THOUGH Suzanne Vega didn’t write the song “Tom’s Diner” about this establishment (782 Washingon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 718-636-9738), the late Tom Vlahovas, who opened this storefront eatery back in 1936, honored her by hanging her autographed picture in a prominent spot. Tom may be gone—he died in 2014—but the diner is still in the family, run by his son Gus, who started toiling in his father’s business at age 9. Gus has made such impact in the neighborhood after working continuously for 60 hard years that the locals have dubbed the nearest street corner to the diner Gus Vlahavas Place.
Naturally, that could also be because of Gus’ generosity in handing out free coffee and cookies if there is a wait. Gus opens up his place at 7 am Monday to Saturday and 8 am on Sunday, but closes at 4 pm sharp every day of the week.