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What Happened Then

The History of the Station


1802: Michael Dunning founded the town of Malta, calling it “Dunning Street”.


Prior to 1950: A house sat on the property, owned by the Fredrick Family


1950’s: Gus (Constantinos Dardas) purchased and converted the house into a diner by tearing off the
second floor and front. In 1953, the dining car was built in NJ by the Fodero Diner Company and shipped to Malta in two separate sections. The diner became known for their eggs and coffee 6am to midnight. Gus lived in SarSaratoga and was also well known for real turkey and roast beef meals.


1970’s: The diner was famous to all of Saratoga and had a movie filmed there, My Old Man starring
Warren Oates and Kristy McNichol. The movie was released in 1979.

1970 -1982: The restaurant was owned and operated for many years by Gus and wife, Sophie Dardas, calling it the Malta Ridge Diner until the early 1980’s.


1982: Gus retired and the diner was resurrected in an Art Deco-style. Sam’s Italian Restaurant, or Sam’s Place was very popular amongst locals and tourists alike, boasting a delicious menu and receiving write-ups in popular publications like the New York Times. Because the parking lot was always filled, valet parking was offered to all including Wille Shoemaker, along with other jockey’s, movie stars, etc. After a number of years, Sam suddenly disappeared. Although no one knew what happened to him, it was rumored that Sam had a falling out with the Brooklyn boys.


1980’s: The restaurant was taken over by Sophie Dardas, calling it the Malta Ridge Diner.


1995: Sophie and Joseph Parker open Chez Sophie Bistro, a contemporary French cuisine restaurant. Chez Sophie was extremely well-know and received write-ups from many national publications for their food and extensive wine cellar.


2001: Sophie Parker passed away, leaving Chez Sophie in the hands of her son, Paul.


2009: Paul Parker and wife, Cheryl Clark closed Chez Sophie to develop a farmhouse at a winery in France.


2010: Bloomers restaurant opened in the diner, but was only in business for a year due to being seized by the NYS Tax Department.


2011: Quintessence American Grille opened under owners Joseph Zappone and Pat Fiore.


2014: Quintessence closes and lists the building for sale.


2015: Bob McKenna and Scott Ringwood, (owners of Lake Ridge Restaurant in Round Lake) saw the
location and history as a great opportunity and purchased the space. After full renovations to the
exterior and interior, Dunning Street Station is dedicated to carrying on the award-winning success of Lake Ridge for the past 15 years and providing the best food and best experience. McKenna and Ringwood are proud of their award for CONSISTENT GREATNESS which will be the mission at THE STATION.