Archive for May, 2008

In Addition…. Exceptional Food Begins In The Kitchen

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Our kitchen addition arrived in great spirits…. a long trip from Kansas was not quite the journey Moondance took last August. We worked with a company in Riverton Wyoming to design a 16×70 structure to serve as a commercial kitchen for Moondance Diner. One may be puzzled by its size. Yet after careful consideration (and knowledge of how quickly I can fill empty space with furniture and appliances) I decided that storage would be crucial. Plans for walk-ins and plenty of dry storage meant the ability to keep customers satisfied and an uncompromised till; eliminating the tempatation to use money from the till to re-stock items we’ve run short on because of inadequate storage! I have done some research about restaurants and storage may not ever be enough. We have an office area, baking center, chef’s nest, warewashing, utilities, and finally a roomy restroom one will find clean enough to wash their hands in! (a little bantor as to the cleanliness of some public restrooms)   We have some elements to add to it’s interior to meet commercial codes. It will be a great day when it is complete so we can begin moving in applicances we have been storing since December of 2007.  I have grand plans for this kitchen…. it is where the great food begins.

Once the addition arrived it had to be craned onto it’s already poured foundation (this was planned and poured back in February). A local crane operator from Mountain States in Big Piney did an excellent job of lifting the addition and setting it….. this was another of many special moments for me. I was able to take video of this event as well as a local couple here in La Barge that took an interest in it that day. They have since given me a copy of the video…. capturing this special marriage between buildings. ”You complete me?” Ring a bell. Okay that’s cliche but appropriate. Some finish work by Hack’s Construction and the buildings will be united; by construction standards more importantly.   

Diner With A View

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

No matter what season or time of day…. the view from Moondance Diner will be exceptional.  In addition to the signature  barrel roof; the amount of windows at Moondance Diner was another important feature. Of course one’s view here in La Barge is completely different than one’s was as the Diner was home in downtown Manhattan last summer…. we hope to accomplish some similarity by recreating a familiar scene looking into Moondance Diner. Locals sipping coffee, workers enjoying a hot breakfast and a hearty “lunch to go”. Possibly some our most recently made friends from New York and abroad who have made their way along 189 just to say ”best of luck”.  Maybe there will also be students stopping by after school  for yummy ice cream specialty or newlyweds sharing a great moment over a divine dinner!

  Using several of the original window frames, a Green River Glass Company was on board with the installation of the the glass. We added a window in our Moon Room addition of the Diner. There are 3 doors… one door allows access to our back patio, the front door facing HWY 189 is a main entrance/exit and finally the third glass door on the south side of the Diner was re-born. At one time this door was operable at the Moondance in SoHo; yet last summer when we moved the Diner here to Wyoming it was framed in to appear as a window. After removing some siding we discovered it’s true identity!  Ironically along the west wall of the Diner we also discovered a couple of ”hidden windows” which we decided to leave out of the restoration because that wall will be again covered in the classic ”cushioned” stainless. 

We plan to use a couple of the original glass (painted with the bright yellow moon and logo as was remembered last July in Manhattan) as an additional window on the south/west side of our kitchen addition.

Here’s Your Sign

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

As I think about last summer and our concerns about re-locating the Moondance Diner; one of the considerations was how to break down the notably large sign and bring it back with the Diner. After discussing options with the moving crew (my husband and father), we determined it would be best to store it inside the Diner. The riggin’ crew made this disassembly their first task….. (of course after the first 200 tasks of permits and planning were checked off). We knew the importance of this sign and it’s significance to in Vince’s selection that day when viewing the American Diner Museum website for possible Diners we could afford to re-locate. It wasn’t until well after our efforts did we begin to realize it’s humble celebrity roots in movies and other media. After Moondance arrived in Wyoming; stripped of it’s grand sign and ecclectic NYC identity (geographically speaking),  we realized that the successful move of the Diner “structure” was only the beginning. As Moondance Diner’s newest caretakers we couldn’t wait to get to raise the sign once more; a well-deserved tribute to it’s NYC historical roots. We are hopeful that it’s newest role as a beacon for locals and travelers in the great state of Wyoming will become just as significant.

Vince and Don Hacklin spent an afternoon laying the sign out and putting it back together like a puzzle. The sheet metal still bears the shadow of each word that once rose above the hussle and bussle of 6th and Grand in Manhattan. Don custom-framed the housing for the sign which was planned in the design of the barrel roof .( Wind and weather were taken into consideration as the original wood frame from NYC was not salvageable.)  A day and 1/2 later the team started the process of attaching the sheets metal of the sign to the roof and the Diner’s nostalgic identity began to resurface. Vince and I attached some of the letters: EAT, DINER and the COFFEE CUP with it’s tell-tale STARS. The interest once more was peaked as passers-by commented on their first look at the sign since it had been removed in NYC last August.  We have decided the MOONDANCE letters will be put on last…. along with the rotating moon. Somewhat of a ribbon-cutting perhaps?