Paupack Diner opening in Hawley
By Katie Collins firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Katie @Lifestyles51
HAWLEY - With a monster sized menu just about ready and smiling servers standing by, the Paupack Diner will be opening in Hawley sometime soon.
Owner and a chef, Roy Leeflang has purchased what was the Hawley Burger Company on Rt. 6 near Lake Wallenpaupack. Leeflang compared the Paupack Diner to that of a traditional diner found in New Jersey because of the affordable prices, large portions and vast menu with many desserts.
The diner is not a new venture for Leeflang who also owns Oreganato’s Pizza & Family Restaurant in Lords Valley and Roy's Family Diner & Pizzeria in Port Jervis New York that closed recently.
Comfort foods always available
To Leeflang, a diner is a place where comfort foods are always available, no matter the time of day in which the eatery is open. Whether a customer wants an egg sandwich or pot roast in the early morning “we can do that” he said.
The food will be fresh and homemade because “we're not microwave technicians” since everything is made to order Leeflang said. Serving foods in such a manner is important because if one enters the restaurant industry, “you gotta give it 100 percent.”
Inspired by his dad who was a chef, Leeflang started his career by opening a food truck in Port Jervis because he was a “fat boy” who liked to eat, he said. Cooking in the food truck was “crazy” because he offered everything from gourmet salads to saute dishes since the requests “didn’t matter” and change was promised daily.
Against the grain
Leeflang said his restaurants have “big monster burgers and fat sandwiches” that are distinct to his menu because it's about going “against the grain.” With the help of his wife, Danielle Simmons who is a pastry chef, together they’ve had many “crazy ideas” that come from fun. Leeflang called his wife “pretty amazing” since she is opening an ice cream shop “Twisted Eats,” next spring.
Staff is just about set
To be ready when the doors open, Leeflang expects to be overstaffed because it's important that the staff is able to “make friends with the customers” in order for the diner to be a place people will return to, he said. He is still looking for drivers though, since he expects the delivery service to be popular at the diner, just as it’s been at his other restaurants.
Between his restaurants, Leeflang called his chefs “well rounded,” although they don’t necessarily specialize in a specific food. Instead, diner chefs are a “whole other kind of creature” because the skills required are broad, since they must cook multiple foods at the same time at a good pace.
The staff are Oreganato’s are “great,” so he’s confident that he can focus on the diner now, with the help of a head chef who can cook eggs, burgers, steaks and salads at the same time without skipping a beat. That ability, Leeflang said, is “hard to find.”
Looking to the future, considering the possible long winters in Hawley, Leeflang said he’s not certain how he will stay busy, but he may have daily specials with theme nights that make the Paupack Diner a “place to eat” since there will be “great food and good portions” that people will go out of their way to eat.
As of now, Leeflang said he doesn’t have any structural plans for the Paupack Diner because he hopes to open by Labor Day so he will be able to “wow everybody with what we do.”
Leeflang is always looking for patron’s input because he could’ve kept the diner a burger restaurant, but he heard people wanted a diner, in part because many residents aren’t originally from the area and there are many second home owners who are used to diners.
Making people smile
His restaurants have been different from most eateries Leeflang said, because the staff tries to make people smile by doing whatever is necessary to ensure customers are pleased with their service and food.
Leeflang said he wants the Paupack Diner to be a place where staff knows the customers and what their favorite foods are, since it’ll be the place they come for a meal or just coffee and a piece of pie along with laughter.
As of now, Leeflang said he is most looking forward to meeting people again because “this is my thing, to see people, to talk to people.”
For more information, visit the Paupack Diner Facebook page.