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FW: [dandh] Former D&H Diner has future as Train Shop

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  • Dicarlo, Gino
    I thought this was an appealing article for our model rail fans plus our resident diner fan! Gino Diner could become a model train store Area railroad fan
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2005
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       I  thought this was an appealing article for our model rail fans plus our resident diner fan!
      Diner could become a model train store
      Area railroad fan sees use for building
      BY MICHAEL LAMENDOLA Gazette Reporter, Schenectady

         A local entrepreneur is hoping to put the former Ruby's Silver
      Diner on Erie Boulevard back on track as a new business.

         Bob Golden is developing a proposal to convert the long-defunct
      Schenectady diner into a store that will sell scale-model trains and
      accessories. He is working on the project with Jeff Corcoran of the
      Schenectady County Community Business Center.
         "I want to take over ownership and rehabilitate it. It needs some
      kind of use," said Golden, 54, a model train enthusiast since the
      age of 4.
         The city took over the diner for unpaid taxes in 2000. The former
      Pullman rail car has remained vacant and is in serious disrepair.
      Proposals have floated over the years for the diner to be moved and
      put to use in other ways, including as an attraction at the
      Schenectady Museum and Planetarium. None has come to fruition.
         City officials said the interior requires more than $20,000 in
      work. Golden wants to use private investment and some funding from
      the business center to fix up the diner.
         "I would do most of the work myself," he said.
         Mayor Brian U. Stratton said it is "way too early to talk about
      the Silver Diner." He added, "When we get a proposal, we will be
      happy to talk about it."
         Golden said he and Corcoran are scheduled to meet today and put
      together a proposal for the city.
         Stratton said the city has no plans to rehabilitate the
      structure. "We don't have the resources to take it on, but we're not
      stop- ping at looking at offers," he said. The city at one time
      talked of relocating the diner to open up the space for parking.
      Golden said he can't afford to move the diner himself.
         He would like to call the store the Silver Diner Train Shop and
      sell all the popular gauges, from Z to G, plus "everything for

      >>>>>>   The train store is an
      "absolutely perfect use for the
      structure," Corcoran said. It's a retired 1918 Delaware & Hudson
      Railway Co. car that sits between two icons of the train industry —
      General Electric at one end of Erie Boulevard and the former
      American Locomotive manufacturing plant at the other end.

         Corcoran said the business venture "ties into the city's history
      and has a lot of synergy. The structure won't ever be a food
      establishment again."
         Golden already operates a small model train store at 1424 Erie
      Blvd. The store, Model Trains and Parts, opened in December. He
      would relocate operations to the Silver Diner if his plans are
      successful. He hopes to run the store full time.
         Because of the location and history, he believes his train store
      could become the "premiere store" in the Capital Region. "We can
      bring the business to where it's an upper-level dealer of all
      manufacturers," Golden said.
         Corcoran said Golden is a graduate of the business center's 10-
      week entrepreneurial course at Schenectady County Community College.
         The Silver Diner first opened in 1936 and offered a full meal for
      35 cents. It catered to the lunch crowd from General Electric and
      the movie crowd at night.
         It became Ruby's Silver Diner in 1975 when Rubin Michelson bought
      it. It changed hands again in 1996 when George Hutton bought and
      renovated it with a $20,000 loan from the city.
         He closed it a year later, citing his own lack of experience and
      a lack of customers.
         The American Diner Museum in Rhode Island calls the Silver Diner
      one of the few remaining converted railroad car diners in the United

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