Joe Mangione choked up as he talked about reopening day at JP Spoonem’s – Edgewood’s popular breakfast-lunch establishment where, like Cheers, “everybody knows your name.”
“I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart for our loyal customers and staff who have supported Pat and I since we opened our doors back in 1981,” Joe said, taking a moment from his newly refurbished kitchen.
Pat is a fixture at the small restaurant, greeting just about everybody who walks through the door by their first name.
Spoonem’s has been closed since March 15. Word of the reopening quickly got out on social media and through word of mouth, and Joe and Pat spent last weekend greeting regulars like Caroline and Don Josephson, who took their usual seats at the counter Saturday and Sunday morning.
Plastic petitions have been installed inside and between the two outside tables under the awning.
Signs call for face masks and proper precautions, and customers must sign in with their phone numbers as required by the state.
“We waited until we were certain that we could meet all the requirements,” Joe said. “We couldn’t afford to open at anything lower than 50 percent. I couldn’t bring just half of our loyal staff back. It wouldn’t be fair to them. They are like family. I just have so much respect and enthusiasm for the people who work here.”
Besides spending time remodeling the kitchen and making other improvements, Joe and Pat had time to spend with their family.
“Our daughter would bring her friends over and we would do a lot of cooking,” Joe said. “I really enjoyed mentoring them.”
He added: “I’ve always thought about what I would do when I retire. These four and a half months gave me an idea what it would be like.”
But the Mangione’s have no thoughts of retiring now.
“We wanted to restart slowly, but this weekend has been reassuring,” Joe said. “We decided to open just for breakfast at first, but the way things are going, it shouldn’t be long before we are serving lunch.”
Credit cards are now accepted, and they have added a Facebook page, thanks to help from their daughter.
Spoonem’s, located at 1678 Broad St. in Edgewood, is open every day but Monday at 7 a.m. Currently, closing time varies.
You’ll spot the “welcome” balloons at the corner of Broad and Wheeler and the happy faces as they leave after enjoying their waffles, pancakes, French toast, omelets, home fries, and the best corned beef hash in Rhode Island.