The Clinton Diner has been a Maspeth landmark since 1935. The following was provided to us by Nick Diamantis. Nick’s family has owned the diner for decades.

The oldest photo of the diner, taken in the 1930’s, shows a square building. It is uncertain whether it was torn down at some point or may be part of the diner’s current kitchen.  

Nick recalls, “One old diner customer, that has since passed away, said that he remembered that the diner was moved across the street at some point in the 1940’s or 1950’s (probably while they were renovating).” The second photo was definitely taken at the gas station across Maurice Avenue. It looks like an old dining car.

Then in 1955-56, they delivered and installed a new Kullman Dining car, which looked very similar to the Airline Diner on Astoria Blvd. (The Kullman Company constructed diners from 1927-2011.) Unfortunately, Nick does not own photos of the diner taken during this time period.

“This customer, Mike, also told us about Clinton Hall across the street which was a popular dance hall that catered to the area,” Nick remembers. “There was a park next to it called Clinton Park. He also said that in the early 1900’s people would go to the town docks that were nearby in the Newtown Creek and they would go fishing.”

In 1957, a new left side dining room was added to the diner, and in 1965-66 a right side dining room was added and the entire diner interior and exterior were renovated to convert it into the ‘Space Age’ style, which is what it continues to look like today.
  The “stuck-in-time” look of the diner has made it a popular venue for filming, especially of period pieces. Right is a partial list of movies, TV shows and music videos shot at the diner. In 2012, the diner officially became the “Goodfellas Diner” after the most famous production to be filmed there. (However, most locals will continue to call it the Clinton Diner.)

Nick wonders if anyone in the area has old photos of the diner, especially from the 1950’s. Please write to info@ if you have such photos or other information about the diner’s history.

Nick Diamantis, who co-owns the diner with his parents, is also an actor. He has had small parts in 4 out of the 5 seasons of the HBO drama, Boardwalk Empire. In the penultimate episode of the series, Nick, playing a gangster, backed up Lucky Luciano in a showdown with Nucky Thompson’s entourage (see photo
opposite page).

Interestingly and coincidentally, Lucky Luciano was portrayed in the series by Vincent Piazza, who was born in Middle Village and grew up in Maspeth.

Here are some of the projects filmed at the diner:


GoodFellas (1990)
Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta (Example of Reverse Tracking or “Hitchcock-Zoom”)

Six Ways to Sunday (1997) Deborah Harry “Blondie”
Vincent Pastor & Norman Reedus

Brooklyn Rules (2007)
Scott Caan, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jerry Ferrara, Mena Suvari

Beautiful Ohio (2007)
Chad Lowe, Hilary Swank, William Hurt, Rita Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg & Julianna Margulies

The Baby Sitters (2008)
John Leguizamo

Three Backyards (2010)
Edie Falco & Elias Koteas

Beware The Gonzo (2010)
Jesse McCartney, Campbell Scott & Zoë Kravitz

Jack Goes Boating (2010)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
& John Ortiz
You Don’t Know Jack (2010)
Al Pacino, & Barry Levinson

Over/Under (2011)

Dark Horse (2012)

Vamperifica (2012)
Dreama Walker

Zarra’s Law (2013)
Tony Sirico, Michael Badalucco

Maladies (2012)
Alan Cumming, Catherine Keener, David Strathairn, James Franco

Glass Chin (2014)

H.O.M.E. – Life of a Passenger (2014)
Karen Lynn Gorney, Jesús Ochoa

Life of an Actress the Musical (2014)

The Magic Man BACARDÍ presents The Untameable Series (2014)

Urge (2015) Pierce Brosnan

TV Series:

Third Watch Ep. 207
After Hours (2000), Michael Beach, Coby Bell, Bobby Cannavale

The Job (2001) Denis Leary
Third Watch Ep 307
Childhood Memories (2001) Michael Beach, Coby Bell,
Amy Carlson
Johnny Zero (2005)
Denis Leary & Franky G.
Law and Order–Criminal Intent (2006) Chris Noth, Annabella Sciorra & Alicia Witt
Law and Order–Criminal Intent 2007 Chris Noth
Bored To Death episode 6
The Case of the Beautiful
Blackmailer (2009) Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, & Ted Danson
National Geographic Inside
Mafia Detectives (2011) Tom Jennings
The Good Wife (2010) Chris Noth
Person of Interest TV Pilot (2011), Jim Caviezel
Person of Interest (2011) Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Blue Bloods (2011) Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Tom Selleck,
Pan Am (2011) Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Michael Mosley
666 Park Avenue (2013) Terry O’Quinn, Dave Annable
Person of Interest (2014) Jim Caviezel
Elementary (2013) Exteriors only Lucy Liu
Good Wife (2013) Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles
Leftovers (2014) Justin Theroux

Commercials & Print:

Got Milk, Old Guys (2001)
Tums (2007)
Becks Beer (2006)
10-4 Magazine September 2011, A Jewel on Long Island
Trane Air Conditioners (2000)
ELLE ITALIA January 2011,
Coco Rocha by Michael Sanders
Hysteric Glamour Spring/Summer 2011
Bergdorf Goodman (2005)
Proctor & Gamble Downy (2012)
American Express (2014)
VOGUE UK November 2013, Claire Danes

Music Videos:

Rapper AZ “I’m Back” (2004)

Newton Faulkner “Dream
Catch Me” (2008),

Selah Sue “Crazy Vibes” (2011)