2015-11-04 / Front Page


Subway's 108th Year
By Larry Penner

To The Editor:
The closing of the Market Diner on 11th Avenue near Times Square in Manhattan is sadly part of a growing trend. It reminded me of good times past. I have enjoyed many excellent meals for decades when frequenting any one of many local diners in Queens. Over the years, we have seen the demise of the Gold Star (Bayside), Seville (Douglaston), Sage (Elmhurst), Saravan (Flushing), Palace (Flushing), Future (Fresh Meadows), Fame (Jamaica), Scobees Grill (Little Neck) and other diners.
Diners have been part of my life from teenage years to today. Eating out is a periodic ritual with either friends or family. Portions are generous – who never took a doggie bag home with leftovers to eat the next day? Between the customary soup, salad, rolls, coleslaw and pickles along with the main course – dinner could satisfy the heartiest appetite. Many times, we bagged our desserts to go.
Neighborhoods all over Queens have seen changes over time. Many new immigrant groups favor their own ethnic foods and restaurants. Diners have also lost customers over time to numerous fast food restaurants. Many of their menus have expanded to also include breakfast items and a greater variety of items to select from for lunch or dinner.
Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs including Argyris “Archie” Dellaportas of the Bel Aire diner in Astoria along with Peter and George Plevrites of the T-Bone Diner in Forest Hills and others who own and operate diners have continued to invest in our community creating new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.
Why not honor the fond memories we had at the Gold Star, Fame, Future, Palace, Sage, Saravan, Scobees Grill, Seville, and other diners which have come and gone, by continuing to patronize our remaining diners. Here’s hoping that the remaining diners, including the Bel Aire Diner of Astoria and T-Bone Diner of Forest Hills don’t go the way of the dinosaurs into permanent extinction.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

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