Road to Bethlehem Casino Claims Family-Owned Diner - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Road to Bethlehem Casino Claims Family-Owned Diner

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    A Popular Bethlehem diner is no longer serving its famous soups and macaroni after being forced to shut its doors. 

    The state came in and bordered up the place so they could make a road to the new Sand's casino.

    Irene Halkias and her family said they got a phone call on Friday telling them that they had until Monday to turn over the keys to Ginny's Luncheonette -- a restaurant they have owned for 20 years.

    Several Southside properties in Bethlehem, Pa. have been forced to board up after an eminent domain claims.

    Eminent Domain Claims Bethlehem Eatery

    [PHI] Eminent Domain Claims Bethlehem Eatery
    Ginny's Luncheonette closed to make way for a road to a Sand's.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009)

    PennDOT took ownership of the Southside diner in October 2007 through eminent domain. The small restaurant and several other structures are being cleared to make way for a new on-ramp -- part of a road-widening project that's needed to ease increased traffic that's expected to come with the New Sands Casino that's being built. 

    The family was insulted with PennDOT's $250,000 offer for the diner because it's the same amount the family paid when they bought two decades ago.

    The Southside eatery was considered a landmark in the city. Ginny's served celebrities like country recording artist Tim McGraw and "Transformers" actor Josh Duhamel, according to the family.

    The Halkias family plans on fighting in court for a fairer price for the property. They hope to reopen in a new Southside location.