I posted in my “Notes from the Hotline, 9-5-09” (go to this link)…
https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/notes-from-the-hotline-9-5-09/ that New York City’s Cheyenne Diner was finally going to be moved around Labor Day but apparently those plans got moved to this week. I received an email with an attached press release from Michael Perlman who spearheaded the preservation effort to save this diner from destruction. The following is the text of this press release…..
For Immediate Release For NY Media Relations:
Michael Perlman, Chairman & Preservationist
Committee To Save The Cheyenne Diner
(917) 446-7775 (On scene: Calling Preferred)
For AL Media Relations:
Historic Cheyenne Diner to
Begin Long-Awaited Transport
to Alabama on Sept. 14, 2009 and Will Undergo Future Restoration
NEW YORK, NY (Sept 13, 2009) – NYC’s historic Cheyenne Diner (411 9th Ave & 33rd St) will be granted a new lease on life, and begin its long-awaited move to Alabama on the evening of Monday, Sept 14, 2009 (Call Perlman for time info).
Since the Cheyenne’s dimensions are 15 ft x 96 ft (2,000 sq ft), the diner will be transported via flatbed in 2 sections to Alabama, with the expertise of Rigger Mel Brandt of M&M Rigging of PA, who has transported 50 diners countrywide (including a role in NY’s historic Moondance Diner to LaBarge, WY in Aug 2007).
Over the last few weeks, the concrete surrounding the diner was broken & the diner was cut in half. Devoted patrons, Committee members, and passersby will now have a rare opportunity to witness “history in the making” as hydraulic jacks will be installed underneath the Cheyenne Diner’s 2 sections, rolled forward to the curb on i-beams, and hoisted up onto a flatbed (First section will move on evening of Sept 14th and second section to be announced on Sept 15th or 16th).
On Jan 13, 2009, Committee To Save The Cheyenne Diner, Chairman Michael Perlman, 26 of Forest Hills, NY brokered the deal between Joel Owens of Birmingham, AL and property owner George Papas, after convincing Papas to be receptive based upon the diner’s historic reign. The diner was slated for demolition within the next few weeks, if a buyer willing to transport the diner wasn’t located.
Perlman received alternate proposals from potential buyers from Upstate NY, PA, MI, TX, & UT, but it boiled down to first-come, first-serve, and Joel Owens, head of NAIC, an investment group, became the fortunate candidate. On Jan 25, 2009, the iconic Cheyenne Diner neon signs were carefully removed by Paul Signs Inc of Brooklyn, NY. The acquisition of city permits contributed to the 8-month wait since the deal was brokered.
Perlman states: “It is bittersweet that one of the last historic freestanding diners in Manhattan won’t remain close to its roots, but I take pride in knowing that the beloved Cheyenne Diner will not only retire down south for its golden years, but undergo a rebirth thanks to its dedicated owners who think outside of the box, and patrons can reminisce & make new memories in an Art Deco gem. The Committee will be on site to converse with patrons, document the move, & wave adieu to its Manhattan chapter.”
Joel Owens has announced plans to restore the Cheyenne to its 1940s glory with potential additions including a recreated Jay Dee Bakery (98-92 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY), a Cheyenne Diner museum, classic car museum, rebuilt historic theaters, & a special events center. Owens states “This is a dream come true, especially in a state that has no historic freestanding diners. We ultimately plan on creating a small town with a historic feel, so future generations can have a chance to experience mid-century nostalgia, which is being lost.” Alabama Tourism Director, Lee Sentell, states “This has the potential to be a great Alabama destination.”