Oh, how we love when friends come to visit. It’s our chance to act like a tourist and see the sites through fresh eyes. At the top of our list ~ Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where the show never stops ~ until now.
Closed due to COVID-19, this popular institution owed over $600,000 in back rent, and if not paid by August 7th, the stardust will fall & the curtain will close for good. But today, we heard great news ~ Ellen’s Stardust Diner will reopen its doors on Thursday, October 1, 2020 ~ with outdoor dining!
“We are excited to open our doors again and welcome back New Yorkers and tourists to Times Square,” said Scott Barbarino, Artistic Director at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. “Stardust has been a New York City institution for more than 30 years and our hope is that everyone will still be able to enjoy a bit of Broadway with our singing wait staff in this interim before nearby theatres will be able to reopen as well.”
Ellen’s will be operating under a reduced capacity and will be implementing enhanced measures in accordance with guidance issued by federal, state and local authorities to ensure a safe, socially distant experience for all, with a “reservations only” policy through Yelp, six days a week from 11:30am to 9:30pm, with service expected to expand to include breakfast served during early morning hours once hotel occupancy increases in NYC. Additionally, the singing wait staff will be wearing face shields and will be significantly distanced from patrons while performing.
Come along inside during our visits over the years.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1987, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is one of the most authentic theme restaurants in New York City, with its retro-themed memorabilia and talented singing waitstaff.
So talented are some of their employees that several alum have gone on to successful careers on Broadway in shows like Avenue Q, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, South Pacific, In The Heights, On The Town, Wicked, Godspell and many more.
Alum have also received critical acclaim with original musicals at NY Musical Theater Festival. Brandon Ellis, Eric Michael Krop, Stephen Tyler Davis, and Alysha Umphress (Shirley) are some of the successful singers who began their careers as singing wait-staffers at Ellen’s.
The popular diner was also the site in the movie New Year’s Eve with Sarah Jessica Parker. And by the way, it’s a popular place to spend New Year’s Eve, and has even hosted wedding parties! They also sing a mean Happy Birthday.
The large interior space occupies two-floors, with memorabilia everywhere. Many past Miss Subways are on the walls; a 1956 Predicta television, and a ‘drive-in-theater’ screen that showcases vintage performances.
Don’t plan on having a conversation during your meal! The music and dancing hardly ever stop, and you’ll find yourself turning this way and that, as the talented waitstaff hop up on the booth behind you, dancing from one end of the room to the other.
Generally always packed with a line around the corner, no seat is a bad seat. Entertainment is upstairs, downstairs and all around.
Below, a few more pictures from our visits over the years.
New York City has been severely affected by COVID-19, with many businesses closed since March, unable to pay employees and bills still due.
We’re glad that Ellen’s will be able to keep its lights on and entertain us for years to come.