Lost City reported some time ago that Rego Park's Jay Dee Bakery, the 1940s Art Deco gem that closed back in July, was destined for Alabama, just like the Cheyenne Diner was. As you can see from these photos, the Cheyenne began its southward journey last week (it just left a secret holding spot in New Jersey this morning), and Michael Perlman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council tells us that parts of the Jay Dee Bakery are going with it.
The Cheyenne is being transported in two parts and should reach Alabama in about a week. Once its there, Perlman will apply for state and federal landmark status so that the diners new owner, Joel Owens, can receive grants and tax credits to restore it to its 1940s glory (among other things, Owens plans to peel back newer flooring to uncover the original mosaic tiles). The diner will be part of a town (spanning one or two blocks) incorporating other salvaged buildings, including, you guessed it, a re-creation of the Jay Dee Bakery.
Perlman tells us that he originally tried to get the bakerys new owner, Amnir Yelizarov, to incorporate the Art Deco elements into the ethnic restaurant he plans to open in the coming months, but Yelizarov opted for a gut renovation instead. He did, however, agree to let Perlman sell off the historic elements (including three Lucite doors, vintage models of birthday and wedding cakes, and the stainless-steel neon sign) to Joel Owens. Last night, working against a tight deadline set by Yelizarov, Perlman managed to salvage a hundred glass mosaic tiles from the bakerys façade a mere sampling that will be reproduced for the bakerys Alabama twin. Perlman is working with the family of the bakery's original owner, Theodore Strouman, to secure photos that will allow for faithful reproduction of the interior.
It seems like a Sisyphean adventure to us (the team is also looking to salvage a theater and a sheriffs office, and theyre planning a Cheyenne museum), but heres hoping that late next year well again be able to break bread at these landmarks.