New downtown eatery boasts homemade fare
Mineola Eats, the area’s newest addition to the restaurant scene, is a quaint and comfortable eatery open daily for both breakfast and lunch. Bare brick adorns the walls with “Mineola Eats” painted on them in a festive, graffiti-like style, and multiple booths and tables pave the way to the counter and kitchen in the back.
Mineola Eats—located at 85 Mineola Blvd.—opened its doors for business on Monday, July 11, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Mineola Chamber of Commerce, as well as Mayor Scott Strauss.
“I like Mineola a lot. It’s a nice community and we’re glad to be part of it,” said Louie Platanias, who owns the eatery with his father, Spiro. “I just bought the building here about five years ago and I noticed all the development in the area, so I thought it’d be a good time to open up a new restaurant here.”
Platanias and his father already own two restaurants together in New Jersey, both situated in separate buildings within the Beth Israel Hospital complex. However, that doesn’t stop him from being involved with the day-to-day operations of Mineola Eats, as Platanias makes sure he is there seven days a week to guarantee everything is done right.
“Mineola Eats is a diner-type of establishment, and we mostly do breakfast and lunch,” Platanias said. “We do salads, pastrami, corned beef and everything is homemade. We buy nothing that’s ready, we make it all here ourselves. Anything you can think of that we have is fresh and made on the premises and everything is delicious. I really think people should come down here and give us a try because everything we sell is good…my salads are especially outrageous.”
It took a lot of work getting Mineola Eats ready for their grand opening. Platanias noted that when they first set out on designing the restaurant, they literally had four walls and nothing else. But after nearly four months of back-breaking labor—including installing flooring, lights, air conditioning, and more—they finally had an establishment they truly felt matched the high-quality cuisine they planned on serving to the public.
Surprisingly enough, Platanias noted that the most difficult part of getting a new restaurant up and running in a totally new area is finding enough help to run it. He’s currently looking for go-getters for positions in front and behind the counter.
“It’s a lot harder to find workers here than it is for my restaurants in New Jersey,” he said. “I have signs up in the window, but it’s the hardest thing finding people who want a job.”
Platanias’ father originally immigrated to the United States from Greece when he was 19 years old and immediately got himself involved in the restaurant field. Before getting into business with his son in New Jersey, he owned several restaurants in Manhattan. Platanias himself started in the family line of work when he was 17. Now 44, he said he is proud of his family’s latest endeavor and hopes that the community will come to share that feeling as well.
“Overall, response from the community has been great and business has been growing every day,” Platanias said. “Mornings are usually a little slow, but it gets much busier in the afternoon. Day by day it’s getting better and better, so we can’t complain. We’re just very happy to be here and a part of the neighborhood.”