Monday, October 25, 2010

End of an Era: Kings Plaza Diner Closes

It's a sad day in Brooklyn as the landmark Kings Plaza Diner served its last meal over the weekend. This has been an institution in Marine Park for 35 years and my friends and I used to head there to grab a bite to eat after movies, playing ball, or just hanging out.

We weren't alone as it became a meeting place for the neighborhood and it was an easily identifiable meeting place.
"It's like a family here," said Zitter, who has patronized the Avenue U eatery several times a week for as long as he can remember. "They know your name and treat you so well. The food is great, too."

Ann Kirchner, 49, of Bergen Beach, had tears running down her cheeks for the diner she's been coming to since she was 13.

"I've been here since they had hair," said Kirchner, pointing to the two bald managers at the cash register.

"It wasn't the food that brought me back. You always saw people you knew, and we made new friends here," said Kirchner, adding that she planned her wedding and the renovation of her home at one of the tables.

Opened in 1975, Kings Plaza, with a fully stocked cocktail bar, is one of the only New York diners to win back-to-back Daily News' Diner of the Year Awards. It won in 1995 and 1996.

Nick Stathos, 58, one of the original owners, leased the land earlier this year to a national developer.

Stathos and his new partners plan to open another diner in the neighborhood soon.

"We've been very busy," said Stathos, who has clocked 70 to 80 hours a week at the diner since it opened. "This has been a very successful location. It's a very sad day."

Faithful customers packed the joint one last time, many hugging their favorite waitresses and reminiscing about old times.
Hopefully, Stathos and his partners are able to find another location and start up another diner.

They knew how to please their customers with plentiful platters and well prepared burgers and fries.

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