Danny’s Chinese Kitchen Comes To Massapequa

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Opening a restaurant at the height of a pandemic may not be the most savvy business move to make, but for David and Danny Antin, launching Danny’s Chinese Kitchen in Massapequa on May 22 at 20 Broadway has so far worked out rather swimmingly. Having opened up a flagship business in Bellmore back in 2014, the Antins were more focused on making their mark in Oceanside in 2021 when a unique set of circumstances presented itself in their most recent eatery.

The Danny’s Chinese Kitchen Massapequa staff from left: Owner Danny Antin; head chef Ben Gao; owner David Antin; Tara Cavanagh and manager Georgia Golding.
(Photo courtesy of Jason Selss)

“Interestingly, we had purchased a space in Oceanside, where we knew there was a lot of demand and that was supposed to be our second restaurant,” David said. “This place that we’re in now was a Chinese food place and we heard that it became available. The owner was going to do something else and was going to close the store. So we jumped on it. It was an opportunity—it was built right for us and had everything we needed. Instead of waiting to build out Oceanside, we decided to come into Massapequa first while we were building Oceanside. As you probably know, with all the permits that you need, building out a business takes a lot of time. Having a restaurant that was already built to our specs was a unique opportunity for us. So that’s what brought us to Massapequa.”

The Antins’ path to food service started with younger brother Danny, who had cut his teeth working in similar eateries as a teenager and a young man. Having attended C.W. Post and earned an accounting degree, dissatisfaction with his career choice found him reconsidering what he wanted to do with his life.
“From the age of 15 to 22, I worked my way through high school and college by managing a place like this,” Danny said. “So I always had this experience from a young age. Then I became an accountant and did that for about seven or eight years. I started at one of the Big Four accounting firms and moved to a private retailing company and did that for about five years or so. After that much time, I realized that accounting wasn’t something that I loved to do. So I thought about what I could do and I knew I had the experience of doing this for a long time as a kid. I kind of took a shot to see if I could do it on my own.”

Danny’s Chinese Kitchen owners from left: Danny and David Antin
(Photo courtesy of Jason Selss)

While Danny eventually got his dream off the ground about six years ago, brother David only got fully involved in the last year and a half.
“I was a silent investor for the first five and a half years and we’ve been partners since day one,” David said. “I had a different career. I ran a publishing company and then an investment research firm in the city. I decided to leave that and join him. Our goal was to expand the business, which he had built very successfully. We had an opportunity to expedite that growth with an existing restaurant and that’s how we wound up in Massapequa.”

With a menu that is an Americanized version of Cantonese cuisine, Danny’s Chinese Kitchen features lunch specials; combination platters; chef specialties; health and fitness choices; and vegetarian options. Signature items include barbecue spare ribs, General Tso’s and sesame chicken. There are also a couple of dishes unique to the restaurant.
“We have a couple of special things you wouldn’t find in other Chinese restaurants and Zoodles is one of them,” David said. “What zoodles are is a lo mein dish where we replace the actual pasta noodle with a spiralized zucchini. So for those people who are carb conscious, but like the taste of the Chinese food, it’s a lo carb option and it’s very popular for some of our customers looking for healthier options. We have a pastrami egg roll on the menu that is relatively unique. We put pastrami in there with some caraway seeds and Swiss cheese, so it’s almost like a Reuben in an eggroll wrapper. It’s served with Russian dressing and deli mustard as a choice. It’s one of our more popular and unique items.”
“Our goal is to wow your taste buds,” Danny said. “Every dish on our menu is prepared to order using the freshest and highest quality ingredients sourced from local vendors.”

When COVID-19 became a health crisis back in the middle of March, the Antins were forced to close the Bellmore spot for 40 days in response to the concern their employees had about their safety. Reopening on April 20 meant having to address newer challenges that included doing 100 percent credit card transactions and keeping track of customers’ cars who were coming to pick up food they ordered from as far away as the North Shore, Flushing and the Rockaways.
“It actually ended up being good for us because it was good practice to open up a new business,” David said. “Being that we were open for six years and had certain operational routines to try to maximize the number of customers that we could serve in a relatively short window of time. It added some change and complexity to the business, but we got through it.”

From left: Co-owners David and Danny Antin standing in front of the The Danny’s Chinese Kitchen Massapequa locations.
(Photo courtesy of Jason Selss)

Emboldened by the response they’ve gotten from their customer base, the Antins are excited to become part of their new community.
“We’re thrilled to open and be part of the Massapequas,” Danny said. “It’s a remarkable accomplishment for us to open during these unprecedented and challenging times, and while we’re adjusting to a new normal, our recipe for success remains the same: outstanding service, delicious Chinese food made from fresh ingredients, in an immaculately clean environment.”

Visit www.dannyschinesekitchen.com or call 516-783-9000 to find out more about Danny’s Chinese Kitchen

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