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Mansion Restaurant's Skeletons and Ghouls Signal Coming of Halloween

By Shaye Weaver | October 27, 2015 2:24pm
 Owner and manager John Philips has decorated The Mansion Restaurant for almost a decade.
Mansion Restaurant Dresses Up For Halloween
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YORKVILLE — "You know it's October, when the Mansion [Restaurant] gets decked out," an Instagram user said.

For owner John Philips, dressing up the diner and the building its housed in is an annual Halloween tradition that started in 2006, when he took over management from his family.

His storefront on York Avenue and East 86th Street is playfully peppered with ghouls, ghosts and grisly figures that hang nearby patrons eating in their booths. A large cloaked skeleton hangs in front of the eatery and more than a dozen creepy figures dangle off the fire escapes above it.

Residents and passersby have taken to social media to remark on the decor.


You know it's October when the Mansion gets decked out. #halloween #nyc #UES #themansion #myhood #holidays

A photo posted by Laura Moran (@ellejmoran) on

Philips's family has owned the restaurant since 1945 but Philips took over management in 2006 and began to dress up the diner, which regularly serves items from other local establishments like short rib from Ottomanelli's and a slew of diner options like pancakes, burgers and soups.

"We keep it interesting for ourselves and our customers," Philips said. "We started doing things to move away from the typical Greek diner when we took over nine years ago. I don't see anyone else doing it. That's why we have the decorations."

The neighborhood diner also decorates for Christmas, St. Patrick's Day and Easter every year, and on New Year's Eve, it hosts a free black tie event, when neighbors are welcomed in for Russ & Daughters smoked salmon and champagne, according to Philips.

"The neighborhood shows up in tuxedos," he added.

This Halloween, the restaurant plans to fill a large black cauldron with candy and apples for kids who trick-or-treat.

Philips said he's excited about the holiday, which he says is his favorite because "Halloween is almost like the Mardi Gras for New York City."

Residents across the Upper East Side have also spared no expense on their decorations. Check out DNAinfo New York's gallery here.