City Council, mayor still undecided on what to do about Tom’s Diner controversy

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DENVER -- The controversy surrounding Tom's Diner on East Colfax Avenue continues. In fact, the discussion about the diner's future has spread beyond Denver and Colorado online.

The diner's owner, Tom Messina, had planned sell the property to a developer which would then demolish the diner and build an apartment building. Messina planned to use the sale to fund his retirement.

However, some city advocates disagree and want the diner to be saved as a historic landmark because of its iconic Googie architecture.

The question is: what will Mayor Michael Hancock and City Council do? For the first time, city leaders are speaking about how they view the issue.

"It's a tough situation and I certainly empathize with Tom and I certainly understand where the historic advocates are coming from," Hancock told FOX31's Joe St. George.

Hancock says he is still undecided regarding the controversy -- but he is clearly hoping for a compromise.

"You know, the owner wants to retire -- he saw this as his nest egg," Hancock said. "You've got to allow the process to play out but it's unfortunate when you get to the point where you are doing it without the partnership and engagement of the owner."

Tom's Diner is located in Councilman Chris Hinds' district. Hinds also told FOX31 he is undecided.

"I see both sides and so far, I haven't made up my mind," Hinds said. "My hope is they can find something that works for all of them before it comes to a vote and I think it's still a possibility."

Council is expected to vote on the matter before the end of the month. Most comments on the FOX31 Facebook page have sided with Messina.

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