The new Landmark Diner on Northern Boulevard in Roslyn puts its most unusual offering front and center: an elevator.
The facade of the new double-decker - which opened Monday just 120 feet east of the old premises - is dominated by a windowed elevator that takes customers from the ground into what is, for diners, terra incognita: a second floor.
The Landmark, say its owners, is the first prefabricated double-decker diner in the country.
At 11:30 on its first morning of business, customers were oohing and ahhing over the swanky new decor. Matthew Korn of Roslyn, a regular, finished up an egg-white omelet and pronounced it just as good as the omelets in the old location.
Co-owner Lou Tiglias said he and executive chef Chris Palmer are taking a new approach to diner food, with a menu that emphasizes quality (humanely raised Meyer Natural Angus beef, Haagen-Dazs ice cream) over quantity (a mere six sandwiches, for example, and nine desserts).
Like many diners, the Landmark's ground floor has a central counter flanked by two dining rooms featuring booths and tables. But look up from the first-floor dining rooms and, instead of a ceiling, you'll see two more upscale dining areas and a roomy bar.
The move east was occasioned by the need for a new septic system, which the old lot couldn't accommodate. The expansion skyward grew out of a series of conversations Tiglias, who owns the Landmark with his brothers John and Tom, had with a customer, architect Donald Sclare.
"Don's a real diner freak," Lou Tiglias said. "We kept talking about how we could make the store bigger, but no matter how we stretched it, we couldn't figure it out. Then one day, Don said, 'They have double-decker trains now, right?' And that was how we came up with the idea to build a double-decker diner."