Bridge Street Diner named Montgomery County Small Business of the Month

The Bridge Street Diner in St. Johnsville was named Montgomery County Small Business of the Month. (Photo submitted)

ST. JOHNSVILLE — A local restaurant opened for just five days before the state-imposed shutdown in March is being recognized by Montgomery County for their contributions to the community and their quick transformation to grow accustomed to what it means to operate a business during the pandemic.

To recognize the new eatery, Montgomery County named the Bridge Street Diner, which has become a staple of the St. Johnsville community, as its Small Business of the Month for August.

“These trying times have left many restaurants struggling, especially as they adjust the new state regulations which limit their customers’ in-person dining experience. Despite not even being one week into existence when the state imposed its shutdown, The Bridge Street Diner has quickly adapted and assumed its role as St. Johnsville’s kitchen table, said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort.

“Christine and Greg have seamlessly weaved themselves into the community, wowing customers with hearty, delicious food and A-plus customer service. Even more, they are finding ways to step in and help their friends and neighbors with special events like their recent ‘Fireman’s Fair Food’ fundraiser,” Ossenfort said. “I’m proud to recognize The Bridge Street Diner as the August Small Business of the Month and I look forward to getting out there soon for a good meal.”

The diner was only opened five days before the state-imposed shutdown. According to the release, Greg Bentley and Christine Bentley have quickly earned enthusiastic reviews from customers who are enjoying great service, delicious food and a welcoming environment. The Bridge Street Diner is longtime cook and baker Christine Bentley’s first venture running a restaurant full time.

“For many, going out to dinner is a treat. We’re extremely blessed that people have decided to invest in us and make the diner part of their routine,” Bentley said. “ The people in our community are just such great people, the kind who would invite you to their own table to share a meal. We’re pleased to be a community space where customers can gather with their loved-ones to share a good meal.”

The Bridge Street Diner, located at 10 Bridge St., is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., except Tuesdays.

“The pandemic has been especially hard on our local restaurants. Restrictions on in-person dining have forced businesses to balance staffing needs with other operating costs,” said Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Ken Rose. “Unfortunately, for places like The Bridge Street Diner, there couldn’t be a more challenging time to try and start a new business. It’s great to see that Christine and Greg are really finding success.”

Anyone wishing to nominate a small business for recognition for September should contact the Montgomery County Business Development Center at 518-853-8334 or email [email protected] with two to three paragraphs about the business and how it’s making an impact on the county’s communities. Nominations can also be submitted by sharing a post and tagging the business on the Business Development Center’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

By Paul Wager