The owner of Hilliard's Starliner Diner, known for its spicy dishes, eclectic decor and outdoor mural, is taking steps to build a new restaurant in the Landmark Lofts development at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street.
The current restaurant must be demolished when Franklin Street is aligned with Luxair Road as part of the project.
Molly Mahoney, who opened Starliner Diner at 5240 Cemetery St. in 1994, said Nov. 12 she signed a letter of intent with Landmark Lofts developer Buckeye KRG to rebuild in one of its new mixed-use facilities.
The move was facilitated, Mahoney said, by the last-minute agreement of Sunbelt Rental to relocate to Parkway Lane, about a mile to the east.
Prior to Sunbelt Rental agreeing to sell its property, 22 parking spots would have been available to Starliner Diner. The current site of Sunbelt Rental will be used, in part, for parking; that increases available parking for Starliner Diner to 42 spaces.
"The new restaurant will be open before I close the one we're leaving," Mahoney said.
The restaurant's outdoor mural, depicting a spacewalk, will be saved -- sort of.
"I'll have it imaged and made into wallpaper," and it will be put inside the new restaurant, said Mahoney, adding that every effort will be made to recreate the interior of the Starliner Diner.
"We're simply moving. It will be just as it was before," Mahoney said.
Landmark Lofts is a mixed-use retail and residential development that will include retail stores and 170 apartments. The apartments will be on the floors above the ground-floor retail stores.
The grain elevator on the site will be converted into a 7,000-square-foot community center. The development's name refers to the original owner of the grain elevator, the Landmark Grain Co.