Thanks To The Overlooked
It was surprising to see the letter from one of your readers saying we needed a diner since we already have one. In case the reader hasn't noticed, what was formerly called The Belle Harbor Steak and Seafood House was renamed "The Belle Harbor Diner" when they reopened after Sandy. It is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a wonderful, varied menu in an attractive super clean setting with reasonable prices, especially, for breakfast and lunch. Mr. Jimmy Condolis, one of the owners, said he purposely renamed it as a diner and added breakfast because he felt everyone had suffered so much damage and expense that they might not be able to eat out in a restaurant, but might be able to afford diner prices more easily. Tremendous energy was put into opening the diner by New Year's Eve despite his home, his son's home and the restaurant being heavily damaged by the storm. He felt people needed to get back to doing "normal" things and have a relaxing place to go and meet and greet each other.
We are lucky to have Jimmy, a fellow Rockawayite, whose motto is: "We don't have customers, we have friends.” The diner has an excellent staff and Jimmy makes it a point to greet everyone and makes sure they are happy with their food. He truly cares about the customers and quietly and generously contributes to various activities in the community.
Yes, we do need a hospital and we do need our libraries to reopen, but doubt we need another 99 cent store. We already have a great bakery too, "Ciro's Café and Pastry Shop" which reopened again on Beach 129th Street with another caring and lovely owner. The Belle Harbor Diner and Ciro's Café and Pastry Shop, as well as many, many other businesses on Beach 116th and Beach 129th Streets in our area have reopened because the owners care about the community, are successful in what they do and offer good products and service.
We need to support all the stores that have reopened, been there for us and are involved in the needs of the whole area and not look to replace those who decided not to reopen or left because they weren't truly needed.
Yes, we can all agree that the NYC Sanitation Department workers have done an outstanding and monumental job helping us get back to a "new" normal in Rockaway. Their hard work is and has been appreciated.
LIS and GEORGE GRUNIG