• Vermont Tap House planned for Midway Diner building
    By Gordon Dritschilo
    Staff Writer | November 20,2013
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    Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo

    The former Midway Diner on South Main Street closed to make way for IHOP, but the plan has changed to bring in Vermont Tap House instead.
    The Midway Diner will become a gastropub instead of an IHOP.

    The Rutland institution on South Main Street closed during the summer in order to make way for the international pancake house chain, but an application with the city zoning office indicates that plan has been abandoned in favor of a second location for Vermont Tap House.

    Vermont Tap House, which features a menu heavy on Vermont products and specializing in wood-fired pizza, opened in Williston in August. It is owned by the same family consortium that owns the South Burlington IHOP.

    Calls to the Chittenden County restaurants were referred to Sam Handy, who could not be reached for comment. Frank Trombetta of Midway Oil, which owns the Midway Diner property, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

    Handy was the longtime owner of the Rutland Ponderosa and has repeatedly tried to bring IHOP to the city. He signed a lease on the Midway property in August, saying he expected to reopen it as an IHOP in November.

    The Midway was opened as an iconic Pullman railcar-style diner in 1947. That building was sold and removed in 1996, replaced by the current structure, set farther back from the road than its predecessor. Midway was open around the clock for much of its history ó making it a favorite for local youth too young for the bar scene.

    Handy signed a lease on the property in August, and the diner closed shortly after.

    The city zoning application calls for interior renovations to the building.

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