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Forest Hills Resident Plans to Save Shalimar Diner from Demolition

(credit: Michael Perlman)

April 4, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A local architecture preservationist is working on a way to save the Shalimar Diner from being demolished by its new owners.

Michael Perlman, founder of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, has begun his search for someone who wants to give the diner, located at 63-68 Austin St., a new life by relocating the structure before it gets demolished.

Perlman says the new owner, Arthur Koptiev, has given him 30 days (starting April 3) to find someone to transport the diner elsewhere, having already filed permits for demolition of the diner on March 15th.

The diner structure, according to Perlman, is free. The only cost to the new recipients would be the cost of rigging to move the building via flattruck.

Perlman has a history of saving diners from wrecking balls. He found new owners for the Soho Moondance Diner in Wyoming in 2007 and a new home for the midtown Cheyenne Diner in Alabama back in 2009.

His success in these ventures landed him the title “The Diner Man” by The Observer.

Shalimar, a family owned Greek diner that was a Rego Park icon for 45 years, was forced to close down this past November due to a looming rent increase and business decline.

The diner acted as a community hub as well as a filming location for Martin Scorsese’s movie “Wolf of Wall Street” and the CBS television show “Blue Bloods.”

Perlman says that it is important to preserve the structural integrity of diners, particularly this one which he has memories of patronizing with this grandparents.

“Diners are ultimate public institutions and I feel that they are an endangered species so my goal is to preserve as many as I can,” Perlman said. “This diner was a neighborhood cornerstone and it means very much to many people.”

Shalimar Diner’s current owners bought the 14,000 square foot plot for $6.5 million in November and plan to demolish the structure in 30 days if Perlman cannot find someone who wants to adopt the structure.

Anyone interested in adopting the Shalimar Diner and transporting it can contact Michael Perlman at [email protected].

Moondance Diner (Michael Perlman)

Moondance Diner Being Relocated (Michael Perlman)

Michael Perlman and the Cheyenne Diner (Michael Perlman)

Cheyenne Diner Being Relocated (Michael Perlman)

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Give it up already about this place. No one is going to buy it and move it and it closed for good reason. Time to move on people.

ortsac selrahc

They should move it to LIC.. I heard there’s a recent opening there. Thanks to AOC

AOC derangement syndrome in full effect

Charles “Fidel” Castro please go back to Cuba

Sara Ross

One more thing – Koptiev huh? Probably from the same group of low life immigrants that have destroyed the area around Jewel Avenue with those ugly structures that have more security cameras than Fort Knox.

Proud to be an immigrant

Unless you are a full blood native American, your ancestors were immigrants at some point.

Sara Ross

My grandparents came here through Ellis Island and assimilated to the country that welcomed them. If they didn’t have a job or a place to live, they were sent back. There were no social programs supporting them like there are today. The Russians tear down beautiful, quaint homes and put up ugly structures with more cameras than at the federal reserve. They have no respect for this country and think they own it.


Good for you, Sara. You are no longer mixing apples and oranges and putting Bukharian Jews from Uzbekistan into the same basket with Russians. Yes, the new owner is a Bukharian Jew who will demolish the diner. And I m sure he owns one of the McMansions near jewel ave


I think those “ugly structures” are worth more than you can imagine, hence the cameras… The structures make the city look bigger and richer. The reason for the closure of this diner is because there have been a significant decline of customers. What’s the point now? Let there be yet another ugly structure to make Rego Park look even better. lol

Sara Ross

That would be fabulous!! I miss going there and I miss the people and the food. I hope this happens and I hope that they keep things the way they were. Greed is destroying this city.


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