Photo by Nick Trussalo John Lisciandro in front of a wall of memories at Lisciandro’s.
Photo by Nick Trussalo
John Lisciandro in front of a wall of memories at Lisciandro’s.

Article Contributed by
Katrina Fuller

Forest green walls meet light paneled wood in the cozy diner atmosphere. A long counter, reminiscent of a less complex era, gleams in the pale morning light. The grill sizzles and sputters, bringing the hearty smell of home fries through the lobby, enticing the buyers there. The words ‘customer’ and ‘friend’ are interchangeable here, as those gathered enjoy home-style cooking in downtown Jamestown. “Glad to see you’re back open,” a customer says, his love of Lisciandro’s saturating his declaration. John Lisciandro greets each customer with a firm handshake and a warm heart.

Lisciandro’s Breakfast and Lunch has served the Jamestown Community for almost sixty years. “Lisciandro’s started in 1954. This is going to be our 60th anniversary in September,” John says, beaming with pride. John’s parents, Sam and Bea Lisciandro, began the business on the corner of Second and Main Street. “When they built the ramp, we had to move.” The restaurant moved to its current location in 1962, and hasn’t looked back. “I’ve worked 52 years in this place,” John remembers fondly. “My mother and father owned it from 1954 to 1975…I’ve owned it since 1975.” John and his wife Carol work tirelessly to create dishes to please any palette.

The Lisciandro family had a set- back recently, involving both John and his sister, Mary MacCusker. A fire in early January closed both Lisciandro’s and the Pub next door, creating an outpouring of kindness and support from the community. ”It’s too numerous to mention how many people have offered to help,” John says. “Tim Horton’s sent flowers when we opened, Johnny’s lunch sent lunch, and Wegman’s sent us lunch one day. Just wonderful the amount of people who wanted to help.” Lisciandro’s reopened on January 18th, 2014, to the joy of the community. The Pub has yet to reopen, but Lisciandro’s has plans to host their chef on Saint Patrick’s Day, allowing the public to enjoy one of the Pub’s biggest holidays. “We’re thinking of having her do her specials here,” he explains.

John and his wife, Carol, work tirelessly to create dishes to please any taste. “Carol does the cooking, makes the soups and gravies. No canned soup or sauce here!” A different special is featured every day, including Chicken and Biscuits on Mondays, Rigatoni and Meatballs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Hamburger and Fries on Wednesdays, and Fish Dinners on Fridays. “Weekends are mostly breakfast specials,” John mentions. “But, we serve lunch at any time. I’ve actually served Rigs and Meatballs at 7 in the morning…we go out of our way for our customers.”

Lisciandro’s is located at 207 North Main Street in Jamestown, NY. They are open Monday through Friday from 5:30 am to 3 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to 2 pm. For more information, stop in or give them a call at 716-487-8925. “I love to talk to people,” John says with a smile. Stop in, grab a bite and make a friend.

The Jamestown Gazette is proud to recognize our dealers, outstanding corporate citizens of our county. This week, the Gazette especially thanks Lisciandro’s for faithfully carrying The Jamestown Gazette, The People’s Paper, for the benefit and enjoyment of their customers, our readers.