Written by Stephen Levine Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00
The old-fashioned vibe of the 1950’s American luncheonette has been reincarnated on Tulip Avenue. On May 10 at 6 a.m. Dee Dee’s luncheonette officially opened its doors to Floral Park residents, at 142 Tulip Avenue.
For several months, the spot that once hosted Fiores Italian Restaurant was under renovation. Now what stands in its place is a blast from the past for older residents and a new experience for younger ones. The diner’s menu features classics such as egg creams, milk shakes and American burgers, to name a few.
The renovation took a little over a year, according to co-owner Kerry Deluca.
“Every detail was picked out meticulously and the details took a long time,” said Deluca. “People on the street were constantly asking me when is it opening but guests have told me it was worth the wait.”
The idea to recreate the classic American diner environment came from a picture hanging in the restaurant itself. The picture depicts a policeman and a little boy and according to Deluca it fully represents the town of Floral Park.
“Everybody looks out for everybody in the town,” she says. “We wanted to give families another option and kids a place to come after school.”
Old- fashioned Brooklyn egg creams are made in the original seltzer bottle straight from Brooklyn. The organic ice cream and thick shakes are also from the classic Brooklyn luncheonette scene of decades past. While desserts are a major positive for the diner, they are also proud of their classic burgers, fries, salads and cold brewed ice coffee.
“The first two weeks we were completely slammed, which was good,” says Deluca. “There is usually a big breakfast rush and then a quiet period and then big lunch rush and then another quiet period until the kids rush from school for ice cream.”
Comment cards are placed on each table for customers to give feedback. It’s important for the diner’s owners and staff to know what they need to work on.
What is especially homey about Dee Dee’s is the familiar faces you will see while enjoying your meal. Co-owners Tom and Kerry Deluca are Floral Park natives themselves and staffed the facility with mostly locals. While many recognize Floral Park for the numerous bars on Tulip Avenue, this represents a new option for a more family-friendly atmosphere.
"It’s a town where everybody knows everybody and it’s a nice place to take your kids,” says Deluca. “Hopefully everybody who comes will remember it and have a pleasant experience and want to come back.”