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Bayside Diner ready to open next week

About a year after it closed, the Bayside Diner is set to open its doors again to the neighborhood’s casual-fare connoisseurs.

Antonia Katsishtis, whose family has spent the last several months revamping the eatery, at 207-07 Northern Blvd., said the diner will open next week.

“So many people keep giving us positive feedback,” she said, adding that with the recent closings of a few area diners, including the Scobee Diner in Little Neck, demand has probably never been higher. “People keep telling us, ‘We need a place to have breakfast.’ People really want their breakfast!”

The diner closed its doors last August, and earlier this year owners Spiro and Elias Katsishtis purchased a lease on the building.

Katsishtis said the diner will return with the classic comfort-food menu items customers expect like eggs and omelettes, burgers, salads and steaks with a few modern additions to keep the place current. Low-calorie burgers served with cottage cheese will be offered as a healthy alternative to heavier items, and Katsishtis said the diner will have a small hibachi stir-fry.

In the beginning, the hours will be from 6 a.m. to midnight, breakfast will be served all day and the hours may be extended on the weekends if the place is busy.

Manager Nick Dallaris said valet parking service can accommodate up to 50 cars on the lot. He added that, with approximately 80 percent of the diner’s staff living in Bayside, the diner is helping to feed about 50 area families.

“We really want to support the community,” he said.

The Katsishtises, who also own the Veranda Restaurant next door, have about 30 years experience in the business, and Dallaris said that shows through with the level of service they expect their staff to provide customers.

Architect and designer Anestis Demou said he originally set out to do a little bit of renovation to the building’s interior in order to bring it up to date, but soon discovered that it needed to be entirely gutted and redone.

“The idea was to update it and create something modern. We got away from the regular stainless steel and glass of a usual diner,” he said. “We had new ideas, modern colors and designs. It turned out to be a beautiful place — very unusual as a diner.”

From the ground up, the basement of the diner was renovated to accommodate new freezers and all new equipment. Baking will also be done on the premises.

Upon entering, customers are greeted by a counter with warm lighting that may resemble a bar in a chic lounge, but the bubbling coffee pots behind it should reaffirm that they are on the corner of Northern Boulevard and 207th Street.

“Just like the name outside says, it’s the Bayside Diner,” said Dallaris.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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