April 12, 2018 By Tara Law
The Georgia Diner is settling in at its new location two weeks after merging with the Nevada Diner.
Longtime diner patrons were shocked in February when news spread that the Georgia Diner, which has been around since the late 1970s, was set to close after the owner sold the 86-55 Queens Blvd. location to developers.
However, the location’s closure marked a new beginning for the diner. The Georgia Diner and the Nevada Diner— which are both owned by restauranteur Dimitrios Kaloidis— merged to create a new diner under the Georgia name at 80-26 Queens Blvd. on March 25.
John Singh, who has worked as a manager at both restaurants for 12 years and is now the general manager, says that he’s never seen it so busy.
“Every weekend it’s like mother’s day,” said Singh, referring to what is typically the diner’s busiest day of the year. Customers sometimes need to wait up to 45 minutes to be seated on the weekend.
Singh said that customers who were concerned about the closure have gradually come around to the new location.
“In the beginning, they were very upset,” said Singh with a chuckle. “They’re settling in.”
Longtime customers will recognize many items on the menu and familiar faces among the waitstaff. Around 80 percent of the menu is the same as at the Georgia Diner, and about 20 percent was taken from the Georgia Diner. About 25 employees from the old diner—including Singh— have come to work at the new location.
In Singh’s opinion, the new restaurant is also more comfortable. The new space is more open and feels less cramped despite the big crowds, said Singh.
The final touch to make Georgia fans feel at home, however, will arrive on Monday. A brand new Georgia Diner neon sign will be installed in front of the restaurant
The management also plans to eventually install new decorative lights to brighten the exterior.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” said Singh.