The diner, it’s long been lamented, is an endangered species in New York City. And this isn’t just nostalgia clouding sentimental New Yorkers’ vision: According to a new Times report, health-department records show that there are half as many diners in the city as there were just 20 years ago.
In fact, there were a reported 398 diners last year as compared to 1,000 a generation ago. (Some of the more recent closings include Hell’s Kitchen’s retro-futuristic Market Diner, the iconic Latin lunch counter La Taza de Oro, Theater District institution Café Edison, La Parisienne, and Del Rio in Bensonhurst.)
The idea that New York is losing something essential to its history is well-established at this point, but the numbers are nevertheless startling.