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After 37 Years, A Local Dining Legend Loses Its Owner

In less than three minutes, Vinny DeLio of Vinny's Luncheonette cooked up one of his favorites: fried shrimp with linguine sweet and garlic bread. He's selling the popular Port Chester restaurant, which will keep its name but change owners on Tuesday
In less than three minutes, Vinny DeLio of Vinny's Luncheonette cooked up one of his favorites: fried shrimp with linguine sweet and garlic bread. He's selling the popular Port Chester restaurant, which will keep its name but change owners on Tuesday Video Credit: Jon Craig
Et voila, Vinny DeLio proudly serves up one of his famous last lunches at his Port Chester luncheonette, which is changing owners after 37 years. Served with garlic bread on the side, the linguine was delicious.
Et voila, Vinny DeLio proudly serves up one of his famous last lunches at his Port Chester luncheonette, which is changing owners after 37 years. Served with garlic bread on the side, the linguine was delicious. Video Credit: Jon Craig
Wendy and Vinny DeLio are reluctantly calling it quits Tuesday after 37 years operating Vinny's Luncheonette at 182 N. Main St. in Port Chester.
Wendy and Vinny DeLio are reluctantly calling it quits Tuesday after 37 years operating Vinny's Luncheonette at 182 N. Main St. in Port Chester. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Vinny DeLio, right, with his brother behind the counter at Vinny's Luncheonette, a mainstay on North Main Street in Port Chester the past 37 years.
Vinny DeLio, right, with his brother behind the counter at Vinny's Luncheonette, a mainstay on North Main Street in Port Chester the past 37 years. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Vinny DeLio, owner of Vinny's Luncheonette (left) cooks up one of his favorites: fried shrimp with linguine sweet and garlic bread. He's selling the popular Port Chester restaurant, which will keep its name but change owners on Tuesday
Vinny DeLio, owner of Vinny's Luncheonette (left) cooks up one of his favorites: fried shrimp with linguine sweet and garlic bread. He's selling the popular Port Chester restaurant, which will keep its name but change owners on Tuesday Video Credit: Jon Craig
Fried shrimp with linguine sweet is one of Vinny DeLio's personal favorites. DeLio is calling it quits on Tuesday as owner of Vinny's Luncheonette in Port Chester after 37 years.
Fried shrimp with linguine sweet is one of Vinny DeLio's personal favorites. DeLio is calling it quits on Tuesday as owner of Vinny's Luncheonette in Port Chester after 37 years. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

This story has been updated with new videos.

PORT CHESTER , N.Y. -- After 37 years of business, Vinny’s Luncheonette -- a Port Chester landmark for good old-fashion home-cooked Italian/American cuisine -- is losing its legendary owner.

Vinny DeLio and his wife, Wendy, are tearfully calling it quits and retiring from the restaurant business.

Visitors are greeted daily by a strong sweet smell of Vinny's red sauce, a haze of smoke from the grill and the bustle of voices from a packed eatery at 182 N. Main St. The mainstay for locals including police officers and students changes ownership on Tuesday.

"Everything's good here,'' said Joe Tassone, a proud lifelong customer.

Fritz Falanka, retired village clerk, said, "It's the end of an era here. It's a working man's lunch. He gives you a good meal for a reasonable price. Port Chester will miss him."

Vinny's may be best known for its Sunday dinner and fried shrimp, but most customers interviewed recently said they'll miss the friendly, cozy atmosphere and regular clientele.

"I love walking in and getting a hug. There's nothing better than that," said Gene Martine of New Canaan, Conn.

Before becoming Vinny's, the Main Street diner was called Rossi's Luncheonette after former owner Nick Rossi.

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