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The exterior of Tom's Restaurant, which appears as Monk's Café in Seinfeld

Monk's Café is a fictional coffee shop from the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The exterior of Tom's Restaurant on the corner of West 112th Street and Broadway, near Columbia University, is often shown on the show as the exterior of Monk's, though the interiors were shot on a sound stage.[1] The coffee shop is almost always shot so that "Tom's" in the sign on the Broadway side is not visible. The windows in the interior set do not match those of the exterior location.

The owner of the fictional café is Larry the Cook, played by Lawrence Mandley. He first appears in "The Outing" during season 4. In the season 4 finale, "The Pilot," Elaine is incensed that Monk's "new management" is hiring nothing but big breasted waitresses. The new owner is identified as Mr. Visaki (played by Al Ruscio) and the well-endowed employees turn out to be his daughters. However, in the season 5 episode, "The Wife," Larry has returned as the owner/manager and appears in that role throughout the remainder of the show's run.

The cashier's name is Ruthie Cohen (played by Ruth Cohen), but in one episode, "The Pie", there is a different woman working there with Ruthie, the long-fingernailed Olive.

The restaurant consists of a number of booths, tables as well as the counter at which the four main characters become frustrated at having to sit in one episode. Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer will normally sit in the second booth from the entrance, and throughout the show's run, the chance to sit in the first booth — and thus be included in a Seinfeld scene — would be auctioned off for charity.

A competing coffee shop is Reggie's, which Jerry refers to as "the bizarro coffee shop." According to George, it has practically the same menu but is disliked by Jerry and Elaine for its failure to serve an "egg white omelette" or the famed "big salad."

Employees

  • Larry the Cook, the owner/manager/cook; when seen, he usually has a complaint about one of the main characters.
  • Ruthie Cohen, the cashier at Monk's; she is seen behind the register in most scenes set in Monk's. In "The Gum" she is seen on a horse, and aggravates George in saying, "Your car's on fire." She only has a few lines in the series.
  • Kelly, a waitress who openly flirts with George in "The Soup." She is turned off by his mentioning an affinity for the word manure. She is only waitressing to get money to travel to Europe and quits at the episode's end because her hand-made hairclips have started selling.
  • Paco, a line cook at Monk's. He's alluded to in "The Strike" when George attributes a rubber band in his soup to Paco's cooking.
  • The Blonde Waitress, who George is certain is giving him "the finger" by pointing to the menu and scratching her face while talking with him. The actress is Lauren Bowles, half-sister (same mother) of Julia Louis-Dreyfus; she also starred as Julia's on-screen sister in Watching Ellie.
  • Olive, a cashier whom Kramer dated in "The Pie".
  • Babu Bhatt, who worked as a busboy after Jerry helped get him hired in "The Visa".
  • A Portuguese waitress with whom George had a brief relationship in "The Abstinence".

References

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