After almost three decades, the kitchen at The Neptune Diner in Oneonta no longer will serve Greek specialties, sandwiches, dinners and baked goods, the owners said Sunday.
“My son and I have worked here 28 years _ it’s time to move on,” Paul Karabinis said. “I’m really sorry to close it.”
Karabinis, 64, said he no longer can put in the 18-hour days that running the diner demands, and the restaurant was to close at 10 p.m. Sunday. But he will continue to work with his son, Tasi, at their B&K Coffee business.
The Neptune Diner on state Route 23 was just off exit 15 of Interstate 88 and across from Southside Mall. Its closure will leave a gap in 24-hour restaurant service, the town supervisor said.
“They certainly have been an established part of the Oneonta scene,” Oneonta Supervisor Robert Wood said Sunday. “They’ll be missed.”
The Neptune Diner has about 40 employees, plus about 15 more during the summer, the owners said. The employees no longer have jobs but are being helped during the transition, the owners said without discussing specifics.
The closure has been under consideration for about eight months, Paul Karabinis said, and the decision to close was made Thursday. The Oneonta location, he said, and doing business with customers, some who have been regulars, have been highlights of running the restaurant.
“I do have beautiful people coming in here,” Karabinis said during an interview in his office Sunday afternoon. “We’d like to thank all our customers.”
Christine Meehl of Binghamton said she made her second visit to The Neptune Diner on Sunday en route to Boston, where she works. The location off of I-88 was convenient for such a commute, she said.
“It’s a good diner,” she said. “Somebody should buy it.”
Paul Karabinis brought previous restaurant experience to Oneonta and in 1986 opened up the first local 2,000 square-foot Neptune Diner, according to the restaurant’s website.
In the spring of 2000, a modern, expanded restaurant was opened with 6,700 square-feet of dining area and a seating capacity of 290 people.
The menu featured breakfast, lunch and dinner selections, with cocktails and non-alcoholic smoothies available. The banquet and dining room were divided by two large aquariums.
The Neptune Diner will provide refunds for gift certificates, the owners said, and holders may call the office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at 432-8820 or leave a message.
The property hasn’t been sold, Paul Karabinis said, and the fate of the restaurant facility and site will be under consideration during the next few months.