The Work We Do: Diane Harkoff, Legends

I’m Diane Harkoff and I’m the owner of Legends with my husband Dennis. I get here at different times every day. I get here sometimes around 11 to 11:30. I usually look around, see what we’re having for lunch that day. I talk to the chef about it. If I get here a little earlier I make suggestions.

I have a great love for food. I love food from different countries, different ethnic backgrounds. I love helping to plan the ideas and talking with the chef about the menu.I love to mingle with the people and see if they’re liking everything and how it’s going. I like to look at the plates when they go out, make sure everything is on there that should be on there. I like to walk around and see if the proper utensils are on the table, if the tables have been crumbed.

I love when people are so happy with the food and the service. They say it’s a friendly atmosphere; that makes me so pleased. You know, I want it to be something really special in all areas, whether it’s food, ambiance or service.

Legends will be celebrating its 25th year in December. The idea for Legends started percolating, I guess, when I used to work for an airline in the cargo end of the business. I would travel for meetings and sometimes for pleasure. We experienced lots of different cultures and lots of different foods. So that was what really started the ball rolling. In those days, I loved to cook; not so much now. My husband was involved in his family bowling alley business so he knew a little bit about the bar end of the business. He wanted to have beers from around the world available at Legends, all different types of beers. 

We have lots of regular customers, and that’s the rewarding part. It becomes a type of extended family. It’s always nice to see them if they’ve been away for the winter and they’re back. It’s very rewarding. I love when people tell me it reminds them of a pub in Ireland, where it’s a social gathering place rather than a bar and you can see friends and family.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.