Old diner becomes new pancake house

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:55

SUSSEXn-One can't help but notice the bright orange canopy that crowns the Country Pancake House located just off Route 23 on East Main Street. Before Chris Dimitriou and his father, Jim, bought the place several months ago, it was an old and somewhat tattered railroad-car diner. Dimitriou's brothers, Jimmy and George, are also involved in the business. While overhauling the interior and dressing up the exterior, the Dimitriou's decided to expand the menu of typical diner fare and convert to a pancake specialty restaurant. "There are three or four diners in this vicinity, but ours is the first pancake place," said Chris, who hopes the restaurant will become the breakfast spot in the area. Experienced restaurant operators, having had businesses in both Bergen and Sussex counties, the family is now concentrating on this venture which opened little more than four months ago. It's a home-style restaurant and larger than it looks. In addition to the diner-type building which accommodates 50, a comfortable dining room that can seat 30 extends to the rear. Dimitriou says that he is not considering a catering space at present, but the room is often used by church groups for small gatherings. Dimitriou said that he creates his own pancake and waffle combinations and is always testing out new combinations. The menu now has 15 choices, with some of the most popular being strawberry, chocolate chip, apple cinnamon, and banana nut. The Dimitrious serve weekly specials at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and complimentary soup or salad is always offered with dinner. "The staff is friendly," boasts Dimitriou, "and they get to know the people who come in." One of the reasons for the congeniality of the staff is that they say they are happy with their working conditions. "I love working here. I really enjoy my job, and my bosses are wonderful people to work for. Besides, I'm the best waitress they have," said Barbara Fiorvante with a grin.