Exit 10 off of I-84 has been synonymous with the Blue Colony Diner for travelers and locals alike since Eftihios “Eddy” Marnelakis first opened the doors in March 1973. Following his passing in late 2016, his son, George Marnelakis, and his family, wife Michelle, sons Eftihios and Mihali, and daughter Xristina, continue to carry on the tradition of greeting new and old friends, and are serving up a warm welcome and comfort food with a Greek flair.
The Blue Colony seats 210 diners at booths and tables in two dining rooms split by a front counter loaded with pastries and baked goods, all made on premises. Packaged cookies, bars, and cupcakes are ready to go, as are any of several pies, the popular challah bread, and the creamy cheesecake for which Blue Colony is known. Regulars linger over a cup of coffee and breakfast — day or night — at the counter, watching the staff bustle in and out of the large kitchen just beyond.
All of this is housed inside a classic Art Deco diner, updated in 2003 from its original stone facade to the gleaming chrome and blue exterior that passersby find hard to miss. An extensive parking area surrounds the diner, well lit at night, and always alive with music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s spilling out of loudspeakers placed over the doors.
The Blue Colony Diner is a destination for highway travelers passing through the western part of Connecticut. Probably half of the customers are from out of town, said George, “But many we’ve seen pass through for years. We even know them by name,” he said. Locals make up the other half, with the Blue Colony being a draw for high school students and school teams to meet after workouts and games.
“You see them in here with the teams, then the next thing you know, they’ve grown up and married, and are bringing their kids in,” he said. “A diner is a local gathering place, and we’re open 24 hours a day.” The entire extensive menu is available 24/7 — dinner in the morning, or breakfast at night.
To be a real diner means to make nearly everything from scratch, he added, something the Blue Colony is proud to say it does. Vegetables and fruits are fresh, all of the meats used are roasted or grilled in the kitchen, and the challah bread and Italian loaf come out of the Blue Colony ovens, as do the dozens of desserts and baked good items.
“A diner has to have that social, warm feeling,” said George and that is the goal the Marnelakis family strives to provide every customer.
A Sample From The Menu:
Breakfast: Choose from more than two dozen egg dishes, any style. Eggs with blintzes (a thin, filled crepe) or gyro (lamb and beef strips), or liver are among the special options. French toast made from Blue Colony’s challah bread is a big seller. Pancakes come with a variety of additions, or try the rolled pancake with blueberries or strawberries. Belgian waffles at Blue Colony are a malted, crispy treat. Add bacon, ham, sausage, eggs, or fruit. Six variations on the egg sandwich are available. Jumbo bagels are delivered daily from Brooklyn. The “Bagel All The Way” is smeared with cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, and topped with cole slaw.
Lunch: Three pages of more than 30 cold sandwiches, plus wraps, panini, triple-deckers, hot open sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches mean there is something for everyone. A best seller is the open chicken souvlaki, with chunks of grilled chicken breast on pita with a tzatziki (cucumber yogurt) sauce. The Monte Cristo sandwich is also a favorite: ham, Swiss cheese, and turkey on French toast. Sandwiches usually come with french fries and coleslaw. All soups are made in the Blue Colony kitchen.
Burgers: Burgers are one-third-pound all beef, with a variety of options; turkey burger and vegetarian burger are available, as well. The Country Burger is topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, and fried onion rings.
Salads: More than one dozen salads, including the mesclun mix, combining greens, grilled chicken, avocado, Mandarin oranges, and gorgonzola cheese.
Entrees: Dinner specials such as beef stroganoff with noodles or broiled fresh red salmon, change daily; Greek spanakopita, a spinach and feta pie; skewered meat or fish and vegetable shish kebob; London broil with mushroom sauce; seafood stuffed jumbo shrimp; and Italian specialties are among dozens of dinner options.
Kids Menu: From a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich to sliced turkey with cranberry sauce, potato, and vegetable.
Beer, Wine, Full Bar: Yes
Price Range: $2 to $20
The Blue Colony Diner is at 66 Church Hill Road at Exit 10, off of I-84, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days of the week. Call 203-426-0745 or visit bluecolonydiner.com for more information and a complete menu.