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The diner opened in 1933, when it was named the Holland Tunnel Diner. It could seat about 34 people, with six tables and ten counter stools. Like most diners of its vintage, it was built elsewhere and transported to its site. The entire structure was roughly thirty-six by sixteen feet. Circa 1997, it was purchased by Sunis Sharma.
In 2007, it was announced that due to rising rent, the diner would be closing, and a demolition date of August 1 was set. Preservationists and the neighborhood's residents organized benefits for the diner.
In mid-2007, the diner was donated by Extell Development Company to the American Diner Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, which put it up for sale on its website before the structure was moved. In August the diner was purchased from the museum for $7500 by Vince and Cheryl Pierce and transported 2,400 miles (3,900 km) on the back of a semi-trailer truck to La Barge, Wyoming. However, shortly after the move, there were reports that the diner was unused and falling into dilapidation in its new site. During its first Wyoming winter, in January 2008, the diner's walls buckled and the entire roof caved in under the weight of ice and snow. The rotating moon sign, kept safe in storage, was undamaged. By March 2008, the diner was mostly repaired and restored, and is open for business six days a week. It was included in a late 2000s / early 2010s list of 51 "great burger joints" compiled by USA Today through reader suggestions.
In popular culture
- In the television sitcom Friends, the character Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) worked at the Moondance Diner, which was depicted as a 1950s theme restaurant. However, the show was filmed in Los Angeles, and only the exterior shots depicted the real diner.
- In the 2005 rock- mockumentary film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, six-year-old Alex faints on the counter of Moondance Diner after drinking and spilling cans of soda all over himself.
- The cable television series Sex and the City featured scenes shot at the Moondance Diner.
- In the 2002 film Spider-Man the Moondance Diner appears as the diner at which Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is employed.
- In a-ha's music video for its 1988 single "You Are the One", the band enters the diner.
- American composer and playwright Jonathan Larson was a waiter for ten years at the Moondance Diner.
- Actor Jesse L. Martin met fellow waiter Larson at the Moondance Diner and later starred as Tom Collins in Larson's play and film versions of the musical Rent.
- McDonnough, Kaili (August 2, 2007). "Make That Diner to Go". New York Post. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Mindlin, Alex (April 29, 2007). "The Ultimate Moveable Feast". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Gearino, Jeff (July 31, 2007). "Manhattan diner finds Wyo home". Casper Star-Tribune. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Clark, Roger (April 25, 2007). "Patrons Organize To Save Venerable SoHo Diner". NY1. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Chung, Jen (August 11, 2007). "Moondance Diner, A Piece of New York, Moves West". Gothamist. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Shapiro, Gary (August 1, 2007). "To Find This New York Diner, Head to Wyoming". The New York Sun. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Moondance Diner moving to LaBarge, Wyoming". Pinedale, Wyoming: Pinedale Online!. July 31, 2007. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Ozersky, Josh; Maurer, Daniel (September 12, 2007). "The Moondance Diner, Neglected in Wyoming, Now a Shell of Itself". New York. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Lee, Jennifer 8. (January 7, 2008). "Wyoming Winter Weighs Down Moondance Diner". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Ozersky, Josh; Maurer, Daniel (March 6, 2008). "The Moondance Diner Gets a Happy Ending After All". New York. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "Owner: Moondance Diner on track to open in Wyoming". Associated Press via AM New York. March 5, 2008. Archived from the original on March 11, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- "51 Great Burger Joints". USA Today Travel. Undated. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
- Shapiro, Gary (February 13, 2007). "Goodnight, Moondance". The New York Sun. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
- Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. p. 29. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].
- Buckley, Michael (Aug 3, 2003). "Stage to Screens: A Chat with Jesse L. Martin". Playbill. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2011. Unknown parameter