Seinfeld finds a new diner

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Strifas said he was told that his restaurant was chosen because Seinfeld, a diner enthusiast, wanted a location near his hometown. “He personally selected our diner because he enjoyed the look of it,” Strifas said, adding that the Colony, which has been in East Meadow since 1966, was renovated two years ago.

Strifas said that, despite the confidentially agreement, he told his family and a few select customers about Seinfeld’s visit. Word eventually leaked to the staff, too. In the end, a friendly competition to decide who would wait on the celebrities resulted in the selection of Erica O’Donnell, a three-year employee.

As promised, Seinfeld and Parker arrived at around 1 p.m. “We were having a busy day to begin with,” Strifas said. “They just came in like regular customers.”

Strifas said he planned to stay out of the way so as not to intrude with filming, but Seinfeld immediately walked over to introduce himself. “He came right over to me with Sarah Jessica, and he extended his hand,” Strifas said. “We had a nice eight- to 10-minute conversation on diners, the diner business, the family aspect of the diner business.”

The celebrities stayed for about two hours, creating a major buzz throughout the diner, Strifas said. And thanks to social media, word spread quickly. “The diner immediately went from three-quarters full to a full house,” he said. “And people waiting at the door.”

O’Donnell said she was excited to wait on Seinfeld and Parker, but focused on her job so she wouldn’t get too nervous. Still, she admitted, the pair were much more entertaining than the average customers. “I couldn’t stop laughing,” said O’Donnell, 22, who lives in New Hyde Park. “It was kind of hard to do my job.”

Previously, the biggest celebrity to make an appearance at the Colony was illusionist Criss Angel, who grew up in Hempstead and frequented the diner in his youth, Strifas said. He returned years ago to film an episode of his show, “Criss Angel Mindfreak.”

Though the Colony is already a popular eatery, Strifas acknowledged that Seinfeld’s visit would likely raise its profile. “We’re kind of getting known around town as the Jerry Seinfeld diner, I’ve heard,” he joked.

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