New Owners Hope To Revive Airport Diner

Route 38 eatery truly a family operation.

Chris Denopoulos is the first to admit that he's not an experienced restauranteur. So he connected with a partner who is, and together, they are looking to breathe __

Denopoulos and Matt Carson bought the Route 38 eatery in early October. They haven't made any radical changes to the restaurant, nor do they plan any. Rather, according to Denopoulos, they are looking to steadily build a customer base by focusing on providing friendly service, a comfortable, familiar atmosphere and quality food.

"I'm always looking to see if I see faces in here that I've never seen before. That's great," said Denopoulos. "We love our 'regulars' but we're definitely trying to build it up."

Denopoulos is a Dracut native, who now lives in Billerica. He spent much of his working life in manufacturing, though he also spent some time as a mortgage broker just as the industry tanked.

But that setback gave Denopoulos a chance to re-invent himself and pursue the American Dream from a different angle. He said buying a business was a decision a long time in the making.

"My wife and I had talked for years about doing something on our own," said Denopoulos, adding that the availability of the Airport Diner really appealed to them. "We liked the idea of a breakfast place."

But with no background in running a restaurant, Denopoulos turned to longtime acquaintance Matt Carson, a man with "a ton of experience" in the restaurant industry.

As with most small businesses looking to grow, Denopoulos and Carson look to keep overhead costs low. This means wearing many hats. In the case of Denopoulos, it means one day he might be paying bills and keeping the books, while another day he might be in the back washing dishes.

Denopoulos also has plenty of support from his family, with his wife, daughter and even his grandchildren lending a hand at the restaurant.

__ is open Wednesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed Monday and Tuesday.


denise December 15, 2011 at 04:02 PM
Good luck to the new owners!
CM9 December 15, 2011 at 04:10 PM
Our first trip there was so bad, we decided not to go back. The young staff that were working there were so inexperienced. The kitchen was painfully slow and the food was unremarkable. But I think it was the very first owner of the place when we went well over a year ago. Perhaps we will finally give it another try.
Bill Gilman (Editor) December 15, 2011 at 04:24 PM
CM9 ... cant confirm who owned it when you went but i can tell you that these new owners only took over in October. So yes, this is definitely a new crew. Stop by and let them know what you think, I'm sure they will appreciate the feedback.
Cindy December 15, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I've been there twice. First time was May 2011 the morning after my sons wedding. There were 10 adults and two children in our party. They stuffed us into two booths, we were practically sitting on top of each other. Service was terrible, we waited nearly 45 minutes for our food to arrive and when it finally came four of the twelve meals were wrong. Seriously, how do you mess up scrambled eggs with over easy ones? I went again early morning of Black Friday, (after shopping all night we were hungry, only place open!) Only two of us this time and seeing as we were the first people to walk in there we had the whole staff to wait on us! Unfortunately food was rather blah tasting. Both cases I should have saved the money, gone to Market Basket and bought bacon, sausages, and eggs and just made breakfast myself. It would have tasted a heck of alot better!
wendy spinelli December 15, 2011 at 06:41 PM
I recently went to Airport diner with my husband and daughter, the atmosphere was nostalgic, clean and bright and service was good. I got eggs Benedict (my favorite) and it was very good, they enjoyed their meals too. I would go back.
Mary December 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM
I haven't been to the Airport Diner since it took new ownership. Best of luck to its new owners! My husband and I were frequent customers under the former ownership and we felt that the food and the service was just fine when we ate there. Maybe when the place opened initially it had to get into the swing of things. Like any new restaurant it takes time to become a well oiled machine. We will try the new restaurant & owners real soon. The only thing that we can suggest is that they stay open the days they are currently closed, Monday & Tuesday. Most restaurants are not closed in the middle of the week. It could be quite confessing to new patrons. If they drive alll the way there, not expecting it to be closed in the middle of the week, it is quite a dissapointment!
mary December 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM
I have bee twice since the new owners took over. Both times food and service were great. The hash omelet was fantastic! The place sparkles and the decor is fun. We will definitely make it a regular stop.
I love to eat December 16, 2011 at 02:49 PM
I tried going there for breakfast a couple of times but they were closed. I think it was Tuesday. Most restaurants are open 7 days, especially breakfast. The new owners,should be open 7 days. Working 7am-2pm is not going to break you.especially if there is 2 owners. Plus you got the whole day after that to get other things done. Family etc. But you have to work at least a year straight out to make it in this business.
Bill Gilman (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 02:54 PM
I think this is really good feedback for the new owners. they are able to see what people did not like under past ownership and they are hearing what people would like to see now.
woogha December 22, 2011 at 01:45 AM
I walked in for the first time ever in November at 1:00. There were no customers, only one waitress behind the counter. The look of death she gave me and the SMELL of dirty grease were both so bad I left in a hurry. I won't go back, I wouldn't want my hair and clothes to smell that greasy ever!!! I wouldn't want to face that waitress either...


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