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Horseman Restaurant Shuttered?

The phone keeps ringing inside an empty Horseman restaurant. Follow Patch as we learn more about the closure of this Sleepy Hollow institution.

A hint that something was amiss first appeared in the Sleepy Hollow police blotters last week. 

On August 26 at 10:45 a.m., a problem was reported between a Mrs. Zoumboulis and several members of the staff. "Diner was shut down to the day and parties were advised that this was a civil matter," the report stated. 

That was an item I skimmed quickly over, somehow not thinking "shut down to the day" meant really shut down until a resident emailed me Wednesday asking if the rumor he heard was true.

John and Jill Zoumboulis of Stamford, Connecticut are the owners of the establishment, which recently got a new awning and won second place for best diner in our Readers' Choice awards

Patrons who tried to stop by over the long weekend may have thought the place was just closed temporarily for the holiday, but it still is. One reader noted a sign saying that they were closed because of a "family matter."

Attempts to contact the Zoumboulis family have been unsuccessful as the phone keeps ringing in the restaurant and a residential listing in Connecticut is no longer in service. Readers report that John Zoumboulis has been very ill.

We hope the closure is only temporary, and offer our support to the family. Horseman memories? Are you a former Horseman employee who was suddenly laid off or just a customer met with a surprising sign?

Said one former Sleepy Hollow resident on Facebook, "I went there on Monday for a breakfast with out of towners, only to see the sign and freak out. We ended up at , along with EVERYONE."

Bellas, , is our first-place winning diner and very much open.

