T-m’s Restaurant

Written by

Jessica Cohen reports:

Wondering what time Tom’s Restaurant closes on Thursday evenings, I
searched for the famed diner on Wikipedia, and I found these interesting few

“Tom’s Restaurant…would later become a site for pop-culture pilgrimage due
to the use of its exterior for the diner in the popular television sitcom
Seinfeld where Jerry and his friends regularly ate. Early episodes showed
the entire neon sign; to avoid royalties, later episodes crop out “Tom’s”,
showing only the “RESTAURANT” wraparound.”

That night, after my meal there, I sought to corroborate the claim of the
anonymous writer with one of the owners who had been working the cash

In a thick Greek accent, with much more than a twinge of anger in his eyes,
he declared,

“We would have never asked for their money!”

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  1. J.K.

    Before there was Seinfeld, there was Suzanne Vega, a now-famous Barnard English major.

    In 1981, she wrote a little song about Tom's, which doesn't really say much for the owner, if this same guy was around then:

    I am sitting

    In the morning

    At the diner

    On the corner

    I am waiting

    At the counter

    For the man

    To pour the coffee

    And he fills it

    Only halfway

    And before

    I even argue

    He is looking

    Out the window

    At somebody

    Coming in

    "It is always

    Nice to see you"

    Says the man

    Behind the counter

    To the woman

    Who has come in

    She is shaking

    Her umbrella

    And I look

    The other way

    As they are kissing

    Their hellos . . .

    This weekend, my friends were at Tom's sometime late in the evening, sitting at a booth, when one realized she was sitting in a puddle of vomit. They called over the waiter to point out the state of things; he looked on in mock incomprehension. After some prompting he asked, "Whaddya want me to clean it?" Moments later, he moved them and sat down an entering group in the vomitorium.

    It's nice to know some things never change.

  2. J.K.

    I should add that the MP3 compression algorithm was tuned to Vega's song. So it's supposedly the song most flattered by MP3 compression.

    Download it now, legally. Seriously: Dean Quigley said so.

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