QUEENS — A new bar and restaurant serving American comfort food with 'casual elegance' just opened in the heart of Rego Park, hoping to become a favorite hangout for younger residents who have been moving to the neighborhood in recent years, the owners said.
The eatery, called DinerBar, opened on Tuesday in The Contour building, at 97-45 Queens Blvd., and is the brainchild of brothers Spiro and John Gatanas who also run popular Tower Diner, located four blocks away.
The brothers said that while Tower Diner will remain open, they intend to fill the void in the neighborhood which has been getting an infusion of upscale buildings, and attracting new residents.
The 2012 opening of The Contour, a former office building transformed into a residential tower with luxury apartments, is often seen as the starting point for the recent changes in the neighborhood.
But despite the real estate boom, the neighborhood has been lacking bars and places where young people can hang out, the owners of DinerBar said.
The brothers said they are "pioneering new style" in the neighborhood.
“Nobody has done it in this area before,” Spiro Gatanas said, adding that what makes a difference at their new place is the atmosphere and the way the food is presented, which he described as "casual elegance."
“Rego Park is changing and real estate is growing,” Gatanas said, noting that he and his brother have owned businesses in the area for 23 years. ”We think it will be a great option for the neighborhood.”
The eatery, which is planning its grand opening for Monday, can seat up to 150 people who can dine at tables, in booths or at the bar.
The restaurant offers homemade comfort food, the owners said, including burgers, wraps and sandwiches (from $11 to $19), mac and cheese, salads as well as entrees, such as roasted salmon ($24), fish and chips ($17) and chicken parmesan ($16).
Its signature dish, Gatanas said, is Blvd Burger, served with double patty, caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, pepper jack, brioche and gravy fries ($19).
Blvd Burger at DinerBar (Credit: Steve Boundouris)
There is also a number of vegetarian dishes, like grilled seasonal vegetables platter ($17) and a vegetarian quinoa wrap ($11). All chicken served at the eatery is hormone- and antibiotic-free, the owners said.
The restaurant offers a full bar with a number of cocktails ($13) and includes a coffee shop. Located in the back of the restaurant, the shop has an outdoor seating area featuring six bistro tables, where in the summertime patrons can sip various kinds of coffee, including freddo cappuccino and iced caramel macchiato.
DinerBar will be open for brunch on weekends, the owners said.
Beginning next week DinerBar will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.