You are reading

Mike’s Diner in Astoria Has Closed, Served Neighborhood for Nearly a Century

Mike’s Diner in Astoria, pictured, appears to have closed for good (Photo: Facebook)

Sept. 9, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

An Astoria diner that has served multiple generations of customers since the 1920s appears to have closed for good.

Mike’s Diner, known for its classic American-style food options, looks to have shuttered following a financial dispute with the landlord over unpaid rent.

A sign affixed to the diner’s 22-37 31st St. front window indicates the operator’s lease for the premises has ended.

The signage reads: “End of Lease. We appreciate your patronage throughout the years.”

The Queens Gazette, which was the first to report the news, posted a picture of the sign on its Facebook page yesterday.

There have not been any posts on Mike’s Diner’s social media pages pertaining to the closure. The Queens Post was unable to reach the operators Friday, while the phone line at the diner has been disconnected.

However, court documents appear to shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the diner’s abrupt closure.

The landlord, Zan Diakos, filed suit against the operators in March claiming they owed him around $74,000, which included missed rent payments and real estate taxes.

In August, a court issued a warrant to evict the operators from the diner.

The closure of the diner brings an end to a much-loved Astoria staple which is located by the Ditmars subway station.

Mike’s Diner was first established in 1928 as an old train car-style establishment.

The old structure has long been torn down with the diner undergoing several makeovers over the decades. The current 1,700 square foot premises was gut renovated in 2014 with new tables, booths and ceilings installed. The diner currently features French-style doors with its entire frontage open to the street.

“This is a landmark to Astoria,” the operators told the Astoria Post when the renovations were taking place eight years ago. “We are just changing it with the times.”

The diner was known for its breakfast sandwiches, omelets, pancakes and waffles.

It also offered burgers and seafood as well as Greek, Mexican and Italian specials. The diner also had a range of milkshakes and desserts on its menu such as cheesecakes, chocolate puddings and lemon meringue pies.

Many customers took to Facebook to share their thoughts on the closure.

“A wonderful place to eat – sad to see them go,” wrote one poster.

“Used to go there on Friday night with my mom and dad,” wrote another former customer. “We’d meet my dad at the train station and then have dinner. Great memories and wonderful food.”
email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Larry Penner

How disappointing to learn about closing of Mike’s Diner in Astoria. I have enjoyed many excellent meals for decades when frequenting any one of many local diners. Over the years, we have seen the demise of too many diners. Diners have been part of my life from teenage years to today. Eating out is a periodic ritual with either friends or family. Portions are generous. Who never took a doggie bag home with leftovers to eat the next day. Between the customary soup, salad, rolls, coleslaw and pickles along with the main course — dinner could satisfy the heartiest appetite. Many time, we bagged our desserts to go.

Neighborhoods all over NYC have seen changes over time. Many new immigrant groups sometimes favor their own ethnic foods and restaurants. Diners have also lost customers over time to numerous fast food restaurants. Many of their menus have expanded to also include breakfast items and a greater variety of items to select from for lunch or dinner.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs who own and operate diners have continued to invest in our community creating new employment opportunities. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.

Why not honor the found memories we had at diners which have come and gone by continuing to patronize our open diners. Here’s hoping that handful of remaining Queens diners still in business don’t go the way of the dinosaurs into permanent extinction.

Larry Penner — a frequent customer of diners since the 1960’s)

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Firefighter injured battling 2-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning: FDNY

The FDNY battled a fast-moving two-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning that injured one firefighter. The blaze broke out in a two-story private home at 114 Walnut St., a block north of Forest Park at 2:34 a.m. Arriving units found heavy fire conditions throughout the basement, first and second floors. Firefighters were hampered by an SUV parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant at the location.

The FDNY transmitted a second alarm, bringing 25 units and 106 firefighters and EMS personnel to the scene. Nearby residents said the building had been undergoing construction in recent weeks and firefighters were evacuated from the rooftop due to sagging conditions towards the rear of the home. Firefighters could be seen through a second-story window pulling down ceilings after flames breached the cockloft, the area between the roof and ceiling.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.