Victory Diner Finally Makes Its Move
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Staten Island's Victory Diner was finally moved from Dongan Hills to Midland Beach early Tuesday morning.
The 75-year-old diner was slated to be demolished, but the Richmond County Savings Bank Foundation put up $10,000 to buy the diner, while other Island groups collected $20,000 to move it onto Parks Department property.
"I was so happy when I heard it was going to be saved I actually cried," said local resident Susan Pugliese, who was married in the diner.
"People need gathering places, you know, you share experiences talk about life and relax a little,” said her husband Al Pugliese.
Early Tuesday morning, the diner was loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken from Richmond Road in Dongan Hills to Midland Beach.
The diner will temporarily stay there while it's being renovated, and while its new location in Ocean Breeze is being prepared. Those who helped save the diner say it has a special meaning.
"The support to save this has been incredible,” said Staten Island Parks Commissioner Thomas Paulo. “It has a great deal of meaning to many, many people who have had a wide variety of experiences with us, so it's been one of the fastest projects I've ever been involved with. It's been great."
"It's beautiful because people on Staten Island, they used to live by the diner,” said former owner Maria Pappas. “Everybody loved the place. Everybody enjoyed their cup of coffee. We have the best cup of coffee in New York."
"I'll get to enjoy it without actually sweating in the kitchen,” said Steve Pappas, who worked at the diner for 35 years.
This is not the first time that the Victory Diner has moved. It relocated in 1964 from Victory Boulevard in the Castleton Corners section of Staten Island to Dongan Hills.
The diner's new permanent home will be off the boardwalk in Ocean Breeze.