If you’ve ever caught an episode of Seinfeld, you’ve probably noticed the outside shot of Monk’s Café, the neighborhood eatery where Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer go to nosh. What you probably haven’t noticed is that, each time the shot of the restaurant’s red-neon sign hits the screen for a few seconds, there’s a streetlight conveniently blocking out the name before “Restaurant.”
That’s because the place isn’t Monk’s at all. It’s called Tom’s. And while Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t eat there, you can.
“The real one isn’t cute and isn’t atmospheric. It’s just plain, which is why I liked it.” Guess who said that? Vocalist Suzanne Vega, who in 1990 had a hit with a song called “Tom’s Diner.” She was a regular.