It's a story that begins very modestly in Oneonta, NY. A single mom of five, Sandra Shafer (aka Sandy) of Maryland, NY opened up a diner in the Price Chopper Plaza on December 13 of 2014 (12-13-14) after waiting tables for several years. Needless to say, after working very hard to make the diner a success with some health issues popping up, she decided to sell that diner to her son.

A few years ago, the former Sabatini's Italian restaurant building on Oneonta's Southside became available and they decided to move the family business to that location where it's been ever since. You may know it as the "Southside Diner & Grill".

We all know what happened next: COVID hit and the real struggle to stay in business began. After a very tough year and a half, Sandy decided to "bring Sandy back" and made a deal with the owner of the Farmhouse Restaurant on Rt. 7 in the east end of Oneonta to reopen the closed restaurant as "Sandy & Angie's Farmhouse Diner". Angie is her daughter, Angela Lombardo who is partnering with her. The Farmhouse closed its doors after the pandemic began and has remained closed with a "For Sale" sign up. It was always very hard for me to drive by that closed-up restaurant which was such a wonderful part of the community for so many years, at least until now.

Credit: Sandy Angies Farmhouse Diner, Facebook
Credit: Sandy Angie's Farmhouse Diner, Facebook

Many of us who enjoyed dining at the Farmhouse for years are excited to hear about its reopening but here's something you should know. If you're expecting the old Farmhouse menu and fine dining experience, you will be getting a very different dining experience. Sandy says that the old Farmhouse will get a complete facelift that will include bringing back not only Sandy but "a landmark of Oneonta" while offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner with homemade meals and comfort food. I'm ready for that, how about you?

Sandy says, "The most important thing for us here is for people to feel like family in our 'farmhouse' home and to feel welcomed and loved."

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to a family-like atmosphere, which is comfortable and just feels homey and good, especially during these trying times. We welcome Sandy and her family restaurant to the iconic farmhouse in Oneonta. Here's to a speedy transition! Sandy says that the target opening date is September 4. You can follow their progress on their Facebook page, Sandy & Angie’s Farmhouse Diner.

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