The old Thruway diner at Weyman and Main in New Rochelle.

The old Thruway diner at Weyman and Main in New Rochelle.

How beloved was the old Thruway diner on Main Street at Weyman?  When it was on the verge of closing a few years back, thousands of people signed a petition pleading for its preservation.  Unfortunately, the City was powerless to do anything – we can’t force private businesses to remain open, after all – and the Thruway served its last meal.

But wait, this story has a happy ending.

Later this year, a diner will come back to Weyman and Main.  Sure, it’ll be across the street from the old Thruway location, and it will be called the “New Rochelle Diner,” but those loyal Thruway customers who signed the petition probably won’t split hairs.  We’re just delighted to have our diner back.

I can’t say enough about the critical role played by the DeRaffele family in making this all possible, especially the family patriarch, Phil Sr.  Their company, located right here in New Rochelle on Palmer Avenue, is one of the largest manufacturers of diners in the entire country.  (Just about everyone in the northeast United States has eaten in a DeRaffele-built diner.)  They know their business inside-out, but bringing a diner back to New Rochelle was more than a business proposition for the family, it was a labor of love, and a real statement of their loyalty to the community.

Check out this article in the Journal News for more.