"We closed on June 21," Mike Karsos said as he looked around what used to be the Golden Touch Diner on Route 10. "We're trying for an opening in early September."
That opening comes Tuesday, and not soon enough for the Karsos brothers Mike, George and John. They brought on a staff of over 30, including waitresses, cooks, dishwashers and busboys, and George's wife Carol worked with a decorator to completely redo the interior.
"The only thing that's the same are the floors," Karsos said.
The interior has a blue and white theme, reminiscent of the Greek flag of the Karsos' family heritage.
"We saw a lot of potential here," Karsos' nephew Ted said. "It really appealed to us."
People will notice a different cuisine from the former Golden Touch, too. The brothers and their sons worked together to develop a menu that offers a wide variety of seafood plates and Greek dishes, as well as the usual diner fair.
"The menu is a little smaller, but we're going to focus on fresh, better-quality stuff," Ted said. "We'll have gourmet salads, wraps, paninis, specialty omelettes, and some different daily specials."
There's another special addition for the new East Hanover diner, too: two bakery display cases.
"We have a big bakery downstairs, so we're going to have a big emphasis on desserts," Ted said. "We're going to have large cakes, pies, pastries, muffins, baklava."
And the coup de grace for any dessert lover: Eight different varieties of cheesecake, including chocolate, Reese's and Snickers.
The diner will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 24 hours each day on Friday and Saturday, with a take-out menu available.