Burger House To Open

Jonathan Otto (right) with Thomas Pantelis
Jonathan Otto (right) with Thomas Pantelis

Hamburgers were the order last Wednesday, Oct. 14 when the Mineola Village Board approved The Rex Burger House to open at 526 Jericho Tpke. in Mineola. The burger spot would sit inside a shopping center fixed on the corner of Herricks Road and the turnpike.

“We’re excited to get started,” plaza owner Jonathan Otto said.

The restaurant would serve hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hand-cut french fries, salad and lobster rolls, among other foods if approved. Otto’s legal counsel, Thomas Pantelis, said the burger spot would function much like Smashburger in Lake Success, which has customers order food to have brought to their table.

“This is a rather newer concept that seems to work really well with the upscale eateries,” Pantelis said.

Rex would hold 68 seats, including 10 for a bar that would sell beer and wine. The original plan called for 80 seats. While not confirmed, Rex plans to operate Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“This is not intended to be a regular bar,” Pantelis said. “It will not serve hard liquor.”

The bustling shopping center owned by Otto for more than 10 years houses a TD Bank, Panera Bread, Chipotle Restaurant, Luigi Pizzeria and Harmon Discount Store. The burger house would sit in vacant space next to Panera in the shopping center. Luigi’s, which moved into another location in the plaza, previously occupied the space.

“It’s going to be fun,” Otto said.

Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira took issue with the plaza clock, which he said “hasn’t worked in years” and indicated Otto promised a clock would be erected and fixed during a previous hearing for the shopping center.

“We have long memories,” Pereira said of the clock. “It’s clean it’s nice.”

Otto indicated otherwise.

“I have told [my partners] on many occasions that the clock should work,” Otto said. “I guarantee you if you go there [now] it is working. I’m fairly certain it’s been working for the last six months.”

The shopping center has grown over the years, most recently with Chipotle setting up shop in 2011.

“That property has come along quite a bit,” trustee Dennis Walsh said. “I remember when it was Gensels Furniture, TJ Pooles and Rock Bottom [Pharmacy].”

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