to hide chipped floors. Old calculator type receipts without purchases itemized except by an unidentified number and hidden cash registers so you really can’t see the cashier ringing up your merchandise. Disgraceful.

    9. Clare says:

      Cant believe the Manhattan Diner is gone. What a terrible shame. Was hoping to eat there again on our upcoming visit to NYC, been looking forward to it, we are coming from Liverpool UK. The Manhattan served the best food, breakfast, lunch and dinner, reasonably priced, great staff too, helpful and friendly. Both me and my husband could not fault this diner it was brilliant! What a shame this quaint little piece of NYC has gone.