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The Gem Diner | The Preserve

There is nothing that is as much a part of that idea of “home” to Syracusans as The Gem Diner.

The “Little” Gem has a long history in the Syracuse area, having first opened its doors in 1950. Purchased in 2011 by Montreal Construction, it became the treasure of the LaLone Family, Doug and wife Tammy who re-opened the spot in traditional style but with expanded seating, and they were soon joined in the business by son Anthony, who runs the popular eating spot today.

When I asked Anthony LaLone what he wanted to share about the west side diner, he didn’t hesitate: “First, how much we appreciate our customers, who have been so supportive, and have continued to visit us during this time. And that our thoughts and prayers are with all of them, and with the entire Syracuse community – patrons, friends, and all the other restaurants and businesses in our city.”

About a year ago, we profiled The Gem, and everyone in the business was looking forward to a traditional season, in which The Gem always plays such a big role for Syracusans and family coming home for holidays. For locals, for the residents of the west side, and for family and friends returning home for a visit, The Gem is always a popular destination for great food and fun. This year is no different, in spite of what a unusual one it’s been. The Gem is, as always, your go-to for great food. When what you want is quick, hearty and delicious food served up starting early in the morning, the all-American diner has become a tradition across the northeast, and The Gem is its ideal incarnation.

With a large menu, serving breakfast, lunch, and even an early or take-out dinner – often at the same time – customers can ponder the menu and then pick exactly what each one is looking for, from a great cup of coffee to its specialty fretattas. All the food is home-made, and much of it is the “comfort food” we expect from a family diner, including daily specials, those big, big breakfasts we all sometimes crave, to a wide range of soups, sandwiches, salads, half-pound burgers, and all the sides you might want.

About a year ago, LaLone and partner Len Montreal opened The Preserve, a tavern and grille that serves an upscale menu of pub-meets-fine-dining selections, along with specialty and seasonal cocktails, wines, and a range of draft and bottled beers. The Preserve at 405 has become a popular Inner Harbor destination for down-towners and out-of-towners alike, and is also open for both takeout and limited indoor dining.

Both restaurants are careful to follow best practices to maintain the health of staff and patrons, while making your visit relaxed and delicious. And when you visit, you’ll likely see people working at the diner who have been there for years, or run into another customer who’s a regular. The ties The Gem has to Syracuse, and the west end, are long and deep.

And the LaLone family is justifiably proud of its long involvement with the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY, and particularly The Syracuse Challenger Baseball league, the oldest and largest baseball league in the world for special needs adults and children.

One thing is certain, as Doug LaLone told us last year: “This is a season of thanks,” said LaLone. “And we have a lot to be thankful for – good food, good customers, great staff.” And from the residents of Syracuse, near and far, a big “thank you!” to The Gem, for all you do!

The Gem Diner

OPEN: Tuesday-Sunday: 6am-3pm, Friday 6am-8pm

Welcome To The Gem Diner Syracuse

Located on the west side of Syracuse, just five minutes down the road from Destiny USA.

832 Spencer St., Syracuse, NY 13204 • (315) 314-7380

The Preserve at 405

OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday: Noon-8pm

The Preserve At 405

405 Spencer St., Syracuse, NY 13204 • (315) 214-4399

Nancy Roberts
Writer, voice over artist, information achitect, very curious person.