Alex Nissirios, the owner of the Nevada Diner has a simple business philosophy: “Just make sure people are happy.”
“You have to give customers the best the best quality, the best chefs, the best service,” he says. “If people leave happy, you can never lose.”
Nissirios knows what he's talking about. Celebrating its 31st Anniversary this month, the Nevada, a longtime favorite of town residents, has become one of Bloomfield’s landmark businesses.
“My family, we started from the bottom,” explains Nissirios, who sat down recently with Patch to discuss Nevada’s anniversary and what he’s done to make it such a vital part of the community. “My father was a dishwasher. The whole family was dishwashers, busboys, waiters. Now, Mike is a baker, Nick is a chef, John is good at building things. Me, I'm good with people.”
The Nevada is only one of five successful businesses owned by the Nissirios family: The Pompton Queen Diner on Route 23, the State Line Diner in Mahwah, the Derby Diner in Rutherford and Stamna Greek Taverna in Bloomfield are all thriving, family-owned operations.
Nissirios’ wife and children also work in the business. Wife Angela runs Stamna in Bloomfield with their sons, while their daughter works with him at the Nevada. The children grew up seeing how teamwork and daily dedication kept the family business strong.
Customers say it's all about that warm, friendly feeling they get when they walk through the door.
“It’s like home here,” said Sandra Bowers of East Orange who stopped at the table to chat. “I've been coming here three or four times a week for 13 to 14 years. The service is excellent. You feel very comfortable here.”
“We know the families here, everybody knows each other. It's not like a highway diner,” said another longtime customer, Marian Seib. “I've been coming here for 30 years. I used to come when I was in a wheelchair. They accommodated me. They helped me.”
Marcia Dubois, manager and hostess for the past eight years, agreed, saying when staff members have known customers for many years, they become like extended family members.
“Some of our elderly customers live alone,” she said. “If they don't come for three days, we try to call them at home and make sure they’re okay. If they're going on vacation they call to let us know. Because they know we'll worry.”
Dubois says that kind of loyalty extends to the employees.
“It's like a family here. We all help each other,” she explained. “When I came I was so shy, but you can work your way up. Daniel was a busboy when he first got here. We helped him learn English. We all start off like that; everyone knows what that feels like.
“Nobody ever leaves here -- even if they leave, they always come back! This guy who left and got a job at a country club, within two weeks he was begging to come back. There must be some kind of Nevada blessing! My daughter will soon be working here.” She smiles. “There's nothing like the Nevada.”
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