As published in the Record Journal on Thursday April 4, 2013
By Eric Vo
WALLINGFORD - After serving patrons for 32 years at the Neptune House Restaurant and Diner, the Kyriakis family will be leaving the business after closing the doors on Sunday.
It’s unclear why the family is leaving, but Chris Kyriakis, co-owner of the Neptune House, said he “sold it” and refused to comment any further other than to say the business will close Sunday. Residents, town councilors and the town’s Economic Development department weren’t sure whether the building or the business itself was sold or if it would be taken over by new owners.
The restaurant, at 1086 N. Colony Road, is known for a number of things, such as its long hours, offering its full menu to patrons at all hours and its nautical-theme decorations. With a captain’s wheel and portholes in the booths,the restaurant was popular with families.
“Anytime my kids had a doctor or dentist appointment, it was always like ‘let’s go to Neptune diner.’ It was like a treat,” Board of Education Chairwoman Roxane McKay said.
After serving patrons for decades, news of the family’s departure from the business surprised a number of residents. Town Council Chairman Robert F. Parisi said he was “very surprised and disappointed” when he heard.
“It was kind of a staple, in my mind,” Parisi said. “The staff was very cordial and friendly. It was a great place to have a meeting with a few people.”
Along with the traditional diner options such as hotdogs and hamburgers, the Neptune House’s menu also offered breakfast and a seafood themed lunch and dinner options. Town Councilor Jason Zandri has fond memories of the restaurant.
“I used to go there quite a bit when I lived on Circle Drive. It was right there if you wanted a quick bite,” he said. “When I was much younger, they had a longer night schedule. We’d go see a late movie and grab breakfast before they closed up.”
With fresh food that was made in-house by the Kyriakises, they also made an effort to talk to customers and treat them as if they were all a part of the family.
“It’s sad to see a business in town close down ... it’s a shame,” said Wayne Harriman,a town resident. “People were always friendly and they went out of the way to talk to you. I do remember the waitresses and staff were always friendly to you.”
Reflecting on his experiences at the Neptune House Restaurant and Diner, Zandri remembered the hospitality he experienced as a patron.
“It was always a nice, friendly atmosphere. The owners were always attentive to the customers — it was definitely a warm place,” Zandri said. “I didn’t get the feeling they were being polite just because you were the customer. They were genuinely polite to everyone in there.”