March 27, 2019 By Christian Murray
The now-shuttered Shalimar Diner is about to face the wrecking ball.
The property owner, Arthur Koptiev of 63-38 Austin LLC, filed plans on March 15 to demolish the one-story structure.
The iconic building, located on the corner of 63rd Drive and Austin Street, was home to the Shalimar Diner for 45 years, prior to it closing on Nov. 25. The diner was part of the fabric of Rego Park for decades, and had been used in movie sets, such as Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The property was purchased in November by Koptiev’s firm for $6.55 million, according to city records.
Koptiev said that he is demolishing the building to reduce his liability issues, and that he doesn’t have any plans yet for the site. No plans have been filed with the Dept. of Buildings.
The 14,000 square foot lot has 140 feet of frontage along 63rd Drive, and 100 feet of frontage on Austin Street that includes the parking lot next to the diner. It is zoned R4 residential with a C2-2 commercial overlay, which allows Koptiev’s firm to build a structure up to twice the size of the lot with a “community facility bonus” included.
The diner closed amid a decline in business and a hike in rent.
Demi Karayiannis, who owned the Shalimar with her husband since 1974, said at the time it closed that the changing neighborhood was another factor.
“Our original customers got older, moved to Florida and passed away,” she said. “Different people have come.”