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Former Port Jefferson diner to be demolished as soon as Wednesday

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 owners of an abandoned Port Jefferson diner said Tuesday the dilapidated structure could be torn down as soon as Wednesday.

Islip attorney Timothy J. Mattimore said a crew is poised to demolish the Main Street building as soon as Port Jefferson village officials issue a permit, which could happen this morning. Village officials had condemned the building last year because of safety issues.

"We put a heavy piece of equipment there ready to knock it down," Mattimore said in an interview. "I think there's a good shot that this building will come down during the day."

Mattimore has said the property's owners, Jose Ramos and his son John, plan to build a bakery there.

Mayor Margot J. Garant said Tuesday that village building officials would approve a demolition permit "in the next 24 hours or so." She said officials had been awaiting assurances that utilities such as electric and gas service would be shut off before the demolition. The last of those was furnished Tuesday, she said.

"It looks like we're all going to have a happy ending," Garant said. "I would say, by the end of the week, that structure will no longer exist."

Village officials had held up the diner as a prime example of blighted buildings that they said had inhibited redevelopment of Port Jefferson's struggling Upper Port business district.

Garant had said other vacant buildings there would be torn down if their owners did not replace or rehabilitate them.

The Ramos family had faced a deadline to tear down the diner this month or have the village demolish it. Mattimore said obtaining the demolition permit had been delayed because contacting utility companies had been a "complicated process."

Mattimore said PSEG Long Island officials told him Tuesday that electric service had been turned off in 2007, but some equipment would have to be removed from the site before the building could be razed.

That equipment is expected to be removed Wednesday, he said.

Garant said village officials had planned to hire a contractor to demolish the diner before the Ramos family agreed to tear it down.

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