Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Home of the Original World-Famous Singing Waitstaff!

Ellen's Stardust Diner is a retro 1950s theme restaurant located at 1650 Broadway on the southeast corner of 51st Street in Theater District, Manhattan, New York City. The diner is regarded as one of the best theme restaurants in New York. The diner also contains retro-themed memorabilia such as photos of many past Miss Subways on the walls, an indoor train, a 1956 Predicta television, and a “drive-in theater” screen that showcases performances from the 1950s. It is popular among children and adults.

a drawing of a cartoon character

History

Ellen's Stardust Diner was opened in 1987 after Ellen's Cafe was closed down.  It was the first 1950s themed restaurant in New York City and had waitresses in poodle skirts. In the late 1990s, a sister restaurant operated near Times Square under the name Stardust Dine-O-Mat.

a drawing of a cartoon character

In Popular Culture

Ellen's Stardust Diner was the site in the movie New Year's Eve where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character and her 15-year-old daughter's friends stopped for a bite after the ball dropped.  It was also featured in American Idol when a former employee, Devyn Rush, became a contestant on the show. Reports subsequently followed regarding Devyn's employment status at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Ellen's Diner was also featured on a Today Show episode.

a drawing of a cartoon character

Alumni on Broadway

Several alums of Ellen's Stardust Diner singing waitstaff have gone on to have successful careers on Broadway and American Idol. Many current staffers have received critical acclaim with original musicals at the NY Musical Theater Festival. Brandon Ellis, Eric Michael Krop, Stephen Tyler Davis, and Alysha Umphress (Shirley) are some of the successful singers who started their careers as singing wait-staffers at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Ellen's Stardust Diner is considered a breeding ground for singers. Former Ellen's staff members have been known to star in almost every Broadway and major off-Broadway musical such as Avenue Q, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, South Pacific, In The Heights, On The Town, Wicked, and Godspell.

1959

Ellen Hart Becomes "Miss Subways"

1962

Ellen marries Entrepreneur, Iriving Sturm

1979

The original Ellen's Cafe opens across from City Hall

1987

Ellen's Stardust Diner opens on 51st and Broadway

1994

The Iridium Jazz Club opens its original location on 63rd Street and 8th Avenue

1994 -1995

Monica Geller works as a chef at the Iridium on the first two seasons of "Friends"

April 23, 2001

Paul McCartney joins Les Paul on stage at the Iridium

August 1, 2001

The Iridium moved to its current location at 1650 Broadway on 51st Street

2011

Ellen's Stardust Diner is a featured film location in the movie "New Year's Eve", starring Sarah Jessica Parker

March of 2020

Temporarily closed due to Covid

November of 2021

Grand Reopening

2022 Miss Subways Reunion

In honor of Women’s History Month, 10 of the former Miss Subways Beauty Queens gathered for a reunion brunch. On this day, March 7, 2022, New York City lifted all remaining mask and vaccine requirements, making the City completely open for all to come and enjoy