Grand Central Adds More Flavor to the Dining Landscape in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, CA – When John Diskin and Rita M. Capponi moved to Palm Springs with dreams of opening a restaurant, they didn’t imagine the two-year journey they’d take to making that dream a reality. Now, John and Rita are ready to share  Grand Central Palm Springs with the community as they gear up for the restaurant’s official Grand Opening on Thursday, November 15th in Palm Springs.

John and Rita found the perfect space to host their restaurant. Built in 1936, the building that now houses Grand Central was a department store, called Desmond’s situated in the heart of the city, accessible to tourists and locals alike. But getting it in workable condition meant facing challenges that pushed John and Rita to find additional help.

Enter the Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC), one of the seven service locations of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network.

“They were phenomenal,” John says. “They were mentors. They were really the only true small business support network. Anyone who is considering launching a small business should talk to the SBDC first. They have a wealth of information that can help streamline the process.”

And John and Rita needed that support.

“We wanted the restaurant to feel like an extension of Rita’s dining room so that when you came here, it felt like you were visiting friends or relatives,” explains John.

The building they chose though had considerable issues to contend with, including updating utilities, 80 years of carpet glue, repositioning windows and more. This got expensive-but the SBDC helped secure a loan through an SBA loan program and the County of Riverside’s new revolving loan fund created to help small business owners and entrepreneurs launch and expand their businesses.

The grand opening program will begin at 10:00 a.m. with remarks from District 4 Supervisor Riverside County Board of Supervisors V. Manuel Perez, City of Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon and other area elected officials. The ribbon cutting will follow at 11:00 a.m. Experience the beautiful restored building at Grand Central and don’t forget to try the waffles!

Thursday, November 15, 2018
160 La Plaza, in La Plaza Center, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Looking to start or grow your business?

We at the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful.
Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.

Grand Central Adds More Flavor to the Dining Landscape in Palm Springs

Mike Daniel is the network director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners throughout Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mike was formerly the director of the SBDC office at Long Beach City College. As business owner and entrepreneur himself, he started his career as the owner of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory location in Manhattan Beach and went on to open a second location in Long Beach in 2001. In 2007, Mike sold the Manhattan Beach store for an above-market offer then invested in several additional locations as a minority shareholder. Mike further expanded his candy empire with venture located in Shoreline Village in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe, based on fill-it yourself candy options.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.