Just over four years ago, a popular Fayetteville restaurant caught fire in a rear storage area. Firefighters put the blaze out before it could spread to the main dining room, but smoke and water damage ruined the interior of “Miami Subs Grill” on McPherson Church Road. It was devastating for owner/manager Jimmy Diamantopoulos.
“It had just been remodeled and was free and clear,” said Diamantopoulos, as he’s known, for obvious reasons. He had acquired a 50-year land lease and a 20-year franchise renewal.
Jimmy is managing JK’s Deli and Family Restaurant nowadays, but has high hopes of returning to ownership of a local eatery. In fact, it won’t be long now. Loyd Builders is constructing a strip center on Walter Reed Road, and Diamantopoulos will be back in business.
Diamantopoulos has been in the restaurant business for a long time. Before coming to Fayetteville 19 years ago, he had businesses in Montreal, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. Of Greek descent, he found a home here, and at one time owned five restaurants. The Miami Subs Grill was his anchor store. He bought the building from the Miami Subs corporation. The aftermath of the fire in January of 2012 changed everything.
Fayetteville Fire Department investigators, city police, State Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were unable to determine cause of the fire. No charges were filed. But Diamantopoulos says when he filed a $400,000 loss claim, Nationwide Insurance called the fire “suspicious” despite the lack of any evidence. And in May of 2012, the claim was denied. Unable to speak with his insurance agent or Donan Forensic Engineering, which Nationwide hired, Diamantopoulos brought a suit against the insurance company. He tells Up & Coming Weekly the matter still has not been settled.
Late last year, Diamantopoulos struck a deal with the owner of vacant property where JK’s is located to build a new restaurant there. It would face Raeford Road near the corner of Owen Drive. The final straw in his land preparation was the N.C. Department of Transportation’s decision to build a center dividing median along Raeford Road. N.C. DOT told Diamantopoulos he could not have two driveway access points, and that decision killed his plans. Actually, it changed the plan. Diamantopoulos is determined.
That’s when he learned about developer Buzz Loyd’s plans for a new building on Walter Reed Road off Owen Drive. Diamantopoulos says it will be a 4,100 sq. ft. full-service restaurant about the size of JK’s. Featured items will include wings, burgers, gyros and other Greek favorites. He hopes to open his new Miami Grill this summer. It’s been a long road to Miami.