PORT HENRY — The new owner of the historic Miss Port Henry Diner says the downtown eatery will be a friendly place when it reopens.
Donald Foote of Wadhams, who recently bought the restaurant, has restored it to its 1933 glory, complete with the original paint colors.
“I’m trying to keep the colors. I’m going back to the original green. I want to maintain the historic appearance. Inside there’s a marble counter, oak cases with brass fixtures, old green glass on the windows.”
Restoring the historic exterior means a shade of lime green with dark stripes, and volunteers from the pH7 community-development group of Port Henry and Moriah were on ladders outside the diner this week making it happen.
“We wanted to help Mr. Fo
ote achieve his goal,” pH7 member Jeff Kelly said. “Everyone is excited to see the diner reopening. It’s been closed for two years.”
BEGAN AS LUNCH WAGON
The Miss Port Henry Diner began life in 1933, started by Grace and Wilfred Tario, who paid $3,000 for the 1927 lunch wagon that became their business.
Over the years, what is now the Miss Port Henry Diner, including a dining room, was built up around the huge lunch wagon. The original wheels are still there, and the diner sports a roof clock that it didn’t have in 1933 but which is a style that many local diners did have during the Great Depression.
The clock was added in 1997 when the diner was renovated and reopened after five years of inactivity.
“I think I’m going to keep the clock and use it,” Foote said. “It’s electric. It still works. I have to check to see if it keeps time.”
Foote plans to ropen the diner Tuesday morning at 6.
“I’m still hiring people. We’re working to be ready for Tuesday.”
The diner is at Main Street and St. Patrick’s Place, open Tuesday through Sunday weekly, and its phone number is 546-7600, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The restaurant will be open until 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and will feature American and Tex-Mex cuisine.
“I’ve been a chef at some restaurants, and I’m had some of my own,” Foote said. “I’ll be doing most of the cooking.”
He last operated the Maple Leaf Restaurant in Lake Placid, and his Eat ‘N’ Meet Cafe in Lake Placid is still open under new ownership.
“I’m aiming at local residents,” he said. “You have to have good value, and the locals will stand in for the tourists.”
Tourists are also welcome, he said, but the ambiance, menu and prices will all be set to attract local customers.
“This will be a place where we know your name, where you can get good food for a reasonable price.”
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