Ellen’s Stardust Diner to Host Miss Subways Reunion, Honoring the NYC Cultural Icons Who Decorated the Subways for More than 30 Years

On Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 11 am, Ellen Hart, winner of Miss Subways 1959 and owner of the world-famous Broadway Diner with singing waitstaff, will join fellow awardees to celebrate and look back on their fascinating lives after winning Miss Subways

New York, NY – April 16, 2024 – Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square will host a “reunion to remember” as the beloved faces of the Miss Subways competition, including Ellen herself, owner of the Diner and Miss Subway 1959, will reunite to celebrate their reigns as quintessential women of New York City. From 1941 to 1976, the New York Subways Advertising Co. chose many inspiring women each year to appear in “Meet Miss Subways” placards, on display throughout subway cars for millions to admire while riding the subway. On Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 11 am, twelve winners will gather to honor their achievements at the retro-themed diner located within the heart of New York City.

“I am so thrilled to welcome such talented and amazing women to the diner this May, the month Mona Friedman, the very first Miss Subways, was awarded the honor in 1941,” said Ellen Hart, Founder and Owner of Ellen’s Stardust Diner. “This reunion will not only recognize their impact on the culture of our subways, used by millions every day throughout the five boroughs, but also highlight our shared values as hard-working women of New York. It is my pleasure to host the women who symbolize our city’s rich history and celebrate our accomplishments together for another year.”

For nearly four decades, it was impossible not to see Miss Subways while commuting around New York, as the winning women each famously had their portraits photographed and their aspirations published on posters throughout the underground. Now, many of the former Miss Subways have achieved the very goals they set out for themselves as young women, becoming actors, models, pilots, lawyers and so much more. Attendees also include Mary Gardiner Timoney (May-June 1953) went on to perform at Radio City Music Hall, Maureen Walsh Roaldsen (February-August 1968) worked as a lawyer at the New York State Appellate Court, and Heidi Hafner (May-October 1976), the final Miss Subways, earned her pilot’s license. The Miss Subways are extraordinary women whose faces and stories conveyed to the everyday New Yorker a reality that could be theirs with persistence and a dream.

Other Miss Subways attendees will also include Dolores Mitchell Byrne (January-February 1961), Eilene Ryan Keating (July-August 1969), Gail Burke Zorpette (May-June 1959), Josephine Lazzaro O’Halloran (December 1975-April 1976), Kathleen McLean Holmes (November-December 1953), Roz Cinclini Catena (January 1965), Shirley Martin (May-June 1960), and Sonia Dominguez (June-October 1974). At the reunion, all will proudly share their original posters from the Miss Subways promotion, which also line the walls of the diner year-round.

As a special guest, Ellen’s will also welcome back the legendary Marilyn Maye, a renowned cabaret performer who was crowned an Honorary Miss Subways in 2019. An American singer, actress and educator known for her powerhouse voice and personality in the musical theatre and jazz worlds, Marilyn has graced hundreds of stages across the country, singing alongside the greats such as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland. The Queen of Cabaret continues to perform at 96-years-old including last year’s debut at Carnegie Hall. On May 2, Marilyn will make her grand return as Honorary Miss Subways with a spectacular musical performance, bringing the Miss Subways era to life at this historic event. ¬

Since 1941, Miss Subways has given a platform to the women who make New York the “city of dreams” it is known as, and Ellen’s is proud to be the host for the winners who continue to inspire the next generation of young New Yorkers.

Located at 1650 Broadway in Times Square, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is open 365 days a year from 7 am to midnight every day.

For more information, visit www.misssubwaynyc.com and www.ellensstardustdiner.com and Follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
# # #

About Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Originally opened in 1987 across from City Hall, Ellen’s Café first started as a local coffee and bake shop, serving Mayors, elected officials, and New Yorkers for nearly 15 years. Afterwards, Ellen’s rebranded as Ellen’s Stardust Diner and moved to its current Times Square location at 1650 Broadway, becoming known as the home of the original world-famous singing waitstaff and a celebrated 1950s retro themed restaurant, welcoming New Yorkers, celebrities, and tourists from all over the globe. The restaurant has also been home to many “Stardusters” who started their career at the Diner and have gone onto Broadway, Off-Broadway, movies, and TV. Owner Ellen Hart Sturm was born and raised in New York, growing up in Jamaica, Queens, and is a former Miss Subways from 1959. As a hospitality icon in NYC, Ellen has run the New York City Marathon, performed the National Anthem at several New York Knicks and New York Rangers games, climbed the Empire State Building at age 72 to support research on multiple myeloma, and can sometimes be found making singing cameos at the Diner too. For more information, visit www.ellensstardustdiner.com and Follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Media Contacts for Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Shin-Jung Hong: ShinJung@nicholaslence.com | Cell: 617-413-7880
Maria Cray: Maria@nicholaslence.com | Cell: 508-245-6564