Diner News and History

A blog about diners and other things encountered along the way.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Former Forum Diner - Paramus, NJ

We received this press release from Michael Perlman and the Committee To Save The Forum Diner.

Committee To Save The Forum Diner
For Immediate Release Contact:

Michael Perlman, Chair & Preservationist
(917) 446-7775

Effort to Spare “Endangered Species” from Oblivion!

PARAMUS, NJ & NEW YORK (Oct 13, 2009) – A multi-faceted, creative preservation movement is underway by the Committee To Save The Forum Diner, to spare the historic Forum Diner (211 East State Route 4, Paramus, NJ) from demolition, and is calling upon parties of interest to come forward ASAP, and spare this gem from oblivion. Shortly after the diner’s former owners retired in 2007, Kevin Ormes’ Jeep 17 dealership was slated to rise on premise, but has since fell through. As a result, there are more preservation options than before, but time is of the essence for a diner attributed with a “series of firsts.” Reopening and restoring the Forum Diner to its former glory would become a dream come true to devoted fans, on the basis of memories made within its walls and its unique architectural style for a diner. It merits a new lease on life, so future generations can have a chance too.

PRESERVATION OPTIONS (thanks to an agreement with Kevin Ormes):

1. Purchasing the Forum Diner structure at the low cost of $15,000 ($1K per sq ft), in which the buyer would be responsible for rigging costs. All or most of the diner’s 7 sections can be transported elsewhere, and saved along the lines of Preservationist Michael Perlman’s other projects, NYC’s Cheyenne Diner transported to AL in Oct 2009 & NYC’s Moondance Diner to WY in Aug 2007. Rigger Mel Brandt of M&M Rigging, transported over 50 diners countrywide, & took dimensions of the Forum Diner. Also, a deal can be worked out with Al Suwara, who is willing to accommodate anyone seeking land to move the Forum Diner to. He owns a 15 acre property in Cairo, NY with an 800 sq ft frontage on Route 23, a heavily-trafficked main road that leads to Ski Windham and Catskill Park. 

2. The Forum Diner at its current property can be purchased for $3.9 million. The diner has a history of great business, which is marked by its convenient location on a major intersection with a school and shops nearby. 

3. The Forum Diner can be leased at $55,000/month.

     **For the above options, it is very likely that grants and tax credits are available to help finance future historically-sensitive restoration & renovation work, through the State & National Register of Historic Places.

Forum Diner History:    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, counter & stools with backrests, kitchen out back, 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. It became the norm to build large to boost business. The interior portrays the Colonial style. 

Forum Diner Photos: http://www.flickr.com/gp/8095451@N08/okNvP5 (Can be enlarged by clicking on each photo and then "all sizes" to view small, medium, or large. Some photos appear to be slightly larger, since they were taken with a super wide-angle lens)   

Review of Specifications
Address: 211 Route 4 East, Paramus, NJ
Circa 15,000 square feet 
10 ft ceilings
Historic/Rare architectural features
Lot size: 2.05
Heat: gas
Parking: 200 spaces
Seats: 220
Property with diner sale price: $3.9 million
Leasing: $55,000/month
Purchasing the structure only: $15,000 one-time fee
      Perlman explains: “Diners are amongst the ‘ultimate public institutions’ which harbor countless memories and bridge the generations. During the 30's - 60's eras, freestanding diners numerously dotted the tri-state area, and brought together individuals of various occupations in a cozy & striking ambiance. Today, they are becoming an endangered species at an alarming rate, and their loss is often most heartfelt. It is essential to preserve & reuse all remaining classic freestanding diners. Despite time constraints, we are committed to doing all we can for a noble cause.” The Committee’s consensus is that “A steady market for such nostalgic gems, coupled by the fact that they were manufactured to move; can ensure a victory for the Forum Diner.”

Parties of interest can contact Committee To Save The Forum Diner Chairman Michael Perlman at unlockthevault@hotmail.com & (917) 446-7775, and all information will be relayed to the property owner.



Friday, October 9, 2009

"Diners, Drive-ins and Dives"

"Tell Me About the Sauce. . ."

We knew the "DDD" crew were off to Alaska after reading Guy Fieri's tweet on the fourth. Yesterday a video was posted on Youtube. It provides an interesting behind the scenes view of day two at Big Daddy's BarB-Q.

Liberty Elm Counter
Liberty Elm Counter,
© 2009 DinerHistory.com
During this video we recognized several of the crew members. This past July we posted a blog entry about "DDD"'s visit to the Liberty Elm Diner in Providence, RI. While acquiring video, the man in the middle of the photo talked with the Elm's customers. He posed questions which elicited more than a standard one or two word response. And when nearby conversations interfered with their videoing, the Elm's customers were admonished. Everything appeared to go smoothly and it will be interesting to see how the episode comes together. It is expected to air later this year.

Information when Big Daddy's will appear on "DDD" will be posted here as it becomes available.

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Big Daddy's Bar-B-Q
107 Wickersham St.
Fairbanks, AK


Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Look Back on . . .

Kullman Industries files for bankruptcy. Assets of the company were later purchased by Kullman Buildings Corp.

Miss Mendon SignFormer Miss Newport Diner of Newport, VT moved to storage in Salisbury, MA. This picture from September 2009 finds the diner in Mendon, MA. We'll write about its opening as the Miss Mendon when more information becomes available.

Former China Buddha of Wayne, PA moved to Buffalo, NY. It later reopened as the Lake Effect Diner.

Diner Exhibit Diner Exhibit Diners: Still Cookin' in the 21st Century Culinary Archives & Museum at Johnson & Wales University
315 Harborside Blvd. Providence, RI View Map / Send to GPS*
Chuck Wagon Diner Chuck Wagon Diner Chuck Wagon Diner
655 Western Tpke. Duanesburg, NY View Map / Send to GPS*
Road Island Diner Road Island Diner Road Island Diner website
981 Weber Canyon Rd. Oakley, UT View Map / Send to GPS*
Tin Man Diner Tin Man Diner 70 County Rd. North Falmouth, MA View Map / Send to GPS*


My photo
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