From: "Jim Dent" james DOT dent AT itochu DOT com
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 01:32:35 -0400
Subject: Jenkintown, PA
"0809-1262394-2.jpg" - image/jpeg, 17696 bytes, 255x178 (17kb)
=46rom the Philadelphia Intelligencer...
Train station restaurant closes
By John Corcoran
JENKINTOWN =97Stazi Milano has closed its doors, but owner Skip DiMarco p=
to make over the unique space in the Jenkintown Train Station and open ag=
in several months.
"We need the cooperation of the bank and we need some cooperation from
SEPTA," he said.
The bank will be needed to finance the changes and the Southeastern
Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will have to approve changes to the
building, specifically creating two entrances for two separate businesses=
It's still in the concept stage, but the plan is to open a pub-style
restaurant, similar to Gramercy Tavern in New York City, and open the lar=
dining room as an elegant banquet facility, DiMarco said.
"We don't have names for them yet," he said. "That's usually the hardest
part for me."
It will take 60 to 90 days to reopen the restaurant and several more mont=
for the banquet facility, DiMarco said.
Only one thing is for certain, he said.
The bar and restaurant will be non-smoking.
"We feel it's the wave of the future. People are more apt to sit at the b=
and eat something if there's not someone smoking right next to them."
DiMarco has operated Stazi Milano for the past 13 years, but business has
dropped off in the past few years.
"It's hard to say goodbye to an old friend, but you have to move on," he
said. "To have that kind of a run is unusual for a restaurant today."
The business was hurt by the closing for months of Glenside Avenue, which
feeds right into the parking lot of the train station, DiMarco said.
There is also a lot more competition from restaurants that have opened
recently because of the revitalization of the borough's downtown business
"Also, people aren't afraid to go into Philadelphia anymore," DiMarco sai=
The kicker, though, was flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alli=
in June that left 4 feet of water in the basement, he said.
The restaurant's food preparation area, bathroom and a private dining are=
were ruined and about a third of the floor in the bar upstairs buckled.
"Probably I should have done this a year ago. I've been dumping money int=
it, trying to reinvent Stazi, dropping prices and making changes to the
menu," said DiMarco.
Steady customers will probably stay and the changes will bring back
customers who haven't been to the restaurant recently, he said.
DiMarco had previously operated Greenwood Grille at the Jenkintown Train
Station for three years before he converted it into Stazi Milano.
He is also a partner in the Lambertville Station, a restaurant with a
150-seat banquet hall and 46-room inn. There are changes going on there a=
well, DiMarco said.
He and his partners are adding 50 rooms to the inn and increasing the siz=
of the banquet facility.