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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.