Judge Richard Sullivan
Second Avenue Diner Corp. does business as the Plaza Diner in Manhattan. Kreisler lives four blocks from the Plaza Diner. Due to his disabilities Kreisler cannot walk and uses a motorized wheelchair to travel about his neighborhood. He would likely eat in the Plaza Diner if it were accessible. Prior to Kreisler’s lawsuit under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York State and City Human Rights laws, the diner possessed only a small portable wood ramp. After bench trial the court held that the Plaza Diner must construct a permanent ramp, post clear signage, and install a rear grab bar in the men’s restroom. However, Kreisler did not carry his burden on the rest of his claims. With respect to changes to the diner’s interior after 1992 the court concluded that Kreisler did not show that the changes were “alterations” triggering compliance with the ADA. Rather, the changes—including re-upholstery of seats, changes in lighting, and installation of air conditioning and kitchen equipment—were minor and superficial. Referring to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design promulgated by the Justice Department, the court also concluded that Kreisler did not show that there was insufficent accessible seating within the diner.