Empire Diner

nemaworkshop has breathed new life into the retro Empire Diner, a refined design that pays homage to the restaurant’s historical importance in New York City, New York.

  • area / size 3,000 sqft
  • Year 2017
  • Located in the heart of West Chelsea, Manhattan, the iconic Empire Diner has undergone an impressive refresh at the hands of New York City-based architecture and interior design firm, nemaworkshop. Tapped to infuse elevated design in tandem with the refined menu dictated by Chef John Delucie, the space provides a generous floor plan within the restaurant’s traditional diner car exterior. Once inside, banquettes encased in rich brown leather upholstery come into view along with the visual contrast created with back wall’s three-part facade, moving from wood paneling to chrome to old-school mirrors. Textural and visually-intriguing details continue throughout the space, with subway tile outlining the base of the exterior wall, while clapboard in pine and white stain are utilized on the bar. Seating situated around the bar consists of elegantly positioned bar stools upholstered in the same warm leather used for the banquettes. In line with the overall theme of the space, a modern and elevated take on nostalgic design, the bar stools feature matte black bases and foot rests. Located directly across from the bar, additional booths crafted from pine wood slatting are available for parties of four; four seat round top tables sit guests as well. Splashes of traditional diner design fare can be seen across the space, including metallic chrome surfacing material affixed to the ceiling and door, along with a retro clock hung centrally. Tilted mirrors are also integrated into the space’s architecture, creating depth and adding a touch of glamour. Pendant ceiling fixtures and drop lights illuminate the diner, casting a warm glow that creates an insatiable ambiance for guests.

    Design: nemaworkshop
    Photography: courtesy of nemaworkshop