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State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights) and City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) joined the owners of the Jax Inn Diner for its ribbon-cutting last week.
The officials said the new Northern Boulevard eatery is filling a hole left by the Mark Twain Diner, a longtime Queens meeting place formerly situated on the spot.
“It shows a faith in the community,” Dromm said. “It shows faith in the economy.”
Brothers Anastasios and Peter Giannopoulos opened the Jax Inn Diner, at 72-12 Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights, Nov. 7 and held their grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 22.
Peter Giannopoulos said they decided to open a new diner at the spot since the neighborhood was in a “dire need” of one.
“It defines the neighborhood, I think,” Peter Giannopoulos said.
David Longshore, spokesman for DenDekker, said the Mark Twain Diner had closed the first week of May. The Giannopoulos brothers are the new owners.
Anastasios Giannopoulos said the Jax Inn Diner employs about 40 to 50 people and most of its employees are from the neighborhood.
Dromm said the diner marked the return of a once-common but now scarce sight on the thoroughfare.
“You used to go up and down Northern Boulevard, you’d see a diner in every neighborhood and now you don’t,” Dromm said.
DenDekker said he has lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and remembers coming to a diner at the same address since he was small. The Heights Diner had been at the spot before it became the Mark Twain Diner.
He said diners become a meeting place for the community.
“Even though we live in a big city, this is still a small town,” DenDekker said.
The assemblyman also commended the Giannopoulos brothers for making the diner more handicapped-accessible by building a ramp for customers and moving its bathrooms from the basement to the main floor.
“We’re really, really pleased for that aspect,” DenDekker said.
He said he had been to the diner six times in the three weeks since it had opened. Dromm said he had been there four times.
Some of the food the diner serves include pancakes, steak, chops, pasta, hamburgers and seafood.
“Everything is done fresh,” Anastasios Giannopoulos said. “We make everything on the premises.”
The diner is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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