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SHARON Winner puts diner up for sale



Published: Sun, April 6, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The diner, featuring a 1950s motif, was shipped to Sharon in 1999.

SHARON, Pa. -- Donna's Diner at 10 W. State St. didn't reopen Tuesday as planned, and there's no indication that it will reopen any time soon.

The diner has been put up for sale.

Owner James E. Winner Jr., founder of Winner International, said in early January that he closed the diner for the winter because business was so slow that the restaurant couldn't support itself.

He said at the time that he planned to reopen it April 1 but that he would also be deciding the diner's long-term fate while it was closed.

He said he was considering expanding the diner but he had also had some suggestions that he move it to Youngstown.

Winner couldn't be reached to comment, but apparently the decision has been made.

Signs on the diner announcing that it was closed until April 1 have now been replaced with signs that the business is closed. There's also a large sign on the front of the restaurant announcing that it is for sale and prospective buyers should contact Sebastian Real Estate in Hermitage. A spokesman for Sebastian would not give the asking price, saying that only Winner would provide that information.

$500,000 project

The diner, designed in a 1950s motif, was built in Florida and shipped by truck to Sharon in late 1999 in a project that cost more than $500,000.

It is named after Winner's wife, Donna.

There were originally two old buildings on that site adjacent to the Shenango River, and the city declared them to be blighted and secured about $500,000 in state and federal grant funds to buy and raze them.

Sharon then sold the land to Winner at a fair market appraised value of $17,500.

There were five businesses in the old buildings. Three moved out of town, and two closed permanently. The city paid relocation costs for the three that moved.




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