Client: Cafeteria Group
The Empire Diner is an upscale retro diner with an Art Moderne exterior. It was constructed by the Fodero Dining Car Company in 1946 and was renovated by Sweet Group in 2017. Because of the building’s landmark status, changes to the façade were forbidden, but Sweet was able to replace the roof and open the walls to outfit operable windows.
The 100-seat interior combines a classic European bistro aesthetic with a modernized mid-century style. The sign board that runs along the length of the place remained intact, but the letter signs were replaced to update its presence while maintaining its heritage.
The goal of the project was to cultivate the diner's history while also reflecting Chelsea’s contemporary style.