Tag Archives: diner

Logan’s Cafe at LeHavre on the Water celebrates successful first year

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Logan’s Café has only been open for one year, but it already has a loyal fan base. 

“The food here is excellent, and the environment is nice and comfortable,” said Irwin Hodes, 75, a daily customer. “I don’t know another place that has food as good as this.”

Dozens of diners, and several more in the summer, have flocked to the small Whitestone diner at LeHavre on the Water every day since it opened last Feb. 18, said the restaurant’s operator Logan O’Connor.

“It’s exciting,” said the 20-year-old entrepreneur from Whitestone. “I met a lot of people here and learned a lot of things about being a business person.”

O’Connor saw a notice seeking a new café concessionaire at LeHavre last November, when he was visiting his grandparents.

“I was always interested in cooking and always wanted to own my own restaurant,” he said, leaping at the chance and landing the poolside eatery.

O’Connor often finds himself jumping from behind the grill to the counter, manning all posts at the restaurant, with no fear of burning out.

“I do everything, seven days a week,” he said. “I don’t get tired. It’s fun.”

Logan’s Café is located at 168-68 9th Ave., in the LeHavre clubhouse.

To celebrate the eatery’s first milestone, O’Connor is giving out free cupcakes Tuesday.

“It’s a get-together place,” Hodes said. “We’re all happy he’s here.”



Top Headlines From Around the Web

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Actor George Clooney and father arrested at Sudanese embassy in Washington

Actor George Clooney was arrested along with his father and several members of Congress outside the Sudanese Embassy Friday as they protested the country’s blockade of food and aid. Clooney, who most recently starred in “The Descendants,” and his fellow protesters were warned three times not to cross a police line outside the building on Washington’s Embassy Row. Read More: New York Post


Trial Resumes For Off-Duty Officer Charged In Inwood Rape

Testimony resumes today in the trial of an off-duty police officer accused of raping a Manhattan teacher. Opening remarks began yesterday in the trial of Michael Pena, 27. He’s pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors say Pena asked the 25-year-old woman for directions in Inwood in the early morning hours of August 19. They say he then threatened her with his service weapon, forced her into a courtyard and raped her. Read More: NY1


Yankees sign Pettitte to contract

The Yankees on Friday re-signed Andy Pettitte to a minor-league contract with the likelihood he will return to pitch in the majors. The deal is for one-year, $2.5 million. Pettitte, who attended spring training as a special instructor, got the itch to return and the sides agreed on Thursday night. Read More: New York Post

Dharun Ravi guilty of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, other counts in Rutgers spying case

An ex-Rutgers student was convicted Friday of bias intimidation and 14 other charges for using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate’s dorm-room trysts with another man. Dharun Ravi, 20, sat stoically as the jury returned its damning verdict in a case that caused a national furor when the outed roommate jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge. Read More: Daily News

Man stabbed in the eye with fork in Chelsea diner; suspect arrested

A man was stabbed in the eye with a fork during an argument at a Chelsea diner early Friday, police said. The suspect was arrested at the scene, the Good Stuff Diner on West 14th St., where a man was killed in a dispute over a debt in 2010. Friday’s violence happened just before 5 a.m. Read More: Daily News

Cuomo Signs New Pension Deal Into Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo put his executive pen to paper today on a new state pension reform deal. Cuomo signed the legislation surrounded by mayors and county executives from around the state. The deal for pension reform was reached in marathon sessions of the legislature late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. It creates a new Tier VI in the state pension plan, requires new hires to contribute more to their plans, and raises the retirement age from 62 to 63. Read More: NY1

Bayside’s Gold Star Diner shuts down

| brennison@queenscourier.com

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.”

End of an era: Flushing’s Palace Diner closing

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

The faithful frequenters of Flushing’s Palace Diner will have to find a new haunt once the local landmark serves its last meal after more than three decades in the neighborhood.

The diner, which sits along the Long Island Expressway on the corner of Main Street and Horace Harding Expressway and has been a neighborhood mainstay for 35 years, will close its doors for good on Friday, December 30.

“Friday is going to be another very emotional day,” said owner George Mantzikos.

Hostess Eva Ballas, who has worked at the diner for 20 years, said Friday will “be the worst day of [her] life.”

“Everybody is going to come say goodbye. I’m upset.  All my customers are crying,” Ballas said.  “I’m crying, too.”

The spacious diner created a cozy atmosphere over the years through devoted diners, a dedicated, long-tenured staff and good food.

One by one, the loyal customer base — called angels by Mantzikos — that built up over the years has been making the pilgrimage back to the neighborhood cornerstone to bid adieu.

One customer even flew up from Florida to say goodbye.

“There is no place like this place,” said Hedije Haliti, who has frequented the diner for 30 years.  “I’m so sad to see it go.”

Haliti, who stopped by the diner — which is down the block from her job at Dime Savings Bank — a couple of times each week, said she will miss the Greek omelets and the familiar faces the most.

The diner will be replaced by a Chinese restaurant.

Mantzikos said he has not decided what his next plans are, but after nearly 30 years of running the diner, he intends to take some time off to rest.

“I’m going to miss being in the diner, seeing all these people, working with my people,” said Mantzikos.

“We had a good run,” Ballas said.  “Every good thing comes to an end.”

After working at the diner for two decades, Ballas found it difficult to determine one memory that stands out above all the fond recollections.

“It was my second home,” she said.  “That’s my memory — I’m going to miss my second house.”