The Wait is Over. The Monroe Diner is Open

The Monroe Diner opened at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Many locals remember the New Colony Diner at 568 Main Street which closed a few years ago. The Monroe Diner now stands in its place with a renovated building and signage. People have been calling and showing up at the new Monroe Diner for weeks to find out when it will open. On Monday morning, the wait was over. The restaurant opened its doors at 6 o'clock.

Late Monday morning, patrons ate breakfast in booths and around tables, and some sat on stools at the front counter.

"It's been soft and steady, so we're very happy," co-owner Donna Alatakis said. "The first selectman was here this morning. We're glad to be here. We were very nervous, but it's going smoothly so far. I hope everyone is patient with us in the beginning with our new place and new staff."

"Everyone has been welcoming," Alatakis added. "I think they're glad we're open."

The hours will be from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday to Thursday, 24 hours on Friday and Saturday and the diner will be open until midnight on Sundays. It will soon have a website and a to-go menu.

Alatakis said some patrons have mentioned the old diner.

"They were wishing they had a place to go for home-fries," she said.

Now it's time for the Monroe Diner to forge its own identity.

"We hope to bring a sense of community," Alatakis said. "A diner becomes the hub of a community."

Her husband Dimitri agreed. He said, "A lot of times the diner is the soul of a community. It's the place you go to after plays, basketball games and late night meetings."

Describing how the Monroe Diner will be, Dimitri said, "Fast, clean, fresh and reasonably priced."

"And Friendly," Donna added.

Donna believes the Monroe Diner will be known for its cheese blintzes, which are made from a homemade recipe passed down from generations. Dimitri said the soups are amazing and that there will be daily chef's specials.

Karen French of Monroe used to be a waitress in the New Colony Diner in the '80s. Now she's a waitress at Monroe Diner.

"I think it's great," she said. I think it's a boon for the town. There is no other place like this. We need it. It's a family restaurant, a place for a nice sitdown meal."

"It's creating jobs," French added with a smile.

George and Marlene Dornes of Trumbull were the diner's first customers. They sat in a booth with a friend of theirs.

"We need a place like this," George said. "There are other places around, but not as good as this. This place is so elegant."

Of the interior, Marlene said, "It's done very classy, elegant and tasteful. It's elegant."

George said the diner serves "good, crispy bacon."

Michael and Ginger Thanasoulis of Trumbull saw the diner being built and decided to try it out on Monday. Michael had an omelet and Ginger had eggs with corned beef hash and hash browns.

"We like the decor and the 'diner charm,'" Ginger said. "It's not trendy. It still has that feel to it."

Charles Rega, who owns Out Front Farm, a pet food and farm supply business on Main Street in Monroe, sat on a stool at the counter. He lives in Newtown, but used to live in Easton for 35 years.

"I've been coming to this spot for over 40 years, since I was in my 20's," Rega said of the eateries that changed hands over past decades.

He remembers when the New Colony Diner closed. "We were all disappointed because this was the place to stop to get breakfast, lunch or even dinner — and it was nice."

Rega likes the Monroe Diner so far. He said, "The food is outstanding."

donna miller December 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Richard Erickson December 11, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Had dinner there last night. Food was excellent and the service was very good considering it was the first day with a new staff and all. The dinner menu is not as extensive as some some diner menus, but there is a enough variety for anyone looking for a quick evening meal. Breakfast and lunch menus have lots of choices and prices seem reasonable. It's good to have a place like this again in town.
jim laguardia December 11, 2012 at 07:12 PM
just left the Diner and the food was good and the service was good also
DLM1971 December 15, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Stay away--After a 2-year wait for the only local diner to open, visiting tonight was a huge disappointment. My son and I both live with a deadly food allergy to peppers, the vegetables and many seasonings, but not black pepper. I clearly identified the allergies upon ordering. The manager (owner?) came out with the waitress a few minutes later and told me that they couldn't serve me what I'd ordered, which was fine. I was then told that every surface in this brand-new facility has come in contact with peppers, so they couldn't serve me any premade food, something cooked on the grill, etc. After a little consideration I asked for some pancakes, scrambled eggs, and toast, to be cooked in a separate, clean skillet. They agreed. A few minutes later the manager returned to tell me that they wouldn't do even that much and that they would not serve me anything. We left at the start of what was supposed to be an extended family meal. It's worth noting that I've eaten in Mexican and Thai restaurants that happily accommodated my allergies. This place wouldn't even make an effort. Besides a caution to other people with food allergies, I urge anyone who can't eat spicy food due to acid reflux, ulcers, stomach reduction surgery, or who are on a bland diet for any other reason to stay away because, per this woman, they put peppers in everything: soup, salads, entrees, etc.
Steve Kirsch December 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM
My wife and I ate there on Tuesday night, the second day they were open. We arrived at about 7:50pm to a mostly full parking lot and many patrons inside. We were seated promptly in a booth for two. My wife had the Spanakopita which included a salad. I had the French Onion Soup and a Philly Steak sandwich. The food was very good, and while the portion sizes were not as large as you find at some diners, we both left there full. The service was good and the food served in reasonable time. Both my wife and I noted that there were lots of waiters and waitresses. Clearly they had planned for a full house. The diner still does not have a web site or online menu which seems strange to me. My wife and I agreed that the Monroe Diner would be a place that we would go to again, joining a list of restaurants up and down Route 25.
Monroe Mama January 06, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Went there today for lunch, food was good, service was okay.. Nothing special.. I prefer Rustic Grill but I would give it another try.


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