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Gargamel September 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
same here! went for Breeakfast and ended on a line at Bellas. What a shame! another nail in the Hollow's heart.
Krista Madsen (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
A boon for Bellas I guess, though they do just fine anyway!
Elizabeth Connors September 06, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Always loved the Horseman. Ordered pizza for delivery a lot. Unfortunately, lately, the quality of the pizzas had gone down significantly. Just didn't taste as good. So switched to Fleetwood & Hollywood North. Hope they reopen and solve their problems, which apparenty includes finding a way to reassume their top-notch pizza status.
Tammy Weaver September 06, 2012 at 03:22 PM
The last time I went into the Horseman, six or eight weeks ago, was the first time in a LOOOOONG time, because the service is terrible. Maybe if you're a regular, the servers jump, but if you're a once-in-a-blue-moon, they take their sweet time. So I brought a book, and I came in, and I sat at the counter and waited. And read. And read. Next to me was a guy with two kids; two female servers came over and talked to him (a regular, I could tell) a bunch of times, but I was ignored. I refused to speak up and say "I've been here for 15 minutes, could someone please notice me?" -- I wanted to see how long it would take. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. I realize that now I don't WANT anybody to wait on me, I don't want to give them my money, so up and out I went, swearing never to return. Well, that'll be an easy promise to keep to myself now. Good riddance. Fingers crossed for all-new owners and decent servers. Father Pogue Mahoney
Jessie Moon Landivar September 06, 2012 at 08:12 PM
No! :-(
Joan Ferraro September 06, 2012 at 08:13 PM
not just the pizzas - Quality of food, in general, has gone down for the past yr or so.... Weird to find dry macaroni in your pancakes.... perhaps a bit better tho, than the ant i had found last year in my pancakes!!!! ....
Lisa Stewart September 08, 2012 at 01:42 AM
NEVER SIT AT THE COUNTER! Lol, I've learned that, they seem to skim you over at the counter and you have to speak up to get some service. I will admit though, the waitress I had last time was a bit rude I had a large group and we were indecisive about what to get and she was asking us what types of drinks we wanted (milkshake, soda, etc.) I can't remember what happened before she said, "I'm not gonna ask you again!" So rude!
Tiny Dancers September 08, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I'm sure the family is going through a lot since John's brain injury last year. They'll need the support of the community. Hopefully, we'll see John back in the Horseman soon!
Deb September 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM
We've never had anything but great, friendly service there as well as really good food. I will be very sad if they don't get things worked out and opened up again. For us it's an integral part of our hometown.
Krista Madsen (Editor) September 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM
This is awful and I had no idea obviously when I tried to call him. My support to him and the family.
Marjorie Coldrick September 10, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I am so unhappy. I find the service there to be excellent. The portions are so bid I can make 2 meals out of the take out. Love(d) the fast delivery by nice people. Hurry back
Marjorie Coldrick September 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
sorry should be so" big" portions
Eric Davis September 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Maybe they are getting divorced. That might explain the police blotter. I sure wish someone from the family would at least say something to let their loyal customers know .
shanti October 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM
We drove up from NYC to the horseman diner specifically..for a much needed evening get away. I was crushed to say the least, that we drove up there on a rainy late afternoon, to be met with a sad sign-with no info:( That is really not ok that a place can mean so much to so many people, and at the same time, the owners feel no need to let people know what the deal is. Just call up the local news paper and let the community know ..at least something. I guess im bitter cuz i drove up there with a friend, for an irresponsible and cold 'closed' sign. ..have a little respect for all your loyal customers-we are people too. Having a business, especially one so loved by the community, means you owe us something to-a little respect-in exchange for all this love- speak up!! let someone buy the place, so good people can meet up there again! cheers!
Krista Madsen (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Sorry for the wasted trip. You're right. I hope at least you found somewhere else to eat here!
Eric Davis October 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM
On a related topic, I'm am surprised at Bella's, the only other real local diner, inability to capitalize on this. My family has been there 3 times since Horseman closure and each time the service was slower than the previous. I hope someone can buy the Horseman soon.
Tara Cagney October 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Hey "Shanti"...Who do you think you are? No one "owes" you anything. Just because you didn't get what you wanted, when you wanted...boohoo for you. You live in the metroplis of the WORLD and you couldn't find a decent restaurant to dine...You have issues. People have their own crap going on and they don't need you self-centered attitude bitching at them too. I hope John is doing well and I'll find another place to eat.
john slivin October 18, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Can't believe someone actually made a special trip from Manhattan...in the rain no less for the Horseman.....that's nuts unless you had other business on just wanted to drive....I found the food well below average actually and always went to Bella's first(if long wait would reluctantly head back the horseman)......what sucks is now Bella's is a mad house and I am finding myself treking all the way to elmford to the el dorado(the one next the the TZ bridge serves dog food quality food). Hope someone else comes in and opens a decent joint as one is needed.....
TBH October 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Some of you should be very ashamed for your comments. I assure you there are issues here that are beyond John's control. John suffered a brian injury on July 27th 2011 and has not yet been able to walk on his own. He is recuperating at St. Camillas home in Stamford, CT. If you would like to spend any time responding to heresay feel free but it might be a nicer thing to do to go up and see him. It's been very difficult for him and the fact that the diner is closed is absolutely killing him, its the last thing he wanted, he will be back and the diner will be better than ever, that I promise you.
Krista Madsen (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Thank you for the update TBH. I'm glad to hear he is recuperating and that he plans to return. People wouldn't still be talking about this if they didn't miss it!
joy October 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Perhaps you should have called ahead.
Linda Wentzek November 01, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Thank You! While others have only negative things to say, you've put it in perspective. The family is going through a hard time, a difficult issue. For those who choose to go elsewhere - fine. Some of us are die-hard Horseman fans and looking forward to the reopening. Best wishes to John and his family.
Deb November 21, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Don't scold people for something they didn't know about.
Krista Madsen (Editor) November 22, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Good news: coming back in a few weeks and hiring: http://patch.com/A-zJsS
Krista Madsen (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Despite my message in November (!) that Horseman would be opening in a few weeks, this time manager Melissa Smutek writes: "The horseman will be opening next week. However, we aren't announcing the official date to the public so people will just have to keep their eyes peeled for the closed sign to be taken down." If anyone sees something, share! I'll let you know if I notice first!!
Michelle February 09, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Its is open! They seem to be working out a few kinks with the service, but the food seemed fine when I ate there earlier today. I'm not sure I will go back, though.
mike jones May 14, 2013 at 04:12 PM
The diner will be turned over to new ownership and then sold

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