New Poughkeepsie Diner in Poughkeepsie, New York
"POK Diner," the sign outside reads. Inside, the tiled walls and laminate countertops sparkle like a 1950s toothpaste commercial.
"What does POK mean?" I ask the owner.
"Poughkeepsie!" he snaps in a thick Greek accent. The waitress tells me his name is Nico, and that he bought the Poughkeepsie Diner (now known as the "New" Poughkeepsie Diner) almost 30 years ago.
Together, Nico Koroxenos and Ritu Bedi transformed the old-fashioned establishment into a community gem that caters to a motley crew of daily regulars, fostering the banter between customers that is so rarely found in modern restaurants. You won’t get away with much here; you’d better know what you’re talking about, because sitting in the booth next to you could be the city judge.
The style and attitude of 20th century American diner culture is alive and well in Poughkeepsie. Or POK, if you will.