Nov. 19, 2018 By Meghan Sackman
The Shalimar Diner, a Rego Park institution that has been in business for 45 years, is closing Sunday.
The owners of the 63-68 Austin St. diner posted a sign on their door stating that they will be closing on Nov. 25.
Demi Karayiannis, who has owned the diner with her husband since it opened in 1974, said that their lease is coming to an end and they were unable to afford the proposed rent.
“The lease is up and they want too much money,” she said. Furthermore, business is not as brisk as it once was as newer people don’t frequent diners as much.
“The neighborhood has changed,” she said. “Our original customers got older, moved to Florida, and passed away…and different people have come.”
The establishment has been part of the fabric of Rego Park for decades. The location has been used in movie sets, such as Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The closure is not completely unexpected. It had been widely reported that the lease was ending in November and that the site was likely to make way for an apartment complex. The owners, however, denied that they were closing until now.
Several diners in Queens have closed in recent times to make way for development. The Flagship Diner in Briarwood closed in July and the Georgia Diner on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst closed in March.
The owner of the Shalimar Diner property, listed as Alderton Associates, has yet to file development plans with the Department of Buildings.