On Friday night, Page One will serve its last dinner after 21 years on School Street in Glen Cove. But, said owner Peter Antonopoulos, “it’s 48 years plus two weeks” since he first established a restaurant at that location.
On March 3, 1969, Antonopoulos, who emigrated from the Peloponnese in Greece, opened an ice cream shop, Village Greek Ice Cream Parlor, serving Breyers ice cream. After a few years, he expanded the menu into a luncheonette-diner and, in 1984, put white linens on the table and went upscale. There followed a fish restaurant, a disco and, for a short time, something called Glen Cove Five-0. (Hawaii Five-0 was apparently trending.)
In 1996, 90 School St. became Page One. Antonopoulos had a list of 65 names. This one came from “a guy who was going to be involved — his doctor suggested it.”
The original chef didn’t work out, but about a year after he opened, Antonopoulos took a chance on a young woman who had been working at the Harrison House (the convention center-event venue that’s now the Glen Cove Mansion). Jeanine Dimenna grew up in Glen Cove and had never run a kitchen before. But she and Antonopoulos clicked. “He reminded me of my grandfather,” she said. “There was a connection.”
With Dimenna in the kitchen, the restaurant settled into itself and became a neighborhood standby. Ultimately the chef and the owner became business partners and together they took over and expanded the food service at the Glen Cove Golf Club. For the past two years Dimenna has been the chef at the club’s The View Grill while Antonopoulos’s daughter, Carol, took over the kitchen at Page One.
At age 83, however, Peter Antonopoulos decided that managing two restaurants was more work than he was up for and so he decided to sell the lease for Page One. (His daughter will join Dimenna at The View Grill.)
The space at 90 School St. won’t be vacant for long. Alex Fiorentino is taking over the lease, renovating and transforming Page One into Meritage, a small-plates, farm-to-table restaurant whose chef will be Howard J. Fay, formerly of Amerrickana in Merrick. Fiorentino expects to open by May. We’ll keep you posted.