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Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS

A favorite dining spot along Queens Boulevard is closing its doors after 40 years of serving the Elmhurst community, but its tradition will live on just a few blocks away.

Georgia Diner, founded in 1978, will close at its original location on March 25 and merge with the Nevada Diner, less than half a mile away on Queens Boulevard. John Singh, a manager at both diners (owned by the same entrepreneur, Jimmy Kaloidis), said that the Georgia Diner will bring its famous name and most of its staff to the new location, but not much else will change.

“It’s the same food, the same service, the same phone number, just a different address,” Singh said.

Singh explained that Kaloidis recently decided to sell the building the Georgia Diner has occupied for decades. After selling part of the parking lot to a developer three years ago, Kaloidis was recently offered a price for the entire property by the same developer and decided to capitalize on it, Singh said. The application for the demolition of the diner was approved by the Department of Buildings (DOB) on Feb. 7.

City records show that the diner was sold for $14.25 million.

The Georgia Diner will replace the Nevada Diner and bring its 24-hour service along with it. Most of the Georgia Diner employees will combine with the old Nevada Diner staff to help with the expected increase in business, but a few people will have to be let go, Singh said. The valet parking service at the old Georgia Diner location won’t be continued because the new location has a bigger parking lot, but Singh said they will bring it back if necessary.

The Nevada Diner, which will soon be the new location of the Georgia Diner. Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

The Nevada Diner, which will soon be the new location of the Georgia Diner. Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

Even though the Georgia Diner isn’t moving far, the demolition of its former site marks the end of an era.

“People know it very well, all of the neighborhood, and the kids that are now 40 years old that were born there are really emotional,” Singh said. “They’re going to miss it, and some of them really started crying already.”

As for the merger, Singh expects it to go smoothly. Business was never a problem at the old Georgia Diner, and Singh said their loyal customers will continue to come to the new location. Singh also explained that with the increase in minimum wage and the ever-rising costs of food products, the merger will allow them to continue offering big meals at affordable prices.

The site will have a much different appearance once the developer, My Architect PC, is finished with the project. According to DOB records, the new structure will be 18 stories high, with four floors of  “community facility” use and the remaining 14 stories for residential use with 184 apartments. Construction began in 2016 and the structure of the first four floors is currently in place.

The current state of the new building being constructed behind Georgia Diner. Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

The current state of the new building being constructed behind Georgia Diner. Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS.

 

A drawing of the completed project. Image via DOB records.

A drawing of the completed project. Image via DOB records.

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