Cheyenne saved and moving to Red Hook
Updated 8:05 p.m.: One of New Yorks last railcar-style diners will live on, but hash will now be slung on the Red Hook waterfront, miles from its 68-year midtown home.
A construction manager bought the Cheyenne Diner, which served comfort food at 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue until closing April 6, and plans to relocate it to the Brooklyn neighborhood in the next month, a preservationist said yesterday.
Mike OConnell, of OC Construction and the son of a noted Red Hook developer, signed a contract to purchase the chrome-covered structure for $5,000 and will now work on securing permits to transport it to its new home.
Preservationist Michael Perlman, who formed the Committee To Save The Cheyenne Diner, was elated.
It will gain a new lease on life in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and contribute to the appeal of an up and coming neighborhood," he said in an email.The Cheyenne closed to make way for a nine-story residential and commercial development. Perlman began working with the owner of the building and the land beneath it, George Papas, in hopes of finding a buyer who would pay to relocate the diner within the five boroughs.
OConnell, who was out of the country and unavailable for comment yesterday, was one of the first prospective buyers to come forward. He enlisted a man who restores diners for a living to move and refurbish the neon-lit icon to its 1940s splendor, Papas said.
It is unclear when the diner will be able to open, but it cant happen soon enough for prospective patrons.
I cant begin to tell you how many people are excited about it in Red Hook, said Greg OConnell, who is the new owner's father and a force in Red Hook's redevelopment. Its a great thing, and my son is so excited over this.
-- Marlene Naanes
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