Coffee, Pie, and The Diner Guys

When Mike Giunta purchased the Bayway Diner in an industrial section of northern New Jersey in October, 2005, the fifty-year-old building was so caked with grease that it took Giunta three endless days to clean it up. "The place had been completely run into the ground," says Giunta, who's also a fireman and owner of a 25-rig trucking company. Giunta considered knocking the building down and starting from scratch, but local residents urged him to keep the historical diner intact.

Instead of demolishing the building, Giunta opted for an overhaul. After gutting the entire building, Giunta's next task was restoring it to its vintage 1950s look, which included adding a new stainless steel facade. "The average contractor just can't do that," Giunta says. He finally found State & Main Associates, an Ambler (Pa.) company that helps diner owners with all aspects of planning, designing, and renovating Iandmark restaurants. State & Main set to work outfitting the old, run-down, eight-seat diner for 2006 and beyond.

The makeover included a complete revamping of the restaurant: the stainless steel facade on the outside, Formica countertops, tile floor and a wood-grained wall pattern. The diner reopened in three months, and now serves over 300 customers a day. With only four employees, it brings in about $6,500 a week. "The Food Network is even coming to film an hour-long special about our restaurant," says Giunta. "These guys are my saviors."

Author name
Jeffrey Gangemi

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