Irini at the M&A Diner, the predecessor to the Newport Pancake House, when she first came to America from Greece.
Once Upon a Time...
It all started many years and a few generations ago. In a small village on the island of Chios in Greece, a hard working farmer named Harry Paxos decided to come to America after the passing of his young wife, Maria.
On December 12, 1966, he moved to New Jersey with his children, Chris, Irene and Staci. The men worked as dishwashers and his daughter, Irene, worked as a seamstress in a factory. Working day and night, the family saved every penny and eventually bought the M&A Diner in the early 70’s together. Downtown Jersey City was thriving industrially and ideal for a nice family-run diner. During the summer of 1973, Irene went back home to Greece for vacation. While there, she met Peter, who became her husband just days later. Newleyweds, they embarked back to America together. They worked alongside each other at the M&A Diner. Harry and his son, Chris, decided to expand and begin a new diner elsewhere and so, Irene and Peter bought the M&A diner for themselves. They renamed it the Newport Pancake House and began the next chapter of their lives which would be over 25 years of marriage.
Pete at the Newport Pancake House
The Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory is the culmination of the family’s thriving love for the food business and vision for an endearing atmosphere so hard to duplicate. The secret has been simple, the family. Every meal is prepared by the watchful eye of the patriarch, Peter. There was no privilege quite like hearing the genuine laughter and enthusiasm of the matriarch, Irene. At one point, all have been quite intrigued by the chock-full of knowledge by the eldest Bobby. Every guest is sincerely welcomed by the ever-smiling Maria. And no customer has been playfully abused by anyone quite like the “baby,” Zoe. The dream started over 30 years ago when Peter and Irene bought the tiny subway car diner. It was certainly a labor of love for the establishment lacking in character. Nevertheless, with the growth of the diner’s hometown of Jersey City, so did the dream.
Bobby and Maria's first job - working at the M&A Diner
Over the years, customers have seen the family grow up, close on Sundays only if one of the kids was graduating and marvel at how Peter could serve up weekend morning breakfast single-handed. Regardless of whether during finals in grad school, late weekend nights or overdue vacations, each child still put in their time as a waiter, cook or cashier. Neither blizzards nor sick days kept Peter or Irene away. Dedication is not necessitated merely for the sake of running the family business, it is the very underpinning of the dream only possible with the multi-facets offered by each of the family. The day the good-ole Newport Pancake House closed its doors for the creation of the Brownstone, the vision became solidified.
The Brownstone is not just about food. Not just a restaurant. It is the synergy of relationships with customers, good food and honesty. The Brownstone is the harmony between patrons and the town they live in with a relentless pursuit for superior satisfaction. The Brownstone redefines the diner experience of the past. The Brownstone has the innumerable options and plentiful selection of a diner, but without the stainless steel and unexciting diner fare. Hopefully, your experience at the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory speaks for itself…. It is the family’s privilege that you are here.. We hope you enjoy your time at the Brownstone.