November 19 – Happy Birthday John Colangelo Sr.

 

JohnnyS2He was the well known “Johnny” referenced in the name of one of Amsterdam New York’s all-time most popular diners, Johnny’s Seafood. Born in Monteleone, Italy on November 19, 1911, John Colangelo came to America in 1926 and began working on the railroad with his father in Little Falls, NY as a fifteen-year-old. He moved eastward to Amsterdam, marrying his lovely Rita in 1937 and switching careers from the rails to food. He cut his culinary teeth working for Carmel’s Diner and gained his knowledge of seafood working for Quandt’s. The first Johnny’s Seafood was a fish market Colangelo opened across the street from Carmel’s at 207 East Main Street in 1935. As the accompanying ad shows, he sold an assortment of sea and river creatures. He expanded the business-model to a full deli and restaurant when he moved it a few blocks west, to its better-known 147 East Main Street address across from St. Mary’s Church. He served thousands of …

You can read more about Mr. Colangelo in the new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.”

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