For nearly a year, the property once known as the Seacrest Diner at 4 Glen Cove Road sat empty, a longtime fixture in the community closed after the restaurant’s upkeep and service slowly decayed.
Last Wednesday, the site officially re-opened under the ownership of Spiros and Buffy Dimas, who also run the Williston Townhouse Diner a bit further up the road on Hillside Avenue, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that served as the start of a new beginning for food-lovers in Old Westbury.
“We care for our customers,” Dimas said. “It’s not about the money we make. We value everybody that enters our places.”
On hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Old Westbury Diner were Town of North Hempstead council members Viviana Russell and Angelo Ferrara, as well as Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who said he “had to support a fellow Greek opening a new business.”
“This is a great event to celebrate the opening of this new upscale diner,” Maragos said. “I’m here as the county comptroller to oversee the opening, but also because they are trusted business owners in the area and I wish them the best of luck in opening more businesses in Nassau County. It’s great for our community in that it brings jobs and sales tax revenues to the county, and we are happy to be able to share that with the rest of Nassau.”
Clergymen from St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Hempstead blessed the diner as well as the owners for good fortune with their new business venture.
“It was a very satisfying moment in our lives that people recognize our hard work and what we do for them,” Dimas said. “It was very nice.”
The Dimas’s have owned the Williston Townhouse Diner for the last 15 years, expanding with the help of Alex Mastoras and Bill Rousseas, family friends from their church, who each own 15 percent of the restaurant.
“I knew their character and I needed to partner with someone with good qualities, so that’s why I decided to be partners with them,” Dimas said
Dimas said he and his business partners looked at other diners throughout the North Shore, but ultimately chose the Old Westbury location because of its proximity to the Williston Townhouse and the relationships he’s cultivated with the surrounding community.
“From my experience, the previous owners in the last few years, for whatever reason, were letting go of the place and stopped taking care of their customers,” Dimas said. “It got to the point where they lost control of the place.”
Dimas and his partners changed the name of the restaurant from the Seacrest to the Old Westbury Diner and conducted major renovation projects to both the interior and exterior of the property.
A Facebook page for the Old Westbury Diner has also been created, and in the coming weeks Dimas said he plans to advertise the restaurant’s new ownership to the community.
“It has no resemblance to the old place,” Dimas said. “We’re trying to completely distance ourselves from the previous owner. People in this community have known us for a long time because the Townhouse is up the road, and we want to make sure people know it is us that are running the place.”
Dimas said the Old Westbury Diner also differs from the Townhouse in that the new location’s larger kitchen and seating areas offer a more “high-end” restaurant experience, providing for more menu options.
Now responsible for two diners, Dimas said he and his family, which oversee the kitchen and wait staffs, will have to get used to traveling to each location, sometimes multiple times in the same day.
“It’s a little hard, but we’re coping,” Dimas said. “Everybody’s doing a little bit of everything, but we’ll get there.”