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Attorney for owners of Port Jefferson diner say it will be demolished soon

The diner at 1527 Main St. in Port

The diner at 1527 Main St. in Port Jefferson, seen here on Oct. 3, 2014, will be demolished once a permit is obtained, an attorney for the owners said. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The attorney for the owners of an abandoned Port Jefferson diner said Monday that he hopes to obtain a permit this week to demolish the Main Street structure.

Village officials have said tearing down the diner, which has been vacant for about eight years, is key to plans to rehabilitate the community's Upper Port business district.

Port Jefferson officials in November gave the diner's owners, Jose Ramos and his son John, until next week to tear down the building, which has been deemed unsafe by village building inspectors.

The family's attorney, Timothy J. Mattimore of Islip, said in an interview that he had applied for a village demolition permit last week. He said the permit would be approved when he can prove that utilities such as gas service and electricity have been shut off.

"I hope I'm done as soon as this week, as far as getting the OKs," Mattimore said. "My hunch is [utilities were] turned off many years ago . . . but it's not something we can be wrong about."

Mayor Margot J. Garant said Monday that the village plans to demolish the diner if the Ramos family does not secure a demolition permit. She said the village board would vote on Jan. 5 to award a demolition contract to one of several contractors that have put in bids to tear down the structure.

"We don't know what he needs, but we are prepared to pull the trigger if he can't," Garant said, referring to Mattimore. "He's got a hard deadline, and we're serious about it."

Garant said village officials have asked utilities such as the Suffolk County Water Authority and National Grid to cut off service to the site if the village decides to demolish the diner.

Mattimore said the Ramos family has paid about $1,200 in village fees to demolish the building and has lined up a private contractor to do the job. He said the demolition cost would be less than $25,000. "They're willing to pay it," he said. Mattimore said the family, which owns bakeries in Central Islip and Huntington Station, plans to build a bakery at the diner site.

Garant said the village would not review plans for the site until the diner has been torn down. "A bakery would be great there," she said. "It's just been way too long for that building to stay like that."

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