The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Local Establishment Relocates in Hopes of Regaining Customer Base

When the Fame Diner closed in mid-2010, Fresh Meadows and St. John’s lost one of its most beloved local diners. Despite the fact that it was always filled with students and local patrons, the owners of The Fame were unable to keep up with the cost of rent on the lot.

In 2011, the same family who once owned The Fame moved to a smaller lot on Union Turnpike and 162nd street. There, they opened the Cornerstone Diner.

The “Grand Opening” banner still flies over the doorway of the Cornerstone that now sits in a much smaller lot compared to the old location. The diner is within walking distance of the University, however if you find yourself driving there make sure to take advantage of the additional parking located underneath the main lot.

Although it looks small on the outside, the Cornerstone Diner has a wide serving area for people to sit down. Tables seat anywhere from two to eight patrons and a counter is available for the solitary customer just dropping in for a quick bite or some coffee.

The menu has, for the most part, stayed the same since the move. Like any diner, the Cornerstone has a wide variety of breakfast specials that range from the German Apple Pancakes to the Chicken Fajita Omelet.

If you’re not sure whether or not you want to start the day off on a sweet note or have a filling breakfast,you can have the best of both worlds with the Red Storm Special. The special gives you the choice of pancakes, French toast or waffles with two eggs any style, bacon, sausage and ham.

Just like its predecessor, the Cornerstone offers diverse options for lunch and dinner. Italian, Mexican, Greek and Classic American cuisine can be found in the wraps, sandwiches, burgers and specialty salads.

The burger section gives a variety of choices of half pound beef patties , other meats or veggie burgers available upon request, served with coleslaw on the side. The popular Red Storm Burger (served with sautéed onions, mozzarella and bacon) is still on the menu.

Along with it are the Bull’s Eye Burger, served with bacon, a fried egg and cheese; Greek Burger, served with feta cheese and tomato on pita bread, and many more. Any burger can be made a deluxe (includes French fries, onion rings, lettuce and tomato) for an additional $2.25.

Sandwiches are the #1 most offered food choice on the Cornerstone menu with over three dozen variations offered. A BLT, triple decker turkey and bacon, chicken soulvaki on a pita and Philly cheese steak are only some of the options available.

Paninis, wraps and quesadillas are also offered on the menu.

In a section on the menu called “International Salads” the Cornerstone gives patrons more healthy options such as the classic caesar salad, walnut chicken salad or substitute lettuce for the spinach salad.

Above the “International Salads” is another healthy section of the menu called “Dietary Delights.” Here you can choose from fish (such as salmon or tuna) or lighter options such as the California Salad, which is a fruit salad with Jello and cottage cheese.

Other dinner specials include seafood, pasta dishes, steaks and chicken dishes. However, if you’re in the mood for one of these, be prepared to pay a little extra. These entrees cost anywhere from $14 to $25 a plate.

At the end of the meal, or if you just have a sweet tooth, the Cornerstone offers many dessert options. Enjoy the classic 50’s diner experience by ordering an ice cream soda or a milk shake. Cakes from red velvet to tiramisu are also available along with apple strudels and the Greek specialty, baklava.

The prices for the Cornerstone are not friendly to a typical college budget. It’s more likely that a trip to here will be saved for when families come to visit rather than every weekend. The Cornerstone also delivers and caters parties.

The Cornerstone Diner has two tough challenges ahead of it.

First, the establishment has to survive in a world where diners have been closing at an alarming rate due to a shaky economy. Secondly, it has the reputation of its predecessor.  It’s hard to tell how long, or if ever, it will take for Cornerstone to regain the ‘Fame’ its owners once had.

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About the Contributor
Anthony O'Reilly
Anthony O'Reilly, News Editor
Anthony has been one of the most, if not the most, loyal person at this paper. His passion and his dedication to reporting and production is unparalleled. In the last few weeks, he has demonstrated the qualities of a leader and a coach that are required for this position. I have nothing but confidence that Anthony will do a great job. He will serve you, the reader, by providing the most honest, objective news possible. —Terence Cullen News Editor, Emeritus
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