The award-winning 37-year-old Pelham Bay Diner at 1920 E. Gun Hill Road shut off its fryers for the last time at the end of January.
According to Real Deal, New York commercial real estate mogul Jeff Sutton acquired the 29,800 square foot property along I-95 that owner Jerry Stefanitsis and his wife labored at for almost four decades.
Sutton’s group, Wharton Properties acquired the Pelham Bay Diner and its surrounding parking lot for $10.25 million.
Sutton did so after selling four downtown Brooklyn properties worth $22 million to United American Land, the report also indicated.
Wharton is best known for its vibrant, high-ceiling commercial properties scattered throughout Midtown such as the Swarovski in Times Square or the famed Crown Building property at 730 Fifth Avenue.
However, Sutton has been growing a Bronx portfolio as well.
The firm’s holdings are scattered throughout the borough. Sutton owns the Westchester Square Duane Reade on 2641 E. Tremont Avenue, the Footaction store at 272 E. Fordham Road, Payless Shoe Source at 2902 Third Ave, several 1-story commercial sites at 306 E. 204th Street and 3377 Eastchester Road, along with Hillside Finance Station of 3480 Boston Road and a Rite Aid at 5825 Broadway.
The diner property that Sutton acquired is bordered on the east by a ‘hot sheets motel’, the Pelham Garden Motel, at 2410 Grace Avenue. It’s future was not mentioned in the Jeff Sutton announcement.
In the late 1950s the diner building was formerly the Gun Hill Manor, a popular catering venue that was booked for weddings, anniversaries and many othe special occasions.
When the Stefanitsis opened their diner, it quickly became well known for it’s tantalizing Greek specialties along with the popular ‘Pelham Bay Burger’ and ‘Bronx Skillet’ breakfast special, that fed many a hungry traveller coming off the New York Thruway or the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Even former Mayor Michael Bloomberg chowed down at the diner some years ago, as did the likes of former Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Super Bowl champion, New York Jet, and Bronxite Willie Colon.
For the every-day Bronxite, the 24/7 diner was ‘the late night spot’ where you could bet that you’d run into someone you knew at any hour of the night.
Stefanistis and family still currently operate a waterfront Mediterranean Restaurant called Molos that overlooks Hells Kitchen at 1 Pershing Road in Weehawken, NJ.
Sutton’s plan for the development of the Pelham Bay Diner property is not clear. Wharton Properties and Jerry Stefanitsis did not return calls as of press time.
Home Depot recently purchased the large parcel adjacent to the diner property at 1816 E. Gun Hill Road for $40 million, which includes two buildings, one The Home Depot and the other Chuck E. Cheese, as well as the large parking lot.