People in Conklin may have done a double take when they walked or drove past the site of a long-awaited restaurant the other day.

For the first time, the sign in the entrance of "The Little Oak Neighborhood Bistro & Bakery" indicated the business was open.

Inside The Little Oak in Conklin on April 28, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Inside The Little Oak in Conklin on April 28, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
loading...

Owner Julianne Ludka had said she planned to start operations on May 1. That's the birthday of her long-time partner Michael Kapogiannatos, who died in 2021. Ludka and Kapgiannatos ran the Red Oak Diner in Binghamton for more than three decades.

Ludka told WNBF News she decided to open The Little Oak without fanfare at 6 a.m. Thursday. She waited a couple of hours before the first customer came through the door after noticing the "open" signs.

Julianne Ludka and Ann Marie Furman in The Little Oak kitchen on April 28, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Julianne Ludka and Ann Marie Furman in The Little Oak kitchen on April 28, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
loading...

Conklin residents and many fans of the old Red Oak have been looking forward to the opening of the new eatery in Conklin for the past several months.

Ludka acquired the property at 1108 Conklin Road a year ago. She and her daughter, Maria Olsen, have been busy getting the place ready.

A diner perusing The Little Oak menu on April 28, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A diner perusing The Little Oak menu on April 28, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
loading...

The new restaurant incorporates some familiar features from the iconic Red Oak. While there are some similarities to the Binghamton diner, Ludka notes there are some differences. For one thing, The Little Oak is smaller, so it will be able to operate with a smaller staff.

The Little Oak will be open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

KEEP LOOKING: See What 50 of America's Most 'Pupular' Dog Breeds Look Like as Puppies

KEEP READING: Here are the best places to retire in America

 

LOOK: The Most Famous Actor Born Every Year

 

 

More From WDOS-WDLA-WCHN CNY News