Now it’s do or die-ner

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A Red Hook developer has little more than a month to save a railcar-style diner from the wrecking ball by relocating the imperiled throwback of the 1940s to his neighborhood.

Mike O’Connell bought the Cheyenne Diner, on Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street, last spring with the intention of reopening it with a beer garden and more refined menu while retaining some of the Edward Hopper-esque mystique.

But now he’s scrambling to uproot it before an early February deadline imposed by the property owner, who wants to start his own project where the greasy spoon currently sits.

“It’s a great project, but we’re under the gun,” said O’Connell, the son of Fairway developer Greg O’Connell.

The diner project faltered, O’Connell said, when the city allegedly refused his request to haul the restaurant in two pieces over an East River bridge because the halves are too big. He claims the Department of Transportation has not been helpful in finding a way to make them passable.

“The city won’t tell us what the dimensions are or how close we are,” O’Connell fumed.

But Department of Transportation spokesman Craig Chin said O’Connell never submitted an application to get a trucking permit.

“We’re willing to work with them if they fill out a formal application,” said Chin.

Besides trucking the diner to a site across Reed Street from Fairway, O’Connell sought to hire a barge to move it, but has not attracted any bids.

O’Connell sounded exasperated by the ordeal.

“The budget is already triple what I thought it would be,” he vented. “The numbers are going up and my potential customers are going down [because of the economy].”

O’Connell’s woes were first reported this week by the Manhattan newspaper, Chelsea Now.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!