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NEW YORK CITY-Residential and office tenants gravitating to Eleventh Avenue have another option for a neighborhood hangout. The Market Diner, among the largest remaining in Manhattan at 11,500 square feet, has reopened after being closed for more than two years. The Moinian Group, owners of the property, made the announcement earlier this week.

Daniel Gohari, VP and director of leasing at the Moinian Group, tells GlobeSt.com the diner has actually been open for business since last month, following an extensive capital improvement campaign and interior re-design. The Market Diner’s new owners, James Athanasopoulos and Elias and John Tsinias, signed a 10-year lease for the property at 587 Eleventh Ave. Rent was not disclosed.

An artifact of the days when its neighborhood was known as one of the roughest in Manhattan–its clientele at one time included the now-disbanded Westies gang as well as celebrities who used it as a late-night hangout, including Frank Sinatra and Bette Midler–the 47-year-old Hell’s Kitchen fixture is now looking at a more upscale customer base. Gohari says the diner’s new owners were attracted by the burgeoning residential development nearby, including the Moinian Group’s Atelier condominium at 635 W. 42nd St., which will be joined by an adjacent rental apartment building. A bellwether office tenant was also a draw: Ogilvy New York, which is scheduled to move into its new 564,000-square-foot headquarters at 636 Eleventh Ave. later this year.

“This was a major factor in attracting the tenant,” Gohari tells GlobeSt.com. “The new owners operate several diners in Manhattan and are very familiar with the area. They knew that there were very few dining options in the area and that they could build on the success of the previous operator because of the new office tenants and residential development in the area.”

The new owners’ interest in re-opening the Market as a diner also fit in with the Moinian Group’s priorities. “Ever since the old Market Diner closed, we have been searching for the right restaurant tenant to serve this burgeoning neighborhood,” Gohari says in a release. “The area lacked sufficient dining alternatives for this growing residential population and we were happy to secure an experienced operator to bring back this popular West Side restaurant.” According to a 2007 article in The New York Times, other possible tenants formerly under consideration for the space included a graphic design firm and a skate shop.

Once the backdrop for a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and his friends hold a meeting with a seller of black-market shower heads, the Market will remain one of the few authentic diners still operating in Manhattan, Gohari says. One difference will be the addition of outdoor seating in warmer weather. “We wanted to make it a little more upscale,” Athanasopoulos says in a release. The Moinian Group represented both the owner and the tenant in the lease.

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