A popular West Haven lunch spot that’s being displaced in order to make way for an outlet mall, is closing up shop.
Longtime customers of Nick’s Luncheonette are sad to see an end of an era, they’re glad to know Nick’s is not going away for good.
A sizzling grill, a packed lunch counter, and order after order heading out to hungry tables was the scene at Nick’s Luncheonette on Tuesday.
“Traditionally for me, it's breakfast. I usually get the eggs, hash browns, toast, but anything you get here, you cannot go wrong,” said Anthony Penkrat of West Haven.
After going to Nick’s Luncheonette for the last 25 years, Penkrat said he had to make one more stop.
“The atmosphere is amazing, the people that come in. Nick and his family treat everyone like their own. I enjoy it so much I actually left a half a day from work just to come and have a last meal here today,” Penkrat said.
After Wednesday, this breakfast and lunch spot tucked away on First Avenue will be no more.
Nick's has been open for 26 years but will be closing to make way for the Haven Outlet Mall development.
“It’s a very sad day, very emotional,” said Nick Milas, owner of Nick’s Luncheonette.
The upscale outlet mall along the water calls for 60 stores, a number of restaurants and hundreds of jobs.
To make way for the mall, dozens of homes and a few businesses had to go.
After selling two years ago to developers, Milas was able to stay open, but now the time has come to close.
“I appreciate all the customers, they’ve been supporting me for 26 years,” Milas said. Customers said Milas and his staff are like family, along with the food are the reasons why they kept returning.
“We’ve been coming here probably about 15 years every morning, 5 o’clock to meet with nick on our way to work. We had about 12 of us every single morning. Matter of fact, he wanted to give us the key to open up because we used to get here before him in the morning,” said Joe Yacono of West Haven.
They have the sign up thanking their customers, coming all day.
But while they’re moving, they’re not closing, because Nick’s is moving to a location across town, the former Pizza Hut on Saw Mill Avenue.
“It needs a lot of work,” Milas said.
Milas hopes to open the new locations in two to three months. When it does open, long time customers said they’ll be there.
“It’s like an icon here the way nick’s been here over the years, but we look forward to seeing him at his new establishment and we’ll be there, we’ll follow him,” Penkrat said.
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