Today marked the end of an era for the Peconic Bay Diner on Route 58, as the Stavropoulos family, owners of the classic diner at the corner of Ostrander Avenue for the past 32 years, cease operation.
Longtime customers came in for a last Belgian waffle, stack of pancakes, or a gyro and other diner favorites — and many stopped in just to bid the family adieu and show some love — after the diner’s owners announced the closing this morning on social media.
For the Stavropoulos family and their loyal customers, tears flowed as freely as piping hot coffee refills today.
Emotions ran high for Chrissy Stavropoulos of Riverhead, who ran the diner with her husband Angelo from 1991 until he passed away suddenly last year at age 68. She said today the business was just too much for her to handle without him.
The couple’s adult daughters, Elena and Chloe, who have worked in the family business for years, have been helping to run the diner, but with staffing challenges, the rising cost of food and supplies, and uncertain times, the family said in a Facebook post, they decided to “walk away from the business and allow new owners to come in and serve the community.”
It was a bittersweet ending for Chrissy Stavropoulos, who said she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.
“We’re really going to miss this place,” said Keri Najdzion, a loyal customer who lives nearby. She stopped in, like many others today, just to say good-bye and good luck — and to snap a few selfies with the family.
The diner has been a meeting place, a comfortable place for indulging comfort-food cravings and Greek specialties for more than a generation. The family knew their patrons by name and cultivated many friendships.
“It’s a real local place where they know your name, what you like to eat and how you like it cooked. There’s not too many places like that left anymore,” said one of the regulars.
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