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July 07, 1994|LEO SMITH

Gerry Hassenflug, owner of Gerry's Busy Oak Cafe in Oak View, had that persistent thought creep into her head again recently. It's the thought that tells her to start serving dinner at her restaurant.

"I almost did it," she said. "Then I said, 'Why even think about it?' "

The breakfast-lunch establishment is open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, and is usually pretty crowded. Hassenflug is convinced that if the Busy Oak were open in the evening she'd do equally well.

That's in large part, she said, because of her new outdoor smoking area--a patio with full awning and clear vinyl dropcloth covering, and eight tables, that serves as a smoking room.

"We're getting the smokers from Ojai. You can't smoke there," said Hassenflug. "I know we'd be busy at night, but I can't handle it myself."

So Hassenflug is keeping with her daytime hours, at least until she is sure she has found a dedicated support staff for the evening. "I tried (dinner hours) when I first opened," she said. "I was working 16 hours a day. I lost 12 pounds the first week."

Gerry's Busy Oak Cafe is located at 409 Ventura Ave.

*

It's official--The Greek at the Harbor is open. The restaurant began operating last week.

Customers who follow The Greek in its move from Oxnard to the Ventura Harbor may notice a few changes, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays. For one thing, it's now open Fridays and Saturdays.

At this point, the menu is much the same as it was. But New York steak has been added and more significant changes are being planned.

"We will be adding specials and several seafood items," said co-owner Lynn Mikelatos. "Our chef (Nikos Xidarakos) is going to do a special of the day, a seafood a la chef."

As for entertainment, the restaurant will have belly dancing Sunday through Thursday at 8:15 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 7:15 and 9 p.m. Following each show, the restaurant's servers will present a Greek dance performance, featuring the "famous wine dance" by Jerome Dabour.

In the restaurant's first incarnation, Dabour was a waiter and performer. This time around, he is waiter, performer and partner in the business, along with Mikelatos and her husband, Makis. The restaurant is located at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 101.

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