Ron Eyester, owner and chef at Rosebud and the Family Dog, has big plans for 2013. He intends to open an authentic New York-style pizzeria in Morningside in June—contingent on getting the lease signed this week. He also wants to open a diner, conveniently named Diner, in the old Fox Sports Grill space in Atlantic Station, aiming for a December opening.
Eyester grew up in Long Island in a big Italian family. His mother, whose maiden name is Timone, hails from Brooklyn. After the short-lived Waffold closed in September, Eyester realized he could embrace his heritage to help fulfill a growing demand for pizza in the Morningside area.
Timone’s will focus on pizza but also offer appetizers such as baked clams, calamari, mussels, and garlic knots. There will be a few sandwiches, like chicken Parmesan and eggplant Parmesan, and some pastas, sourced locally. The restaurant will serve dinner six or seven days a week as well as lunch on the weekends. There will be a small bar serving beer and wine but no cocktails. Wine on tap is being considered.
“It’s going to be a fun place, definitely kid-friendly,” Eyester says. “I expect we’ll do a pretty good volume of takeout. We’re thinking about doing delivery later on.”
As for the atmosphere, Eyester says he’s going to try to replicate some traditional elements of New York pizzerias but no red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. He may source an old Coca-Cola or Pepsi sign or get an artist to paint recipes on the wall. He says Timone’s will have an open kitchen as well as a communal butcher block-style table in back.
“People don’t get tired of eating pizza,” he says. “I think this is going to be a really good fit for the neighborhood.”
If Eyester’s second project comes to fruition, Diner will take up about half of the space formerly home to Fox Sports Grill. It will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus late night, and serve a straightforward menu with “diner classics”—but with a smaller menu than most traditional diners.
“We built a really great reputation with breakfast food at Rosebud, so that’s how we got the idea for this,” Eyester says. He imagines breakfast will include build-your-own dishes and corned beef hash, available all day. Lunch might include a reuben as well as yet-to-be-determined blue plate specials.
There will be a dessert counter out front and a lounge-type area where people can work on laptops and drink coffee. He’s even considering hosting a small retail area—similar to the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store—to sell olive oils, Bloody Mary mix, preserves, and more.
A full bar will be located next to the patio, and while Diner won’t be decorated with the 1950s signature look, it will have counter service and stools mounted to the floor.
“Diner still has some moving parts,” Eyester says. “North American Properties is really committed to improving the reputation of Atlantic Station, and we want to help.”