$1,165 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 6 months

My name is Christopher Tunnah, and I am hopeful that the community can help me save one of the last 1920s diners in the country and assist in moving it to the Newport, RI area. The site chosen is Valley Road in Middletown, right in the heart of Aquidneck Island. The diner is financially non-viable in its current location having failed several times due to lack of business and population. If the diner is not moved I am very concerned for its survival; to move this diner I need your help!

34445644_1553267358442984_r.jpegThe original builders plaque on the main entrance door. 

About myseIf: I have been operating restaurants as a General Manager & Consultant in NYC for the last 15 years, working with celebrity chef's such as Tom Colicchio, Missy Robbins, Scott Conant and Floyd Cardoz to name just a few. 10 years ago I fell in love with Aquidneck Island and purchased a small home on the harbor in Newport. Ever since, I have dreamt of bringing a vintage diner to Newport. It has been many years since the last beautiful classic diner left the island; many of you will remember Tommy's. This 1927 Tierney manufactured diner is one of just 6 diners from the 1920's left in the country that is still in operating condition. At one point there were hundreds of these throughout the Northeast. I believe that these diners are part of our cultural history and need to be preserved for later generations. If this diner comes to Rhode Island it will be the oldest diner in the state!

34445644_1553267421589970_r.jpegA period advertisement for Tierney Diners, with a nearly identical Diner pictured

34445644_1553267382305790_r.jpegThe Diner as it currently sits in Pennsylvania 

The diner will form the centerpiece of my business and will sit next to an outdoor seating area staged around a large wood fired pit grill. This grill will be our kitchen for the summer, serving traditional Clam Bakes along with a bevy of New England classics. The diner will operate as a Soda Fountain in the summer serving Sundaes, Pies and other sweets. In the winter the diner is transformed into our restaurant and will be serve both savory meals and sweet treats. To complement all of this, I am applying for a Beer & Wine license, and plan to serve a curated selection of high quality beverages! In the summer the Diner will be called "Better Weather".... and then "Sweater Weather" when the chill of winter hits!

34445644_1553267403957170_r.jpegThe interior of the diner with beautiful original woodwork and stained glass windows

34445644_1553267436739807_r.jpegThe diner in the 1970's before restoration

34445644_1553267445615240_r.jpegAn circa 1930's postcard for the Diner when it was located in Stroudsburg, PA

The Reason I am Crowdfunding:
I stepped in and purchased the diner last year with my savings, but have been overwhelmed with unforeseen costs (I'm a regular joe working in restaurants, not in finance unfortunately!), so am now looking to the public to help realize the dream and save this diner.  Close to $40,000 which was to be used for the downpayment on the financing have gone to the permit process, twice as much as expected, and while approvals are coming in, I am not even finished with permitting. Also, this winter a radiator failed and flooded the diner and basement... and insurance did not cover the damage. The cleanup and remediation was well in excess of $10,000, and I have more work to do. These extra expenses have put my financing in jeopardy, and without your support I may not be able to secure the loan needed to move and re-open this diner! In reality a larger amount would be amazing and would guarantee this project comes to reality, but I wanted to be realistic about how much was possible to be raised. The cost to move the diner is $38,000 alone!

34445644_1553267458734474_r.jpegFront entrance of the diner

A little help as well as a show of support from the Island telling me that you really would like to see this become a reality would be great. Without funding this project may not be realized; I believe that the community would gain a wonderful addition to the dining scene. With your help we can make this a reality!

Interior view towards original pay phone and original lavatory. 

I am hopeful that you like the project and the diner, and that you would be willing to donate to make this a reality for Aquidneck Island!

As an added thank you for your generosity any donations will receive a credit at Better Weather for the donated amount!

With Gratitude, 
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$1,165 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 6 months
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Beth Lennon
11 days ago
Christopher Martin
11 days ago
Jeff Davis
11 days ago
Jennifer Spreitzer
26 days ago
Jeremy Ebersole
1 month ago
Rebecca Kush
1 month ago
Deborah Fisher
1 month ago
Amy McKinney
1 month ago
Marilyn Shea
1 month ago
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