New diner gets 1st approval in Fairfield

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The DeCoven Diner formerly of Duncannon, PA above, hopefully will soon reopen as Zemo’s Diner in Fairfield, CT

Here is the text from an article written by Andrew Brophy for the Connecticut Post about Gary Zemola’s new diner project. This appeared on ConnPost.com today…

FAIRFIELD — Gary Zemola’s dream of opening a diner is on a front burner. Zemola, 42, owner of Super Duper Weenie on lower Black Rock Turnpike, won approval last week from the first of two town zoning boards he needs to open “Zemo’s Diner” on Duka Avenue.

The portable diner, which Zemola bought on eBay, was manufactured by the Jerry O’Mahony Diner Co. in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1954 and as recently as 2003 operated as the DeCoven Diner in Duncannon, Pa. The diner is now in storage in Monroe, where Zemola has nearly completed restoration.

Last week, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved Zemola’s request to open the diner behind Fairfield Lighting and Design with four fewer parking spaces than town zoning regulations require.

The plan still needs approval from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.

Robert Brennan Jr., the ZBA chairman, said Zemola has to get a lease that would allow customers to use at least four parking spaces in the lot outside Fairfield Lighting and Design.

Brennan said no other business can use that parking lot and a sign on Black Rock Oyster Bar can no longer direct that eatery’s patrons to the lighting store’s parking lot.

John Fallon, Zemola’s lawyer, said all of those conditions are acceptable to Zemola.

The 59-seat Zemo’s Diner would be installed on adjacent properties at 63 and 75 Duka Ave. that are owned by Frank Zemola, Gary’s father. Frank Zemola also owns property where Fairfield Lighting and Design is located.

Houses on the Duka Avenue properties would be torn down to make way for the diner.
Zemola plans to continue operating Super Duper Weenie if his diner is able to open.

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