The Leo’s Midway has been closed for renovations the past few months but will now reopen to residents and customers alike. Originally, Leo Landis opened the restaurant in 1942. Recently, Thomas Ryan, co-founder of LPS Partners, and his wife, Kathryn Falk, purchased the original location. The establishment was previously owned by brothers James and Philip Falk since 1972 until 2018.
James, father of Kathryn, and a longtime Garden City resident, said, “We just wanted to let everybody know that we had sold it, but we are keeping the restaurant in the family.” “For four decades, we have been a valuable part of the Village of Garden City, providing services to its residents and loyal customers, and we would like to extend our gratitude to the Village and its residents. Leo's has been a big part of Garden City scene for many years and will continue to be.”
This new restaurant, planned to open mid-late March, has been completely revamped with new upholstered booths, an indoor fireplace and an outdoor fireplace. There is now an accordion style door that can open up the bar area to the street during the warmer months. The chimney has a railing around it, and the roof is slate. The interior is tastefully decorated.
“We wanted to give the place a modern and updated look, but at the same time we wanted to maintain the casual atmosphere,” said Kathryn. "The physical bar will stay in place, however, and that's what will not change."
With the exception of a new chef in the kitchen, the original staff will remain on-board. In addition to updating entrees, appetizers and salads, the chef will train all employees on the new menu.
Leo's Midway menu will still remain stocked with many of his original dishes like his famous chili and French onion soup.
Prior to 1942, land owner Landis had the restaurant/bar called Mid-Way Steak House. They were later followed by the Hazel Smythe Travel & Real Estate Company, situated next door to the original Garden City Music Center. Landis changed the name of the Old Country Diner to Leo's Midway in the mid 1960s, when he was part-owner of the restaurant.
After buying the Falk brothers' property in 1972, they decided to expand their business by buying the next door real estate building. Along with the addition of the bar, another family-friendly restaurant was connected during the expansion process.
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