The Kings Plaza Diner served its last supper just before midnight on Oct. 24, capping off 35 years of dishing out massive portions of comfort food to Southern Brooklyn residents.
People who have long since left Mill Basin returned to the Avenue U eatery to have one last taste of their favorite items, from hot turkey sandwiches, to apple pie, to filet of sole.
“I saw people that I haven’t seen for 10 years,” said Sarah DeProssino, a 79-year-old Flatlands resident who has been coming to Kings Plaza Diner since the 1990s. “Kings Plaza Diner was like one big, wonderful family.”
The end of the dinner rush for Kings Plaza comes after a legendary run. Owner Nick Stathos, who moved to New York from Greece when he was 15 and got his start in the restaurant business as a waiter on Long Island, opened the hotspot in 1972 with chef Tommy Vasilako.
Stathos called the diner, which started serving customers about a year after the Kings Plaza Mall opened, an “instant success.” Not only was it popular with locals, but with out-of-town media, too. The diner has been lauded for years thanks to its great food and friendly atmosphere, and was even named “Diner of the Year” two years in a row by the Daily News, a Manhattan newspaper.
While the closing is bittersweet for owner and patrons alike, the Kings Plaza Diner property won’t stay vacant for long. CVS will open a store in the empty lot next to the diner at the corner of Avenue U and Coleman street, according to CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis. Construction is scheduled to begin next year.
Stathos could not be reached for comment to confirm that he is leasing his property to CVS, but he did tell us that he plans to open a new restaurant in the Mill Basin area.
Rumors about what would take the place of the diner have been swirling around for months. At the Oct. 20 Community Board 18 meeting, District Manager Dorothy Turano said that TD Bank would also come to the Stathos property.
“[Stathos] still owns the property and he’s leased it to CVS and TD Bank,” said Turano, another longtime Kings Plaza Diner patron.
TD Bank could not be reached for comment.