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'Congratulations Ladies and Gentleman. You Have a New Diner'

The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved a special permit for The Monroe Diner

Many townspeople could only reminisce about the New Colony Diner since it closed a few years ago, but Monroe will soon have its own diner again. The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved a special exception permit with conditions late Thursday night, paving the way for The Monroe Diner.

Andy Tsilifides, Dimitrios Alatakis and his wife Donna, all partners of the Circle Diner in Fairfield and the Sherwood Diner in Westport, plan to renovate the old diner building at 568 Main Street and to add a small addition.

The P&Z's 5-0 approval will allow those plans to move forward.

"Congratulations ladies and gentlemen. You have a new diner," P&Z Chairman Richard Zini said after the vote.

"Thank you," Donna Alatakis replied. "We'll make you proud."

P&Z Commissioner Pat O'Hara said the proposed site plan means aesthetic and safety improvements to the Route 25 corridor. He also noted that the proposal includes a new septic system that works. The previous diner had chronic problems from a failing system.

As an aside, O'Hara said he is someone who misses going to a diner after having gone to one in town for 30 years.

Trumbull-Monroe Health District approval will be needed before a building permit may be issued.

Prior to the Planning & Zoning decision, the Inland Wetlands Commission granted its approval.

Lois Spence, a member of the Inland Wetlands Commission, was present at the P&Z hearing in the Town Council Chambers of Town Hall Thursday night. Speaking as an individual citizen, she praised Bill Carboni of Spath-Bjorklund & Associates Inc., the engineering firm hired by the applicants, for "bringing in low impact procedures."

Spence said, "I think this is wonderful. And I know everyone in Monroe is dying to get a diner."

The P&Z approval was with conditions. The most significant one was the requirement that the applicants work with Town Engineer Scott Schatzlein on having some kind of passageway to allow pedestrians to walk in front of the property along Main Street without going into the parking lot.

Zini had pointed out that the Town Plan of Conservation & Development calls for sidewalks along Main Street.

Unlike the New Colony Diner, which consisted only of a building and a parking lot, The Monroe Diner will have landscaping with evergreens and ornamentals. The front entrance on the south-west part of the property will be eliminated, leaving one two-way entrance on the north part and another off of Verna Road, a configuration P&Z commissioners found to be safer.

New Kid in Town September 02, 2011 at 09:54 PM
This is perfect timing! I just moved to Monroe after being in Westport my entire life and being raised on the Sherwood Diner (very few compare!) in the past few years we have also frequented the Circle Diner (to visit our friend Gus who moved over when they opened) and now the same folks are opening another location in Monroe!! I'm sure it will look great have great service and exceptional food....HOWEVER that being said..I am still a Die-hard fan of John and Sandy's Rustic Grill and NO ONE can beat their Banana Chocolate chip pancakes or Chicken Slovaki Salad!! Also the service is 2nd to NONE! We miss you John and Sandy and can't wait for you to open up again!!!
MONROE RESIDENT September 03, 2011 at 02:32 PM
that above comment about rustic grille seems a little misplaced.. CANT WAIT FOR THE NEW DINER TO OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JoAnn Toth September 05, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Welcome to Monroe!! So glad we will be getting our diner back. Please make the food affordable so that we are all able to eat there. Is there a ball park time that it will be opened?
Rita Peck September 08, 2011 at 04:20 AM
So happy to hear that Monroe Dinner is coming back. I have been driving past this dinner with a sadness in my heart.far too long. I used to go to there so very often, be it with family or friends, it was always " Meet me at the Monroe Dinner" I recall when Tony, who then, was very young and so handsome first bought a small dinkey diner and then replaced it with the one that now sits there in a state of forlornness . That was in the late 60's or there abouts. you see, that diner and me go a long way. So to the new owners I want to say, THANK YOU, WELCOME, GOOD LUCK, and PLEASE HURRY. Rita Peck
Christine E. September 08, 2011 at 03:24 PM
I'm going to ask the QWERTY question. "Is this diner going to be 24 hours?". I really hope so!!

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