“We wanted to go for a more modern look, a little more minimalist, I guess you could say, to keep more current with the times,” said Philip Bogdos the other day, which at first glance seems like an unusual thing to want for a guy who owns a retro, Art Deco-inspired restaurant. But it’s hard to quarrel with the result.
When his Majestic Diner reopened April 15 in Westbury, both he and the eatery’s longtime patrons seemed pleased with the results. There were new tables and chairs, new floors, fancy new LED light fixtures and a snazzy new wall treatment in the main dining room. Not to worry: the Majestic still seems as lost in time as ever. It’s just a spiffed-up lost-in-time.
“The customers say, ‘We love it. It looks so colorful and bright,’ ” Bogdos said, showing us around the new Majestic, which closed for two weeks before reopening Monday, April 15.
Wait! Just two weeks?
“I had contractors working with six to eight men to finish it in that amount of time.”
Red, Bogdos’ favorite color, is reflected in everything from booths to lighting treatments, and the handsome period-specific sconces and lamps are from Elements at Home in Carle Place. These include two starburst “funky chandeliers” in the entryway, where some of Majestic’s most extensive renovations were undertaken. Out with the old pressed ceiling and gargantuan AC unit, in with the tasteful recessed lighting.
“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” was Bogdos response to why he hadn’t similarly overhauled his food offerings. While several new salads, panini and other sandwiches have been added, modernity and minimalism have not made their way onto Majestic’s menu, a decision that will no doubt bring enormous relief to fans.
Elsewhere on Long Island, the team behind Bay Kitchen Bar is moving west. After six years, Chef Eric Miller has closed his waterside East Hampton spot. He and his partners have secured the lease on the iconic but shuttered Princess Diner property and hope to open it as Silver Lining Diner by mid-June.
The imposing roadside eatery has been a Hamptons landmark for decades, and the Bay Kitchen crew was eager to revitalize the space. “The minute we saw it was becoming available, we started to negotiate.” Jeffrey Beers (who has designed restaurants for Gordon Ramsey and Curtis Stone) is helping them create a bright and airy space where breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served 7 days a week, year-round.
During the summer, service will extend into the wee hours, to satisfy club goers on their way home. There’s no menu yet, but expect classic, elevated diner fare including pancakes and eggs, sandwiches and burgers served all day, and local seafood. In addition to a full bar, there will be milk shakes, soft serve ice cream, smoothies, and fresh-squeezed juice. Commuters and travelers who want to eat on the road will be able to order takeout online for quick pickup.
The Majestic Diner is at 498 Old Country Rd. in Westbury; 516-997-6010; open 24/7; majesticdinerli.com
Silver Lining Diner is at 32 Montauk Hwy. in Southampton; 631.901.1800; website coming soon.