By Carlee Frank
There are thousands of restaurants serving up classic American food all over the nation, but none are like Cozy Corner, located at 690 East Main Street in Springville.
Originally opened by the Roth family more than 50 years ago, Cozy Corner has a rich history.
“I’ve heard a lot of different stories, as far as it might have been a log cabin at one point. It’s been a service station, and I think the Roths started it as a hot dog stand,” Mark Diblasi, manager and chef at Cozy Corner, said.
Mark’s mother, Nancy Diblasi, had been a waitress for the previous owners of the restaurant, so when their lease ended in 1996, she purchased ownership. The restaurant has been very successful over the last two decades, and in the coming years, Mark will take over for his mother.
The Diblasis have not only expanded the building, adding an additional dining room and warehouse, but Mark has expanded the menu and restaurant services. Cozy Corner has a daily sub special that has become a customer favorite. Meatball subs are served on Saturdays and other subs, such as the classic Philly cheese steak and marinated chicken, are also served throughout the week.
Cozy Corner caters events as well, such as the VFW Veteran’s Day. Mark said this is something his mother tried in the past, but that he is now bringing back. He said he will cater for any event with two to 100 people.
“I always say two people because if somebody wants a nice intimate dinner for an anniversary or something, I can make a nice roasted chicken or pot roast,” Mark said.
He picked up many of these business tactics as the manager of several restaurants in Florida. After learning how to cook in the Cozy Corner kitchen, he moved to the Sunshine State for a couple of years where he learned corporate and small business management.
Cozy Corner has really benefitted from this entrepreneurial direction, and Mark said business has tripled or even quadrupled in the last three to five years. However, Mark said he values his customers more than anything else. Many of the Cozy Corner regulars have been visiting the restaurant for well over 20 years.
“It really is fun— we get a lot of long term relationships with people,” Mark said.
Mark also values quality homemade food. He said he comes from a big Italian family, so nearly everything in the restaurant is made from scratch using family recipes. He comes in on holidays and even at four in the morning to complete needed food prep work.
The biggest crowd pleasers at Cozy Corner are their Friday fish fries. Mark is also particularly proud of their Midwest style pork tenderloin sandwich, which is a large pork tenderloin butterflied and battered on a hard roll.
“My dad grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and that’s a big thing out there. Pretty much all restaurants have them, so we brought it over here,” Mark said.
While their food is of the highest quality, customers may also notice that it comes at very reasonable prices. Mark said he is constantly pricing to ensure quality and affordability. Many distributors urge him to use poorer quality products to save money, but he refuses to serve his customers anything but the best.
“If I don’t like it, I’m not selling it,” Mark said.
This mindset also applies to their summertime ice cream business. They serve hard and soft ice cream, sundaes, splits, shakes and more.
If you’re looking to get out of the house this winter, or any time of year, stop by Cozy Corner for homemade food in a classic American restaurant Monday to Saturday 6 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.