A visitor on Monroe Patch's Facebook page Wednesday announced that the Monroe Diner's parking lot was packed, immediately attracting "likes" for her post. But, alas, it was only the first day of training for newly hired staff.
Plans for the diner at 568 Main Street has generated excitement among residents who have fond memories of the New Colony Diner which closed in the same building years ago. A full renovation of the brick building, outdoor signs and interior are complete and the parking lot is freshly paved. Part owner, Donna Alatakis believes it will open its doors to patrons within two weeks, but doesn't want to risk giving out a date and disappointing people should it take a little longer.
Wednesday was the first training day and Alatakis said some of those who showed up wanted to order dinner.
"We had to turn them away and asked them to visit us again," Alatakis said Thursday.
The diner's general manager, Eleni Alatsas, said, "People have been calling constantly asking if we're open."
On Thursday afternoon, a woman filled out a job application at the front counter and a man walked in to apply for a position. Looking out the front window, an elderly couple could be seen slowly driving through the parking lot, scanning the building for signs of its being open.
"We're in the process of training our staff," Alatakis said. "We have an abundance of qualified applicants and we look forward to opening in the next couple of weeks."
Alatsas added, "Some local high school students who are eager to work as hostesses have applied. We embrace that. We love young people who are eager to learn."