Photo by Christina Wilkinson
Inside the GoodFellas Diner on Maspeth Ave. shortly after a fire was extinguished on June 11.

A historic Maspeth eatery that has been a popular site for movie and television scenes went up in flames yesterday shortly after it closed for the day.

The FDNY received the call at 4:45 p.m. on June 11 for a fire at the GoodFellas Diner on Maspeth Avenue. Firefighters got the blaze under control by 5:30 p.m., officials said, but there were no details available about the severity of the fire.

There were no injuries during the incident, fire officials said.

Witnesses at the scene provided more details, and a video posted to Facebook showed firefighters breaking the windows of the diner as smoke billowed out. A fire official explained that this is a standard practice to ventilate a building while fighting a fire.

After firefighters extinguished the flames, local resident Christina Wilkinson went inside the damaged diner and spoke to the owners. While fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire, Wilkinson told QNS that the kitchen appeared to have the most damage.

She added that firefighters may have broken through the roof above the kitchen to gain access since the diner was closed and locked up for the day. Fire officials could not confirm if that was the case but said that it is likely there was forced entry if the building was locked.

The extent of the damage is yet to be determined, but Wilkinson said that most of the vintage decor that made the diner such a popular site for movie shoots was still intact.

Founded in 1935 as the Clinton Diner, many people in the neighborhood still refer to the Maspeth landmark by its original name. A long list of movies and TV shows have filmed scenes inside throughout the 2000s, but the iconic shoot of “Goodfellas” in 1990 became the new namesake for the diner in 2012.

The acclaimed Martin Scorsese mobster film starring Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci showcased the diner in several pivotal scenes, each of which featured Liotta and DeNiro dining together. The diner’s exterior is shown when DeNiro’s character kicked down a telephone booth after learning of his friend and associate being whacked.

Photos by Christina Wilkinson

Photos by Christina Wilkinson




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