Regulars at a Bay Ridge diner won’t have to take the check just yet, according to the soon-to-be-former owner of the neighborhood institution.
The proprietor of the Bridgeview Diner is selling his restaurant after 35 years, but the greasy spoon on Third Avenue at 90th Street isn’t going anywhere, he said, because he sold it to a former business partner who will keep it open as is. The longtime owner and founder is turning 77 in April and he said he’s had his fill of the food industry.
“I’m getting too old — this is a 24-hour operation, and I have to be here seven days a week,” said owner Gus Panteleakis, a consummate professional who wears a suit and tie to work every day. “I don’t want to sell it — it’s like my kid, but I’m tired.”
Panteleakis signs the business over next month to restaurateur Dimitrios Kaloidis, who owns four diners in Brooklyn and Queens, a spokesman for Kaloidis said.
“I’m glad he bought it, because it’s going to stay a diner,” said Panteleakis, who lives in Bay Ridge. “He knows what he’s doing.”
Diners shared the sentiment.
“Where else would I get a burger at 4 am?” said patron Jamar Wright.
Little will change about the operation, for now.
“It’s more or less going to stay the same — they might add a couple items to the menu,” said Paul Kerantzas, an accountant for Kaloidis. “It might be spruced up, but there are no immediate plans. [Kaloidis] wants to get in first.”
Kaloidis owns the land the diner sits on, so the eatery could sling Greek and American fare — as well as homemade pastries — for years to come, he said.
Kaloidis also owns the Arch Diner in Canarsie and the Floridian in Flatlands.
Panteleakis may be getting out of the diner business, but he said he still plans to stop in on occasion.
“I’ll be here for coffee,” he said. “A lot of customers of mine are friends. I have the best clientele in New York state.”