BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – You’ll soon have a new option for breakfast and lunch in Larkinville. The Swan Street Diner is set to open Tuesday.
The building started its life as the Newark Diner in Newark, New York, in 1937. Now, 80 years later, it’s about to begin a new exciting chapter across the street from Larkin Square. “It really activates the neighborhood in a methodical way. We’re building out the neighborhood,” said Leslie Zemsky, the Larkinville Director of Fun.
It’s been a labor of love to get to this point. The building was trucked in to this new location back in May, meticulously restored to its original feel and charm.
“In the 30s, that’s when the diner era really started. They are smaller, so it’s got a very cozy feel,” Zemsky told News 4. “Mahogany wood and porcelain enamel panels really are the signature elements.”
Everything in the Swan Street Diner has a story, from the pie counter, which was restored from the original glass design, to the plates, which were some of the last off the line at the former Buffalo China plant.
“The new owners had a million pieces of pottery and they got in touch with us knowing we had a diner coming, so we bought every diner mug like this and plates and so people can enjoy eating off of them,” Zemsky said, while holding up a specialty mug with the new Swan Street Diner logo. “It’s another piece of history when you have your meal here.”
The history of the locally-made dishware is celebrated in the custom wallpaper in the back half of the diner. It was created by Zemsky and other local artists. “It’s just another way for us to bring art to share with the community,” Zemsky said.
So much of the new venture is designed to bring the community together, whether outside at the new bike racks or in the urban park space that doubles as unique outdoor seating, or inside in the cozy booths or on one of the fully restored stools.
In all, the diner seats 49 people inside.
Everyone who comes in can enjoy classic diner fare with a flare. The menu was developed by general manager Amanda Amico, who also runs Amy’s Food Truck, which will be parked outside the diner in the future.
The Swan Street Diner staff has been busy this week cooking up and serving all of the new menu items during run throughs for family, friends, and the folks who helped put the diner together.
Those who have tried the food so far have given it very positive reviews.
“It was amazing,” said Michelle Snyder, after finishing her breakfast Thursday morning. “Everything is unique. I’ve never been able to go anywhere and get hot fresh made donuts right on the spot. Everything was fast, friendly. The jam is homemade so that was really exciting too. It was good.”
If you’d like to try the food for yourself, the Swan Street Diner will be open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. every day, starting with the Grand Opening on Tuesday, October 10.
Once the diner opens, you’ll also be able to order takeout ahead online at www.swanstreetdiner.com.
News 4’s Katie Alexander had a chance to check out the new diner and try some of the new menu items during Wake Up Thursday morning. Watch the videos below to see our full coverage.
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