Square Diner located at 33 Leonard Street
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the decline and loss of several of our favorite old New York diners. One that doesn’t seem to be struggling is the iconic Square Diner in Tribeca, busting with business inside and out. Those who live and work in Tribeca already are familiar with the tiny 1,000 square foot rectangular train-car style diner and the general public may recognize it from film and television appearances.
The interior space with wood-paneled walls and ceilings
No one is exactly sure when Square Diner first opened its doors, but the year is thought to be about 1922, when the building took the form of a wooden shack. The current train-car style diner was made by Pullman Dining Car Company of New Jersey in the 1940s and is more triangular than square. While we have been unable to gather ownership from its earliest days, we do know that John Siderakis ran the diner from 1971 to 2001, when his daughter and son-in-law, Anna and Teddy Karounos, took the helm.
In keeping with the integrity of the history of the diner, glass-block windows, red vinyl booths, stainless-steel trim and polished wood-paneled walls and ceilings are beautifully kept. Bringing the diner more in line with a new customer base that include office workers, students, and residents, patrons will now find fresh fruit salads, green salads, quesadillas and paninis on the menu, in addition to their standard hearty breakfast and lunch. A stand-alone diner surrounded by tall buildings also has attracted film crews, and this past few years, four TV shows were filmed there, including Daredevil, Gotham, the HBO miniseries Crime, and Ed Burn’s Public Morals.
Square Diner is located at Finn Square, 33 Leonard Street on the corner of Varick Street.
Check out 11 of our favorite luncheonettes, the tiny Hector’s Diner under the High Line. Go inside NYC’s oldest family owned Luncheonette. Check out JR’s new 75 foot tall mural around the corner at 100 Franklin Street. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.