Crying as I write this because this is the place of my dreams. And because it’s already been three days since I’ve been and I desperately want -no, need- to go back for more.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve had my eye set on one thing – to own something entirely of my own, with complete creative freedom (okay, I’ll admit I didn’t use the term ‘creative freedom’ when I was 5), a place that people are excited about and want to talk about and can’t get enough of.
Rise N’ Shine Diner, you hit the nail on the head, and that’s what I’m so obsessed with ya.
A quick review:
The colors? On point. The decor? Nailed it. The location? Smart as hell. Going to cry some more once all the college kids catch on and the line is out the door every day.
The FOOD?! Oh don’t even get me started on the food. I can’t tell you how many times during our meal between inhales of hollandaise waffle I uttered the words, “I wish I could just try everything on the menu.” Once? Twice? Maybe 10 times? Yeah, we’ll go with that.
If all that weren’t enough, the new Westcott Location has a full bar. Yeah, you heard me right. Now not only can you celebrate breakfast foods at ALL HOURS OF THE DAY, but you can do so with a cocktail in hand – and funky cocktails at that. Sip a mimosa out of a lightbulb (electricity not included) or try one of their adult juice boxes. Boozy milkshakes and a full menu of other options are also offered. Thanking God this place wasn’t open when I was still in undergrad because my physique would be a lot heftier and wallet much smaller.
What I find also incredible about Rise N’ Shine is that you can tell the employees are genuinely happy to be working here. From someone who eats out a lot, I can wholeheartedly said that waiter/waitress morale makes the dining experience all that much more enjoyable. Nothing is worse than people who hate where they work, and that goes for any industry.
As I mentioned, the new location is open for breakfast and dinner (read: ‘brinner,’) hours, with brinner being exactly what it sounds like. I remember when I was a kid my parents would announce we were having breakfast for dinner and it was as if the gates of heaven had flown open. We were going to be allowed PANCAKES and FRENCH TOAST and WAFFLES for DINNER?! Best day of the year. Rise N’ Shine is taking that one step farther, making brinner the new foodie phenomenon. And it’s happening right here in Syracuse.
Delicious food and ambiance aside, I have a huge amount of respect for Danielle Mercuri, the owner of Rise N’ Shine, and her story. A server at the original Rise N Shine, through an undoubtedly interesting sequence of events, she began to help manage the location, and was left the business by the original owner when he passed. While her background was in fashion design, her story goes to show a creative mindset can be translated just about anywhere, and that is evident with the new, funky menu items she has introduced, as well as the hip aesthetic that you truly have to go see for yourself. The (literally) bright, welcoming atmosphere is a hit now, and sure to be a hit well into the winter months when we all could use a pop of sunshine in our lives. (Read the full article on Syracuse.com, linked above.)
In essence, I’m in love with it all. The colors, the atmosphere, the story, the nudge toward women’s empowerment with the new Rosie the Riveter-inspired rooster logo. This is why I do what I do, why my blog has truthfully transformed into my passion project over the years. Nothing beats the feeling of connecting people with businesses that have great stories and that they otherwise might not know much about. It’s important to me that everyone try new things and enjoy the full experience by being as informed as possible.
The original location on Thompson Road is still open and just as glorious with its authentic, OG feel. I went here back in March to try the Cookie Monster french toast, and trust me, the only disappointment was what I felt in myself for eating gluten and dairy while being highly allergic to both. You can view alllll the glorious R&S menu items by visiting their Instagram account.
What’s your favorite Rise N’ Shine dish? Drop a note in the comments below so I can try it next time I go!