The neighborhood staple, located at 64-21 53rd Dr., closed its doors after a two-day-long fire took owner George O’Neill’s family-run business in May of 2011.
“I’m looking forward to getting the people back and hopefully the food is at its best,” O’Neill said, who has been eagerly anticipating this day since the original reopening was pushed back from June.
As part of the opening day festivities, scheduled to kick off this Friday afternoon around 3 p.m., O’Neill said FDNY Squad 288 will present the restaurant with the American flag that was still flying above the restaurant after the blaze.
“We’re going to have some music and some bagpipers and FDNY are going to present the flag to me,” he said.
George’s father opened Plateau Tavern at the site back in 1928. Since then, the family has bought a number of surrounding businesses, like the grocery store, barbershop and bakery, and made a niche in this corner of the Maspeth community.
As for the grand reopening, O’Neill said those who remember the restaurant will be pleasantly surprised with the two new dining rooms, newly designed bar and party room.
He added that with all of the hype around their grand opening, rescheduled several times over the last year due to delays with permits, the restaurant is now ready to go and has reservations in the new 225-seat party room lined up through next May.
“We have a lot of reservations for confirmations and communions, and we have a couple of weddings and a couple of business meetings, too,” he said. “It’s a very attractive room.”
The new restaurant can now seat a total of 400 with nearly 40 employees on staff, many of whom were working there before the fire.
But O’Neill said he is most looking forward to serving up their famous steak sandwiches.
“There’s going to be a lot of beef, daily specials, lobsters, porterhouse steaks and a full bar menu,” he said.
Looking to the future, O'Neill said he plans on adding rooftop seating, but that will have to wait until he can get the proper authorization from the city.
“We’re going to try it,” he said. “It’s ready to go, we just have to get security set up, but things look good.”