Tarentum’s closed Cycle Diner continues search for new management
The Cycle Diner in Tarentum is closed but perhaps only for a short time.
“We have several people interested in leasing it. One is a guy from Europe who we will be meeting with,” said George Gatto, who has owned the diner since 1990. “So we hope to know something soon, but it could sit empty for a while because we want the right person to take it over.”
The Gatto family, which owns the railroad-style diner, also owns a nearby motorcycle dealer, Gatto Cycle Shop. The restored 1940s diner reopened in 2017 under the direction of Tommy Scanga.
Scanga didn’t return a phone call from the Tribune-Review but had posted this previously on Facebook:
“Our Family Will Be Leaving The Diner,” the Facebook post said. “We Have The Best Customers & Staff but due to me needing surgery from a car accident I will not be able to work for a few months. … But we are looking for a family to take over our dream of running the diner! I’m not going to lie it’s a lot of hard work but the smiles you put on people’s faces and the money you make is worth it! It is a turn key operation I will be glad to give you good advice.”
Scanga’s last day was April 27. As the search for new management was ongoing, Scanga had hoped to make it to the end of May but physically wasn’t able to continue to run it any longer.
Scanga is having surgery this month.
Less than halfway through a five-year lease, Gatto said he would not penalize Scanga if he does not find a new management team.
“He just couldn’t do it anymore,” Gatto said. “And we didn’t want to be the bad guy, especially because Tommy was so devoted to the business.”
Gatto said there isn’t a specific lease term he is looking for from the new management and the rent is reasonable, although he declined to share the dollar amount.
Part of the issue is Scanga owns some of the equipment and would like to sell it, but not all of those interested want to buy the equipment because they want to acquire their own, Gatto said.
Having a new person take over the business who wants to buy the equipment from Scanga is optimal, Gatto said.
“That would be a win-win for both of us,” Gatto said. “There aren’t a lot of family-run businesses left in the area.”
The diner has been beloved for its enormous portions, including homemade soups, burgers and breakfast served all day.
“We would like to have someone in there, but we want the right person,” Gatto said. “Tommy was so personable with all the customers. We want someone like him.”
Scanga shared his feelings on Facebook.
He wrote he’ll “miss all of the customers” and that “hopefully we can find someone to take over.” He replied to a Facebook comment that “it was a great ride.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .