Founder, Connie’s Diner
There’s something more than good old-fashioned, home-style cookin’ going on at Connie’s Diner in Waterloo. In fact, Connie’s has become a family legacy and, for the regular patrons, a place like home where everybody knows your name.
In 1989, Connie Caratozzolo had a dream. She envisioned putting her culinary skills to use to provide the community with affordable meals by opening a small café and sandwich shop. Connie never imagined that her business would evolve into the larger enterprise it is today. “I had no idea that when I began this at the age of 55 that it would be as big as it is now; and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing”.
Connie recruited her son, Carmen, right out of high school along with her daughter, Mary Ann, to help run the business. In 1993 son, Paul also joined the team. Together, they created the renowned and successful diner that it is today. In fact, there is a guest book at the entrance to the restaurant. Over the years, Connie’s Diner has been visited by people from all over the world -- and more than a few celebrities as noted in the book.
Influenced by their Italian heritage, the menu is not limited to Italian cuisine. Connie’s Diner offers a wide variety of scrumptious entrees. Their omelets, cream cheese Belgian waffles, authentic milkshakes and home-made soups and pies are second to none. The portions are large, service is quick and the friendly waitresses are very accommodating.
The diner has a nostalgic atmosphere, reminiscent of classic ‘50s and ‘60s stereotypes. Mementos from this period decorate the diner. The ambiance works to create a warm, relaxing and casual environment. The clientele include all ages: teenagers, families, retired groups and those who are just passing through the area. The locals who frequent the Diner (Monday is the only day it’s closed) will proudly testify that many of the world’s problems can be solved over coffee at Connies!
“Our customers are just like our own family,” the owners proclaim. “We watch as parents bring in the next generation and we watch them grow as if they were our own family.” Connie gets emotional when she sees the satisfaction on the faces of her patrons. “That is the most satisfying part of this diner,” she says. Customers boast about their homemade sauce and lasagna recipes. Others prefer Connie’s signature “Quickie” which is a hamburger and French fries covered with deliciously rich gravy. Brothers Carmen and Paul explain that “the food we make is true comfort food and that is exactly what people feel when they eat here – comfortable.”
Connie believes the success of the Diner revolves around family. ‘Family’ and ‘coming home’ does indeed describe the true spirit of Connie’s Diner. Sharing a meal at Connie’s not only satiates the appetite; but also renews the spirit with a sense of belonging and……home.
If you plan a visit to the beautiful Finger Lakes Region, stop in at Connie’s Diner, sign their guest book, and…….enjoy!