Yellow Diner from Tysons restauranteurs to open in Vienna this March

Updated at 3:35 p.m. on 4/2/2024 — Yellow Diner officially opened in Vienna on Monday, April 1, operating from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. every day except for Tuesdays.

Earlier: An end to the long, winding road to an opening for Vienna’s Yellow Diner is in sight.

The new restaurant is “a hundred percent guaranteed” to open at 501 Maple Avenue West this month, co-owner and operational manager Emanuel Pagonis told FFXnow. A firm date hasn’t been set yet, but the team is targeting the last week of March for a grand opening.

“It’s three years in the making, but it’s a beautiful place, a beautiful restaurant inside,” Pagonis said by phone. “I’m just excited for people to come in and feel happy, honestly. That’s what I’m most looking forward to.”

The concept for Yellow Diner came to Emanuel and his father, Peter Pagonis, who owns the Greek restaurant Nostos in Tysons, during the uncertain days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They wanted to build a “happy community spot” that everyone will feel comfortable visiting at any time of the day, according to Emanuel Pagonis. They also saw a deficit of quality breakfast options in Vienna, particularly following Amphora Restaurant’s closure in 2021.

The Maple Room, a steak and seafood restaurant, opened last year in Amphora’s place, but it offers more of a fine-dining experience, operating only during dinner hours.

“We wanted to make this a new, little beacon of happiness where people can come and enjoy American classics and feel nice and warm when they walk in,” Emanuel said.

The Pagonis family got the Vienna Board of Architectural Review’s approval to replace a defunct SunTrust Bank branch with Yellow Diner in July 2022, but converting a bank originally built in the 1970s into a modern restaurant required an extensive permitting and construction process.

Now that the water, gas lines, electricity and other utilities have been installed, the build-out finally complete, the team is focused on hiring staff and taste-testing their planned recipes. The menu is still being finalized, but it will be completely different from the Greek cuisine at Nostos, Emanuel Pagonis confirmed.

Breakfast and brunch will consist of eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles and other classic American comfort foods, as Tysons Today previously reported. For dinner, which will start at 5 p.m., the restaurant will shift to “American fusion” dishes.

Though it seeks to impart the same feelings of comfort associated with an old-school diner, Yellow Diner will have a different, more modern ambiance than a mid-century establishment like The Virginian, for example, which dates back to 1965.

Among other deviations, it will have a bar with full cocktail and liquor lists, along with fresh juices and lemonade.

Including an outdoor patio, the restaurant can seat 94 people, though it has the capacity to expand in the future, according to Emanuel.

“Until you come inside and see the place, you won’t really know what we’re about,” he said. “Our name is Yellow Diner, but we look a little different than your traditional diner, so we want people to come in and see for themselves.”

Read more on FFXnow…

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