A Good Spot For Goodfellas
Clinton Diner & Bar
56-26 Maspeth Ave., Maspeth
CREDIT CARD: No
HOURS: Open 24 hours
We had just taken a trip out to Maspeth to pick up a package. It was getting dark and we were hungry, looking for a place to sit and eat fast so we could head back home. Surrounded by warehouses, we walked a bit towards a bus stop and surveyed the area. There were pizza places, but that didn’t interest us that evening.
Off in the distance, the word “Diner” stood out to us and we agreed. A diner is always a good choice for a quick, satisfying meal, so we walked over to the Clinton Diner for a Friday night dinner out.
Having just moved to Queens last year, I’m not as familiar with the borough’s landmarks as I probably should be. So it was a pleasant surprise when I found out I was sitting in one of the filming locations for one of my favorite movies, 1990’s mob classic “Goodfellas.”
If you’re not paying attention inside the diner, you’ll maybe miss it. A small sign indicates the establishment as “the Goodfellas diner;” a picture of Bobby DeNiro hangs on the wall by the door. Other than that, though, the décor is unassuming. It’s a diner, after all, and some of the best diners are no-frills places where people come to eat, not study the ambiance.
The service that Friday night was right on top of things. Our waitress seemed to know exactly when we were ready, appearing at the table almost instantly after we closed our menus to take our order. A bacon cheeseburger and onion rings for me, fish and chips for my girlfriend.
The food wasn’t gourmet. It’s not supposed to be at a diner, but it was certainly satisfying. There’s something about a plate of greasy diner food - a memory of the good ol’ days in college eating at diners with friends at all hours of the night – that just makes me happy.
When we were finished, I walked to the ATM in the entranceway and took out some money to pay. The diner doesn’t take credit cards, another part of the place that gives it a throwback feel to another time.
The Clinton Diner encapsulated everything a good diner should be: simple, unassuming, satisfying and affordable. I’m looking forward to going back.
-Steven J. Ferrari