Celebrity chef Amanda Freitag has closed Empire Diner, the longstanding diner in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, which she took over in January 2014.
In its long history, the diner has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including Woody Allen’s Manhattan, Law & Order, and the opening credits of Saturday Night Live.
It was the diner’s second makeover since Empire’s original owners departed in 2010. Freitag, who left her role as Empire’s executive chef earlier this year but remained a co-owner of the restaurant, is the co-host, along with Ty Pennington, of American Diner Revival on Food Network — a show about the revitalization of struggling diners around the United States.
According to TMZ, Empire was already four months behind on its rent, and its owners faced eviction if they did not pay $119,000 in rent owed by December 14. The restaurant may reopen under new ownership next year, according to a staff member.