New Diner to Open on Utica St

A new traditional-style American diner is coming to the village of Hamilton at 107 Utica St. and will be opening near the end of October. The diner will serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week, according to owner Aaron Toomath.

Toomath has been in the restaurant industry since he was a child, helping his parents when they opened Ye Olde Pizza Pub in 1971, and took ownership of the establishment in 2005 after purchasing the business from his parents when they entered retirement. He explains the meaning and history behind the name of the new diner, The Copper Cricket Diner.

“My mother back in the early seventies came up with the name and the logo which was used in the bar downtown which is now The Hour Glass, which everyone knows is a well-respected landmark,” Toomath said. “So, it is to pay homage to my mom.”

In regards to the operations of the diner, breakfast and lunch will be served during the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with plans for dinner service being considered for the near future. Current breakfast menu items include Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast, a variety of omelets, crepes and more. The lunch menu will feature burgers, wraps, deli sandwiches, pasta dishes, salads and more, according to Toomath.

The restaurant will also feature daily specials, most of which are comfort foods from Toomath’s mother’s own cookbook. Toomath also stated that the menu will feature desserts in addition to vegan and gluten free options.

“We’ll have a beer and wine license there as well so you can enjoy a fresh mimosa or cool down with a wine slushie, or pair a nice burger with a refreshing beer,” said Toomath.

Fojo Beans owner Dan Foust shared his view on the impact of a new restaurant location in Hamilton given the increased population during academic semesters.

“We think it’s very exciting. It’s a wonderful village and we think that anyone that wants to come in and open up a new place should absolutely pick Hamilton,” Foust said. “I think it would benefit [the community] tremendously, we are slammed on busy weekends, and it’s really helpful to know there is another place students and their families can go on [those] weekends.”

Sophomore Georgette Manos gave her thoughts on the opening of a new diner from both a student and restaurant worker perspective.

“I think it’s going to be really good for the students and the community. As someone who comes from a restaurant background, restaurants tend to be community builders, and we’ve lost lost a few restaurants over the past few years in Hamilton so I think this will give students another place to eat, socialize and connect with the community,” Manos said.

The Copper Cricket’s location is currently under construction for additions including storage, cooler space and larger sidewalks in addition to an outside patio dining area. They hope to open soon, according to Toomath. 

“I’m hoping for the end of October,” Toomath said. “We’ve already encountered delay setbacks, I was hoping to open sooner but supply chain issues has delayed everything.”

Toomath stated the benefits of having The Copper Cricket as an additional dining location in Hamilton.

“It’s important to have a place to gather for people to enjoy each other’s company,” Toomath said. “I enjoy creating jobs for people in the community […] It is definitely neat for Hamilton as a diverse area for food, and the diner I think with parking and everything else would be a great addition.”