TOM’S RESTAURANT on Broadway in the Upper West Side has been in business since the 1940s. The diner became famous after its exterior was used in scenes on the popular television sitcom, Seinfeld.
We interviewed the co-owner Mike Zoulis, in 2010 for our book, "New York Nights" and he told us, “I’ve been involved in the restaurant since 1980. I am the one who signed the initial release with Castle Rock Entertainment for the restaurant to be used in the TV series, “Seinfeld”. I believe that Jerry Seinfeld had eaten here years ago and remembered the restaurant and suggested it to his location scout. When they came here asking to film the exterior, they told me it was just for a pilot show. And some pilot that turned out to be! We have gotten a lot of publicity from it being used in the Seinfeld show. People recognize us even though in Seinfeld they crop out the word “Tom’s” and just have the neon “Restaurant” sign showing and also refer to the place as “Monk’s Diner.” In fact, people from all over the world make the pilgrimage here to see the restaurant and to take photos of it and eat here. Many customers tell us that they wanted to come to New York just to see our restaurant. And then when they eat here and the food is good, they are double excited.”