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Local Businesses Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Written by Denise M. Anchico

When asked how his eating establishment was coping with the coronavirus pandemic, co-owner, Jimmy Gonias, of the Hauppauge Palace Diner, stated very simply and eloquently, “It’s hard not being open for our customers.” Many of those customers have been eating at his diner for over thirty years and Mr. Gonias feels a sense of responsibility towards them. Their website states that Here at The Hauppauge Palace Diner our customers are family. But it’s not the same as many Hauppauge eateries are finding out. All are closed to any type of sit-down table service. Many are open for take-out and home delivery using a hybrid mash-up of Door Dash, Grub Hub, and their own delivery people. All have limited hours, as is mandated by law.

Upon further questioning, Jimmy Gonias elaborated, “No one is allowed inside. We sanitize at least 3 to 4 times every day.” On a positive note and in keeping with the family atmosphere, none of his staff has been laid off. Although they are working with a greatly reduced staff, anyone who wants to work gets put on the shift rotation. 

Some of the chain eateries in Hauppauge, such as Five Guys and Jersey Mikes, have their coronavirus policies and procedures posted on their corporate websites. Five Guys states the following: If you are uncomfortable traveling to one of our locations or interacting with the general public, feel free to download our mobile app for delivery or visit any of our delivery partners to have meals brought to your door. Jersey Mike’s website states: The health and well-being of our guests and operators is our highest priority. We will continue to do our best to take responsible action, in partnership with the CDC and public health authorities, to serve our guests and operators. 

Kudos to Duck Donuts in Hauppauge for this wonderful Facebook posting: Monday, March 30th is National Doctor’s Appreciation Day. We are donating 200 individually bagged donuts to Stony Brook Hospital to sprinkle some happiness on those working tirelessly to keep us safe. Want to donate? Call the store (631)656-8400 to donate a half dozen or dozen and we’ll add them to our delivery on Monday.

One of Hauppauge’s newest grocery stores, and a neighbor to our library, is North Shore Farms. When asked how they are faring, the store manager on duty said they are “very busy.” The store remains well stocked and fully operational. All departments, including the deli, are open. The store is sanitized frequently throughout the day. Staff wear gloves and masks, the floor is mopped hourly with bleach, shopping carts and cash registers are wiped down after each customer, and plexiglass shields have been erected between the cashiers and the customers. The North Shore Farms homepage has several banners posted, one of which reads, A Special Thank You to our Team Members that come to work every day! We couldn’t be here FOR YOU without them.

Some parting words from Hauppauge Palace Diner’s Jimmy Gonias when asked what are the life lessons learned as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, “Never take anything for granted.” 

Hauppauge establishments profiled in the article:

Hauppauge Palace Diner, 525 Smithtown Bypass, Hauppauge, NY (631) 724-1775

Five Guys Burgers & Fries, 601 Veterans Hwy # 150, Hauppauge, NY (631) 265-0335

Jersey Mikes, 586 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hauppauge, NY (631) 780-5656

Duck Donuts, 586 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hauppauge, NY, (631) 656-8400

North Shore Farms, 1235 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hauppauge, NY (631) 366-2001