Monday, April 30, 2007

Will Moondance make it to Queens?

The Moondance Diner is being forced to vacate its home since the 1930s to make way for what else - luxury condos. Whether it makes it across the river to Queens by May 15th, as its owner hopes, or is reduced to rubble, is a question that has yet to be answered:

In SoHo, a last chance for Moondance diner

Patrons Organize To Save Venerable SoHo Diner

Oldest Diner In NYC To Face Wrecking Ball

Goodnight, Moondance

There will be a fundraiser this Wednesday for those who are interested in saving it:

NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 29, 2007) – A fundraiser to save the historic Moondance Diner, will be held on Thurs, May 3, 2007, from 6 PM to 9 PM at artist Ruth Litoff’s studio at 80 Varick Street, #9E (one block west of Moondance). Diner owner Sunis Sharma, concerned patrons, artists, preservationists, & community groups, are coming together, as Ms. Litoff will auction off her artwork. We hope to spare the culturally & architecturally significant Moondance from demolition, since it is slated to be replaced with a high-rise condo. Possibly on May 15th, the diner will close its doors forever. Therefore, it is urgent to raise sufficient funding to transport the diner to another site within the 5 boroughs. Freestanding diners were erected on site in one piece, and manufactured to move.

The “1933” Moondance Diner, located at 80 6th Ave in SoHo, is a highlight in terms of its diverse patronage including celebs, and the motion picture, sitcom, & Broadway world (Spiderman, Friends, Igby, Sex in the City, etc). This is also where Jonathan Larson was employed for a decade prior to producing RENT. This railway car-inspired diner, formerly called the Holland Tunnel Diner, retains several original &/or distinctive elements; chrome detailing, a barrel roof ceiling, wrap-around windows, counter & stools, as well as a retro revolving moon sign.

During the 40's & 50's eras, freestanding diners numerously dotted the 5 boroughs, and brought together individuals of various occupations in a cozy, personable, & striking ambiance. Today, they are becoming an endangered species at an alarming rate, but the Moondance Diner can be salvaged. Please join us in solidarity to celebrate nearly 75 years of the Moondance’s diverse history, with hors d’oerves, cocktails, & music, and an art auction that will be integral in determining its fate.
Moondance Diner visuals:

Moondance Diner visuals (Courtesy of Michael Perlman)

**To start bidding on Ruth Litoff’s artwork prior to & post May 3rd, please visit:

Ruth Litoff's website

Photo from NY Sun


Anonymous said...

A shame. Diners are a wonderful part of the NYC experience. Why this one wasn't landmarked is a good question. It's definitely more landmark-worthy than some of the other shit that academics in this city are intent on saving.

grvsmth said...

I hope it makes it to Queens, but with better food. I used to work a block away, and they had the blandest salads. Maybe the fundraiser and Queens rent would help them lower their prices too.

In the meantime, we've got the New York Ham 'n' Eggery at 49-09 Northern Boulevard, which is worth a visit. The review puts it in Jackson Heights, but the Post Office says LIC.

Now I'd have given good money to save Sam Chinita and move it to Woodside...

Anonymous said...

We will probably get another ugly Trump style building with brass and black glass towering over our heads. These investors have no community resistance every old building and their occupants are at risk. More and more people will loose their apartments/homes only to be shipped to the foreign lands of somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Why all this fuss about a rather mediocre example of a diner in Manhattan. The "Empire Diner" located in Chelsea is in a far better un-altered state! There are bigger fish to fry in Queens.

Let's prioritize folks....the "Moondance" is a "hangnail" issue when it comes to othe more serious preservation matters.

Unless it's moved to Queens....who cares!

Anonymous said...

A great way for a Queens preservationist to waste his time in Manhattan!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this cause, since we all need to support each other and also aim for what we believe in. We all share common cause. For those who don't realize that or are unwilling to, you're narrow-minded.

The Moondance Diner is NY's oldest, a work of art, very cultural, and sentimental to many. It would boost the culture of any borough. Nevermind a few alterations. It retains most of its original interior & exterior signature features. The Moondance sign is now a conversation piece within itself, and definitely an enhancement since the early 80's. Visit John Baeder's paintings & make a comparison:

John Baeder

Unknown said...

Oh goody, I'm in the market for a "luxury condo" and they're really hard to find right now.