Happy Days Diner
MILLBROOK — Happy Days Diner has been a staple in the Millbrook community for more than 20 years. When visiting the diner it is impossible not to notice the huge collection of eclectic vintage antiques such as Coca Cola vending machines and a bright neon sign with the words “Cruisin’ 55.” The diner instantly transports customers to another era, making them feel as though they are back in the 1950s. Although the theme remains the same, there have been some changes to the Millbrook mainstay. Back in May, Happy Days Diner ownership was taken over by Ala Uddin and Zahirul Chowdhury. It wasn’t until Aug. 1, however, that Happy Days Diner had its grand opening, after the new owners made some changes. “We were looking for a business so when we came here we saw this place and we thought it was nice,” said Uddin. “We liked the place and we saw that it might be a good opportunity for us. The other owner was trying to get out from here so we agreed to take over.”Uddin and Chowdhury have backgrounds in the diner business. Uddin lived and worked in New York City before moving his family to Poughkeepsie upon taking ownership of Happy Days. He worked in diners in both New York City and New Jersey. Chowdhury also has many years in the restaurant business through his family’s diners. The new owners said they wanted to keep the classic Happy Days Diner theme. They are making some upgrades to the diner in some areas.“We changed the furniture,” said Uddin. “We cleaned it up, we changed the menu, we added a lot of new stuff. Now we have wraps, paninis and more salads. We mostly have typical diner food with diner prices. We wanted to keep the theme, so we kept the same name but just wanted to add some new things to the place.”Uddin said the regular customers who have been coming to the diner for years still come just as much and said they enjoy the changes. The owners are hoping to get their wine and beer licenses in the future as another new addition to the diner. “Business is much better than before, I can say,” said Uddin. “We are very pleased. It’s a happy change and the customers are helping us by giving us their ideas. They want to keep the antique things and we wanted to keep them because the people really like them.”Happy Days Diner is in the Washington Hollow Plaza, off Route 44 in Millbrook. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The diner may be reached at 845- 677-6244.