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Nov 9, 2011 06:53 AM

Fleetwood Diner Coming Soon! Here we go again.

Walking by what used to be the Windmill Cafe/Athena Diner yesterday I saw that people were working inside and signs were posted that Fleetwood Diner was coming soon. One sign stated that it would be operated by the same people who run Pelham Cafe. I've never been to Pelham Cafe, but I have to assume that it's an improvement.

I hope the new owners got a break on the rent, otherwse it could be another "here today, gone tomorrow" at the corner of Gramatan and Grand.

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  1. One yelper described it as "Anoither diner with red booths that the only thing worth ordering are turkey club sandwiches, tuna melts and burgers? Might as well go to a bar for that, at least i can get a beer." They said there is "nothing particularly wrong with it." That sounds like an improvement because there was a lot wrong with the Windmill foodwise. Will never forget that meatloaf ever. Looked like Scrapple..

    1 Reply
    1. re: jcmods

      I have been to Pelham Cafe and definite improvement over Windmill. Looked at proposed menu and mainly eggs, sandwiches, salads, burger and some limited entrees. They are not trying to be anything more than that. Prices seemed reasonable.

    2. Other than the 2am to 8am crowd, I can't imagine that working out. Now you have Maggie's right there serving brunch on the weekends and I believe a late night menu and the regular places that have been there. Doesn't seem like a wise choice unless they really pack them in late with the after bar crowds (which never seem to be from that area anyway).

      9 Replies
      1. re: jhopp217

        Generally agree, but if they do a decent breakfast and offer a family atmosphere away from alcohol and drinkers, it could work. My FIL, for example, would never set foot in Maggie's because of "the drunks" but he loves a diner, no matter how average it might be. But the Windmill was even too awful for him.

        1. re: jhopp217

          Before moving my dad out of MV last month, we 'd had several nice lunches at Maggie's but my 90 y.o. dad could never wrap his head around their prices (not unreasonable to me). The Athena was a go-to spot for him years ago and we always walked by the deserted spot & commented on how someone could blow it as bad as the Windmill folks seemed to have done. So he would be one vote for a resurrected straight-up Greek diner type breakfast/lunch. Which does them not a bit of good since he has moved out of state and isn't getting any younger. Best of luck to them.

          1. re: jhopp217

            Can't get a spinach/feta omelet or turkey club at Maggies, can you? Or a hot open face turkey sandwich (dh favorite). There are a lot of people in Fleetwood not eating at Maggies that will try this place.

            1. re: rolise

              Well they took the menu down and it does not seem any work has been done. Now I worry it will stay closed.

              1. re: rolise

                At least they disposed of the ketchup bottles that had been sitting on the tables for months.

                1. re: rolise

                  There was someone in there last weekend. They need to replace the filthy carpet though. You can see the stains from outside.

                  1. re: jcmods

                    I totally agree about the carpet. I also heard from my boss whose son lives in Fleetwood that we are getting a take out mexican where the butcher was. Fingers crossed.

                    1. re: rolise

                      I would be so happy to have decent Mexican take out within walking distance.
                      BTW - I noticed yesterday that the sign is up for Fleetwood Diner and they have painted the bottoms of the windows blue. At least it's a sign of progress.

                      1. re: rolise

                        Looks like they are almost done renovating the space. The sign went up and it is actually Cuban. I would be fine with that too, especially if they serve roast pork and black beans. Fingers crossed.

              2. Grand Opening was on Friday and it was perfect timing since my sister and her kids were coming for a visit. After the train show at Botanical Garden on Saturday we went to the Fleetwood Diner for an early dinner. Same furniture, same carpet but the staff were friendlier and more eager to please than I remember at Windmill or Athena. We thought it was a bit odd that they were playing the dance station on the radio, but it wasn't too loud.

                Kids got a cheeseburger and a plate of fish & chips. There was almost a meltdown when one nephew was told that milkshakes aren't available yet, but the chocolate milk did the trick. I got a pizza burger, SO got the brisket sandwich, sis got french toast and bro-in-law got pastrami.
                There were service issues. SO was served the lox instead of brisket and it took a few minutes to determine the mistake was the kitchen's fault but the brisket came quickly. Water was never re-filled and the wait for plate clearing and check seemed interminable. Pastrami was served with a side of watery brown gravy which just seemed odd.

                On the plus side, the pizza burger was good and cooked medium rare as requested. Sis really like her french toast and the cod fish fillet was better than it looked. Fries and sandwiches were okay.

                Overall, a big improvement over the Windmill but a way to go to get back to Athena-level (which really is not that high a goal). And for the time being it is cash only so be prepared.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sloth

                  Ds and I had lunch there Sunday. I had turkey triple decker with fries which was good but not the best I have had, certainly not the worst either. I would probably have it again. DS had linguine with garlic and oil. Very garlicky but he loved it. he also had vegetable soup (soup or salad came with). People at next table had what looked like pretty good burgers and omelettes. I did get refill on my water and coffee. I think if they work the kinks out it will be a good place to go. Next week I will try an omelette which is my other diner go to.

                  I was disappointed they did not change the carpet but at least it looked like they had tried to clean it and the floor was a lot cleaner.

                  1. re: rolise

                    Better than the Windmill for sure. The true litmus test will be if they can get meatloaf to not look like scrapple.

                2. Please support this guy. con Edison held him up for TWO MONTHS. He had all his permits and was ready to open in NOVEMBER! They gave him several dates when they told him they were they were going to turn on the gas and then just didn't show. There was an article about it on the mount vernon inquirer website.

                  There are some problems with the service but maybe they'll bring new hires in. The guy who owns it seems nice. And the food is good. Just wish he'd get some of that stuff off the windows. It was nice to be able to see in it. It's annoying.