Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Le Train Bleu- a vintage train atop Bloomingdale’s


I’ve always admired the Art Deco-era signage on Bloomingdale’s from the 1930s, but I had no idea an architectural gem I would become obsessed with was nestled on its roof. In 1979, rags-to-riches Bloomie’s president Marvin S. Traub (who worked his way up to prez from the bargain basement) crowned the department store with a romantic snippet of traveling France by train. The restaurant, Le Train Bleu, may give views of sparkly midtown architecture rather than the French Riviera, but the experience is akin to dining inside an extremely elevated train car in 1900.

The place itself is modeled after the original Train Bleu in France, the Calais-Mediterranean Express, which carried the well to do between England and the French Riviera for over 100 years (ending in 2003). A few steps up an unimposing staircase amidst the 6th floor sales floor will lead guests to a long corridor, decorated with Deco-era advertisements of touristic destinations across the south of France.


Entering the restaurant itself is like hopping on a dining car back when traveling by train was romantic and strictly for the upper crust. Rows of white table-clothed dining tables sit beside large train windows, offering views of neighboring rooftops. The curved mahogany is outfitted with Victorian light fixtures, as well as a luggage rack that lines each side of the restaurant- for your Big Brown Bag purchases, of course. The menu is appropriately French, serving up slightly pricey Croque Monsieurs and Salade Nicoise (but come on, isn’t eating in a train car on a roof in Manhattan worth a little more?)

The downside is that the restaurant is a lunch-only affair, staying open “late” until 7pm only on Thursdays.

What: Le Train Bleu

Where: Bloomingdale’s,


4 Responses to “Le Train Bleu- a vintage train atop Bloomingdale’s”
  1. Hannah May Hannah May says:

    Steve, I found your restaurant!

  2. Kay, let’s have lunch

  3. Greg Burkey Greg Burkey says:

    Funny all these years I’ve never been there

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