Yorkville's Mansion diner is a Philips family legacy
NEW YORK – The Mansion diner has been a Philips family legacy for 77 years.
"My mother was born on the corner of 84th and York in 1919. My father immigrated from Cyprus in 1922," co-owner Philip Philips said. "My father got out of the service after World War II June 9, 1945. He opened the Mansion June 11, 1945."
Now semi-retired, Philip is passing the family trade down to his son John, the current operator and head chef.
John and his kitchen team prepare favorites like spinach pie, his grandfather's recipe, in which fresh spinach, scallions, olive oil, and feta cheese are baked in phyllo dough. A stuffed challah French toast gets dipped, griddled, and layered with cannoli cream and fresh strawberries.
In pursuit of food and familiarity, many regulars have been coming back for decades.
"Some of them come three or four times a day," John said. "They truly use the Mansion as an extension of their own home."
John and Philip hope their diner represents an inclusive safe haven.
"No one goes home hungry, if they have money or not," Philip said.
Their commitment to community is bolstered by the fact that they rarely stray too far from the Mansion.
"My son lives upstairs. I live 100 feet away," Philip said.
Roots also run deep for many fellow Yorkville residents.
"A lot of people who live here have lived here generationally," John said. "We're getting a lot of change, but at the same time, we still remain a neighborhood."
1634 York Ave.
New York, NY 10028
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