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Harrison Luncheonette Owner Credits Loyal Customers As Key To Success

Theresa Spagnuolo, owner of T & T Luncheonette.
Theresa Spagnuolo, owner of T & T Luncheonette. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
T & T Luncheonette in Harrison.
T & T Luncheonette in Harrison. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Theresa Spagnuolo may live in the Rye Neck area of Mamaroneck but her heart is in Harrison.

That's because, as the longtime owner of T & T Luncheonette, she has grown to know and love her customers. "They are seriously the best people in the world," she said. "They are my family."

Her "regulars" are so close with her, in fact, that when she was hit by a car last summer and spent four months out of work, they came to her mother's house to check on her.

Not only that, as a business owner in town for 23 years (her official anniversary is Saturday), she has also seen many families evolve and change over the years. "I have college-aged kids who started coming here when they were 3-years-old who are like my children," she said.

And, indeed, the narrow, old-time-looking luncheonette, with its 13 counter chairs and four booths, is very much a family affair. Spagnuolo's sister and niece work with her (her sister, in fact, took over when she was recuperating) and in the past, her mom has been there every Friday (she has some health issues now but is there when she can be, said Spagnuolo). She also employs various friends.

Even the menu is a family affair with her sister's chicken salad and her mom's meatballs among the most popular dishes. Spagnuolo also cooks and is known for her omelettes, among other things.

"I do it all," she said. "I cook, I clean, I wait tables, whatever needs doing," she said.

And though she has her everyday customers where she knows every order, she also sees a lot of new folks, which she instantly engages in conversation. "I ask where they're from and how they heard about us," she said.

Often, it's a police officer, yelp or google that helped them find her. She credits the Fusco family, with deep roots in Harrison, for initially welcoming her to town so many years ago and bringing in their friends and family.

Now, she's hoping the mayor will do something to attract more businesses to the area. "When I first opened here, there weren't as many empty stores," she said. "Which is sad because Harrision is a great place."

T & T, which stands for Theresa and Tony, her former fiancé who hasn't been involved in the business for quite some time, is located at 244 Harrison Ave. It is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays; Sunday until 2 p.m.

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