Mary Kolkos, owner of Marybill Diner in Merrick.

Mary Kolkos, owner of Marybill Diner in Merrick. Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

A Long Island landmark, MaryBill Diner in Merrick, has closed. The husband-and-wife team of Nick and Mary Kolkos are retiring after more than 30 years behind the griddle.

The vintage diner had been in Mary Kolkos’ family since its manufacture, back in 1949.

I had breakfast there a few weeks ago and marveled at how Mary Kolkos managed to keep the orders coming while chatting with virtually everyone who came in. She knew the names of all the children (and their parents) in the house.

Nick Kolkos said he expects papers to soon be signed for the diner's new owners to reopen the site.  Unquestionably, they’ll have much renovating to do, since the diner looked every one of its 61 years.

As for bringing back the flavor of small town America — that will be a much taller order.

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