NEW YORK - Ellen’s Stardust Diner is ready for a revival. The Times Square institution closed in March at the start of the pandemic and is finally about to open its doors back up this week for live performances, food, and drinks.
Just a few months ago, it was in jeopardy of closing.
“There is hope, it’s hope! Being able to sing in any atmosphere right now is a blessing,” said Brandi Massey.
Massey is an accomplished Broadway performer who has also been working for nearly two decades as a Starduster, which is what members of the waitstaff are called. They sing and dance and while serving customers. mostly tourists, who in the past, would line up for blocks to try and get a seat.
“We need our fellow New Yorkers to come on, put on your mask, get here safe, come and visit us, have dinner, everything is set up for you to be safe and see a show,” said Scott Barbarino.
Keeping with state laws, the restaurant will be at 25% capacity for indoor dining, temperatures will be checked at the door, social distancing rules will be in place and Plexiglas will divide the tables that are in use. The Stardust team is eager to pave the way for a resurgence of musical life in this area, which has been dark for months.
“My hope is that we get our shows back up and running, we get our restaurants back up and running, our piano bars back up and running and we make this a place again where people come to celebrate live entertainment,” said Barbarino.
For Brandi, singing with a mask on and at a distance from her colleagues won’t be easy, but she believes it will be worth the sacrifice.
“It means the world is opening back up, just one little blink at a time and to have Stardust be the start of something as grandiose as having live music and entertainment and food is great, but that means Broadway is close,” said Massey.
The restaurant will be open from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm every day except on Mondays. Reservations must be made through Yelp.
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