In some random news, Gothamist is reporting that Tom’s Restaurant is being sued for not being accessible to people with disabilities (particularly people needing wheelchairs). Tom’s, located at 112th and Broadway in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, is known for providing the outside shots of the diner in Seinfeld and also for the Suzanne Vega song Tom’s Diner (which supposedly was also important in the development of the mp3 format). It even has a Wikipedia page.
In real life, Tom’s is known for its surly attitude (though this has either softened in recent years or I’ve just become immune to their hostility), mediocre food, and excellent milkshakes. You can even get an egg cream there. The food is cheap and not terrible and it’s the best place in Morningside Heights to get a milkshake at 2 am, so it remains popular enough among Columbia students to stay in business for over 50 years. It also appears that in the past few years they’ve started really playing up their Seinfeld connection to draw more of the tourist crowd. Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander (i.e. Costanza) were seen filming there earlier this year and they’ve even added outdoor seating (why they need that I don’t know) with Seinfeld character’s names emblazoned everywhere.
In true Tom’s fashion, the owner admits that the accusations are true, but just doesn’t seem to care enough to make the necessary changes (which are probably required by law).