A local diner that earned a “gold star” from the Bayside community over the years recently shut its doors, though customers craving another meal need only travel a short distance.
The Gold Star Diner, on the corner of Bell Boulevard and 42nd Avenue in Bayside, closed its doors for good just before the new year after serving the neighborhood for over a decade. Owner Chris Axamidis said that closing the eatery was strictly a business decision.
“I live in Bayside,” he said. “I pass by the store and it breaks my heart.”
Axamidis said the customers, who were also heartbroken to see their homey hash house go, came back in droves to say good-bye and enjoy a final meal.
“Being there for so long created a relationship with people that was friendly, it was not just business,” he said, adding he knew 95 percent of his customers by their first names.
The same warm, friendly atmosphere that Bayside denizens enjoyed for 11 years still exists a short drive away.
Axamidis has also owned and operated the Silver Moon Diner for nearly two years. The diner features 40 percent of the staff from Gold Star, and many of his former customers have stopped by for a meal at Silver Moon, located at 235-20 Hillside Avenue. He added that he would like to see all his old customers at the diner, which is less than a 10 minute drive from his old location.
“You need to have a good environment, good, friendly service and excellent food,” Axamidis said about creating the right welcoming atmosphere in a diner. “I love working with people.”
Axamidis is working to create that family atmosphere at the new location.
One Silver Moon customer made it a point before leaving to stop Axamidis and let him know he appreciates the great job he does tending to his customers.
The Bayside resident misses tending to his community’s residents, saying the decision to sell was not easy.
“I want to thank the community, my beloved customers,” he said. “Thank you for the support that you gave me all these years. I appreciate the moments I went through with a lot of them. I’m going to miss all those things.”