Historic diner Kellogg’s for sale after a century in Williamsburg

Kellogg's diner in Williamsburg on the corner of Metropolitan and Union avenues.
Beloved historic diner Kellogg’s for sale.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

Kellogg’s, the treasured Williamsburg diner, has filed for bankruptcy, and the eatery’s owners have listed the iconic restaurant for sale after nearly 100 years in business.

As first reported by Eater, the greasy spoon, which has long been a community fixture on the corner of Metropolitan and Union avenues, has been forced to list the property for an initial asking price of $2.5 million following financial devastation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The diner, known for its famous neon signage, and for its prominence in the hit HBO show Girls, will remain open for business throughout the sale, with the new owner’s set to inherit the establishment’s liquor license, as well as its 30-year lease set to begin June 1 of this year. 

While the news may come as a shock to some patrons, current owner Irene Siderakis has known that filing for bankruptcy was inevitable since the beginning of the pandemic, telling Brooklyn Paper in December of 2020 that she was sure she’d lose the business.

“I will have to file for bankruptcy, there’s no doubt,” said Siderakis “If I don’t see any green light fast, things are not going to go well for me.”

Siderakis took over the business in 2018 after the unexpected death of her husband, Chris, who was Kellogg’s previous owner. 

The role was initially overwhelming, with Siderakis telling the New York Times in 2021 that she “had no idea how to run a diner or if I could. I had to make a choice: sell the diner or learn the business on my own and show my boys we can do this and persevere.”

Kellogg’s has been a Williamsburg staple since it opened its doors in 1928, and Siderakis has tried almost everything to keep the business going by drawing in customers from comedy shows and other events, to selling food on delivery apps under 18 different names.

However, it wasn’t enough and by August of 2021, Kellogg’s owed creditors over $750,000 in unpaid expenses and was also hit with legal fees following a 2019 wage theft lawsuit all while owing over $300,000 in unpaid rent according to Eater.

Siderakis was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021, a financial option that allows businesses like Kellogg’s to remain open while restructuring.

That still wasn’t enough to keep the establishment afloat, so in January of this year Siderakis also had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy – shuttering the business for three weeks while creditors were given rein.

Kellogg’s re-opened on Feb. 30, but a bankruptcy trustee is now overseeing business operations until the establishment is sold. 

Until then, Kellogg’s remains open to customers, closing on weekends from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and also offers takeout and delivery options.