Most people returning from a trip to New York City pack little souvenirs such as Lady Liberty mugs or magnets. Cheryl and Vince Pierce of La Barge, Wyo., dragged back the entire Moondance Diner, a stainless steel–clad eatery that had stood at Sixth Avenue and Grand Street near the Holland Tunnel.
The iconic diner, a haunt of SoHo artists, actors, and writers since the 1930s, had been scheduled for demolition. But the Pierces—like most of La Barge's 450 residents—thought their own food scene could use some pizzazz. Now the couple is pleasing patrons with biscuits and gravy, pancakes, club sandwiches, and such over-the-moon treats as vanilla milk shakes with Pop Rocks candy (their son Matt's creation).
Although the roof is new, the siding, blue vinyl stools, lunar sign, and vestigial graffiti are all SoHo. "We wanted to do the diner justice," Cheryl says. (307) 386-2103, www.historicmoondancediner.com .
Photography by Andrew Geiger 
This article was first published in March 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.