Deadline approaches for saving New Jersey’s Forum Diner

Photo by Michael Perlman

I received an email from Michael Perlman, NYC diner saviour. Michael has helped save the Moondance Diner and Cheyenne Diner and is currently working on lower Manhattan’s Lost Diner (aka Lunch Box Food, Terminal Diner). Another diner he has focused on (we mentioned it a while back) is Paramus, New Jersey’s Forum Diner, a very large colonial/environmental Fodero diner that is threatened with demolition. Here is what his email said…

To The Media:
    I am following up on my press release I sent you in early June (which is below this e-mail), and would appreciate your help by covering this utmost importance preservation issue.
    This is the last call to preserve the historic Forum Diner (211 E State Route 4) via transport, or it will end up “doomed in a landfill.” The Forum Diner is still available for $15,000. Rigger, Mel Brandt, took dimensions, and is cheaper than the majority but proficient. Rigging costs will depend upon where the diner is transported to. The diner contains 3 major sections at 18ft 6in each, and the price is a bargain considering its 15,000 square feet (only $1 per square foot!), and a great business opportunity once it reopens. There are also grants available to help finance the future restoration & renovation work, which I would voluntarily assist any future owner with.

    There has shockingly been a sudden change of plans. The prospective buyer from Upstate NY, who was very interested in purchasing the historic Forum Diner, informed me today that he can’t pursue it due to personal reasons. This was alarmingly close to the deadline for confirming a buyer & rigger. I let down other prospective buyers to date, as a result. I do understand the time constraints of property owner Kevin Ormes (of Jeep 17), but he may give me a 1-month extension for confirming a buyer, which I am praying for. I have begun contacting the remaining few prospective buyers, and have heard back from one in particular. He said he has an interest in the Forum Diner, and would like to work something out with the rigger.    

    The Forum Diner is an architectural gem, and rare for 60s style architecture. It was prefabricated by the Fodero dining Car Co, and was announced that “money was no object” when it came down to detail, shortly after it first opened. Joseph Fodero of Bloomfield, NJ was the mastermind of diner manufacturing (also manufacturing NYC’s famed Empire Diner). The Yannitsadis brothers were the original owners of the Forum Diner. The exterior borrows from the Environmental style, and features stainless steel, wrap-around windows, groovy gold frame doors, corner entryway with stone & colored mansard roof, & decorative ornamentation gracing the top. The interior is elegant, featuring fine Greek wood fluted columns & moldings and coffered wooden-paneled walls (rare for a diner), wood ornamentation, recessed areas for chandeliers, etched mirrors with regal logos, stone, curtains, accoustic paneling, counter & stools with backrests, kitchen out back, carpeting, terrazzo tiles and wave-patterned terrazzo distinguishing circular wooden booth areas. Pat Fodero, son of Joseph Fodero, came up with the idea of circular booths to seat more patrons per table, and it was first popularized at the Forum Diner. The interior portrays the Colonial style.
My photos:
     I would be very grateful if you can feature this update/crucial appeal in your paper. Hopefully, someone will come forward before it’s too late! The public can contact me at Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
Michael Perlman
Committee To Save The Forum Diner, Chair

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