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Happy customers keep new Bayside Diner busy

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A week after it opened, the Bayside Diner was humming Tuesday morning as patrons filled the eatery to get their fill of classic diner breakfast items in the setting of the revamped restaurant.

Morning manager Theo Mouzakitas said the first week had gone well, and customers seemed pleased with the food and service.

“It’s been packed. We’ve been very busy,” he said.

Located on the corner of Northern Boulevard and 207th Street, the diner is and was a favorite meeting spot for many northeast Queens residents who can remember a time when the area had many more. It opened last week after the new owners, brothers Spiro and Elias Katsihtis, spent months remodeling, revamping and staffing the business, which had closed last summer.

In the meantime, hungry patrons had to find other haunts to satisfy their cravings. Charlie Babetti said he cycled through several other spots — such as the Omega Coffee Shop on 32nd Avenue, the Terrace Diner on 26th Avenue and the North Shore Diner further down on Northern Boulevard — while the Bayside Diner was closed but could not really settle on one.

As he sat down to order breakfast with his friend Dan from Alabama, the sun shone in from diner’s large windows. Babetti said Tuesday was his fourth visit since the place opened and that he had stopped in for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“It’s excellent; I’m very happy,” he said.

Baysider Lynn Parker invited her friends Mitch Pruzan and Don Ambulo from Great Neck across the Queens/Nassau County border to see why the diner’s parking lot had been packed during the previous week.

“It looks really nice. It reminds me of the old one with the big windows and everything,” Parker said, with her egg white and spinach omelette on the plate in front of her.

Hostess Ashley Sneed said the mornings had been busy.

“Everyone says how they used to come here all the time and that it’s so nice,” she said.

Sneed said she had never been in the diner in its previous incarnations but now that she had an opportunity to sample the menu she recommends the omelettes and burgers and fries.

Whereas the construction sounds of saws and hammers filled the building just over a week ago, on Tuesday it was jazz and the constant clanking of cutlery on dishes that melded with customers’ constant chatter that made the place feel alive again.

The only complaint registered to TimesLedger Newspapers belonged to Dan from Alabama via his friend Babetti.

“He’s disappointed he can’t get grits,” he said.

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

Updated 11:10 am, October 12, 2011
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