MOUNT KISCO, N.Y.-- The Mount Kisco Coach Diner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's favorite hangout, has begun construction on its expansion.
The diner is adding 1,250 square feet and 13 new parking spaces, along with providing a terrace for outdoor seating.
The project was approved by the planning board earlier this year after the Mount Kisco Village Board approved a zoning change in 2010.
Recently, the Paul Power's structure, which exists south of the diner, was demolished, which was the first phase of construction.
Harry Georgiou, whose family owns the diner, said it will be much larger and more convenient for customers.
"We wanted to provide more space for clients and a nicer atmosphere," Georgiou said. "We wanted to modernize the restaurant. It was time to expand."
Plans for expansion have been in the works for five years. During that time, despite the recession, the diner's business has remained steady, giving Georgiou confidence expansion was the right idea.
Georgiou's father, Frank, a Somers resident, purchased the diner 18 years ago. Harry Georgiou, who lives in Queens, said it is in the family's blood to provide service, hospitality, and good food.
"We're very meticulous and we have very high standards," Georgiou said. "We strive for perfection. We strive to the have the best service and the best quality food. We are open 24 hours, so no matter what time you come, you will have a great experience."
Georgiou said he loves working in Mount Kisco and meeting all the nice people. He said many customers have become part of his family.
The cuisine is thought up by Michael Lombardi, who crafts exotic or unique specials daily, along with his burger of the week. The restaurant has an organic menu and Georgiou recommends the short ribs, prime meats or lobster rolls.
"We're not your standard diner, we're an upscale diner," Georgiou said.
Cuomo, a Mount Kisco resident, named the diner his favorite hangout spot after he was elected governor and regularly stops by when he's in the area. Singer Rob Thomas also is a regular.
During construction, the restaurant will be closed for two weeks, as it adds new booths, new tables and a new exterior. If all goes according to plan, the restaurant's expansion will be finished before the new year.
The Mount Kisco Coach Diner has become an institution in the community and Georgiou said they get customers from all over Westchester and even Greenwich and Stamford. Georgiou said many customers from out of state will come via Interstate 684, and come back every year as a tradition.
"We get people from all over," Georgiou said.