(New York, N.Y.) Citywide Patrons, preservationists, & community groups are disheartened that the architecturally & culturally significant Cheyenne Diner (411 9th Ave at 33rd St) has officially closed its doors on Sun, Apr 6th. A 9-story condo is slated to rise on premise, marking the end of the diner’s 68-year run, but a movement is underway which may grant the Cheyenne a new lease on life. The asking price is $7,900 and the buyer is responsible for rigging and lot acquisition costs.
Preservationist Michael Perlman of Queens, who founded the Committee To Save The Moondance Diner in spring 2007, along with fellow Preservationist Kyle Supley of Brooklyn, are now campaigning to spare the Cheyenne Diner from oblivion, after sparing the Moondance last summer. Michael Perlman of the Committee To Save The Cheyenne Diner further discussed the proposal with property owner George Papas (owner of nearby Skylight Diner, 402 W 34th St, & developer for Cheyenne property) on Sun, Apr 6th, and effectively convinced him to work together. It will be a win-win scenario for all parties when Papas sells the Cheyenne Diner, and it is relocated.
Perlman has already received notification from potential buyers from Indiana & Ohio. While the Cheyenne can potentially land a good home out of state, many patrons are praying that a NY-based buyer will contact the Committee at email@example.com, so it can ideally remain closer to its roots than the Moondance Diner in WY. All information will be relayed to George Papas.
The Cheyenne Diner is a highlight in terms of its diverse patronage including celebs i.e. Jerry Lewis & David Letterman, & since it’s the last streamlined railway car-inspired diner in Mid-Manhattan, & a scarcity borough-wide. It was pre-assembled by Paramount in 1940, and known as the Market Diner through ’86 after the popular chain. It retains a majority of its original &/or distinctive elements. The streamlined façade features vertical and horizontal stainless steel securing bowed colorful enamel panels, wrap-around windows, a curved entryway with glass block, & a reverse channel illuminated neon sign. The interior features a streamlined barrel roof, counter & stools, & Indian tribal coins. The Cheyenne was recently granted 1st prize on NYC-Architecture.com’s “Top 10 NY Diners/Restaurants. Spiros Kasimis was the 18-year Cheyenne tenant.
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 NYC’s 5 boroughs, 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 Cheyenne Diner.”
NYC Diner Preservation Record
– Sam Chinita housed in freestanding diner (8th Ave & 19th St), demolished 2000
– River Diner (11th Ave & 37th St), demolished Mar 2004
– Lunchbox Diner (357 West St), restored in 2002, but closed & remains abandoned
– Munson Diner (11th Ave & 49th St) transported to the Catskills in 2005
– Moondance Diner (80 6th Ave) transported to LaBarge, WY in Aug 2007 & reopens in June 2008
– Staten Island’s Victory Diner transported in Aug 2007 to SI’s Midland Beach Promenade & reopens in 2009
– Some icons holding onto their own: NYC’s Empire Diner (10th Ave & 22nd St), jet-age Market Diner (11th Ave & 43rd St) reopens this June, Air Line Diner/currently Jackson Hole (Astoria Blvd & 70th St), Square Diner (33 Leonard St near Varick St & W Broadway).
Cheyenne Diner May 2007 day scenes, Courtesy of Preservationist Michael Perlman:
Disclaimer: News articles on this site may contain opinions of the author, and if opinion, may not necessarily reflect the views of the site itself or the views of the owners of NewsLI.com, Long Island Media Inc., or Long Island Exchange®. For more information on our editorial policies please view our terms of service.