Photos by Annie Maguire
Since moving north from its original Long Island environs more than 30 years ago, the Phoenicia Diner has been a Catskills mainstay for visitors and residents from near and far. And since purchasing the landmark eatery in 2012, current owner Mike Cioffi has been serving classic diner dishes with a modern twist, appealing to both traditionalists and trend-seekers alike. But over the past several years, the petite space has struggled to seat the swarms of people who line up for their mid-morning meals—until now.
As of this summer, new seasonal hours are in full swing, welcoming customers seven days a week. But as for those crowds salivating over breakfast skillets and savory sandwiches, Cioffi has addressed their urgency by installing an outdoor, dog-friendly pavilion. While table-service is not yet offered on the patio, the area is open to those who wish to enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Tremper over a bite, but only after ordering inside from a limited menu. At this time, consumption of alcohol is also prohibited outdoors, though it will soon be permitted in the courtyard.
Moving forward, Cioffi plans to introduce other accommodating features to serve those who travel for a taste of tradition. Next month, a food truck parked near the patio will provide fresh take-out options, as well as pre-meal snacks for those waiting for an indoor table.
With these projects still in their infancy, it may take a bit of time for there to be a noticeable impression on the snaking lines, but if the Phoenicia Diner’s endurance is proof of anything, it’s that good grub comes to those who wait.