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Dining District opens at Roosevelt Field in Garden City

Green Leaf's and Bananas is the first eatery

Green Leaf's and Bananas is the first eatery to open at the new Dining District at Roosevelt Field on Jan. 29, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

Ever so quietly, Roosevelt Field's new Dining District made its debut Thursday with the launch of a single eatery. Green Leaf's & Bananas began serving salads, sandwiches and smoothies. So far, it's the only food option up and running in the 50,000- square-foot area, which has been under construction for a little over a year.

"Within the next week we will probably open around six more eateries," said Nancy Gilbert, Roosevelt Field's director of marketing. Gilbert added that a total of 16 other eateries will be part of the Dining District's gradual rollout, which will continue through February.

The new eating area is part of a $200 million face-lift to the Garden City mall, which will also add dozens of new retailers, including Long Island's first Neiman Marcus, expected to open in February 2016.

New to the food mix at the mall will be Galangal, the offshoot of a Syosset restaurant specializing in Thai and Malaysian items; The Little Beet, offering farm-to-table gluten-free options; Maoz Vegetarian, with falafel, salads and other vegetarian selections; Melt Shop, for "artisanal" grilled cheese sandwiches on freshly baked bread; Patsy's Pizzeria, the Long Island offshoot of a Manhattan pizza chain; Potatopia, a Manhattan-based eatery getting creative with potatoes; Charley's Grilled Subs, and Tres Carnes, serving what it terms "authentic Texas smoked Mexican fare."

Moving over from the existing food court will be The Original Soupman Delicatessen & Grill, Sarku Japan, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Cafe Spice, Asian Chao/Sushi Fuji and Johnny Rockets.

The newly located Dining District -- the term food court has been dropped -- is situated upstairs on the mall's northeast side, near Dick's Sporting Goods.

With seating for 1,200, it has an open layout and is filled with greenery and light. Come the warm weather, an outdoor dining patio is slated to open.

The pre-existing food space had seating for 900, said Gilbert. It is slated to shut Sunday evening. The area will be barricaded, the food stands demolished, and the sunken area raised to make way for retail stores, due to debut around December.

The Roosevelt Field makeover, underway since September 2013, will feature a new wing with up to 20 high-end retailers, a new two-level parking garage with 942 spaces, and an expanded northwest parking deck with an additional 200 spaces.

With Aisha Al-Muslim