Stores With Stories: Swan Street Diner

By Nancy J. Parisi

Published on | Last Updated

Distinctive in all of its 1930’s diner car finery, Swan Street Diner is an excellent place for classic breakfast and lunch fare within its fully-restored, barrel-vaulted space trimmed out with mahogany, lots of windows, and a classic counter with stools. Located in Larkinville, the diner is sited in a burgeoning residential-commercial neighborhood known for fun, public events at nearby Larkin Square.

At the wheel of Swan Street Diner is Amanda Amico, general manager and cook. Amanda says “I run kitchens and cook all day. I got my start twenty years ago at Amy’s Place on Main Street, then I owned the Amy’s Place food truck, a separate business that started in 2012 and may rise again (it’s on hiatus, and parked behind Swan Street Diner), but I’m very busy ­– I’m a short-order cook here and at home for my kids.

“I’m married to my wife and we have twin babies and a toddler, who’s a spitfire: we held our wedding across the street at Larkin Square. I love being a mom. This year my wife and I made a Pride weekend at home: we put up our flag, and my wife decorated with rainbow streamers, and she made a rainbow charcuterie board. We all wore Pride t-shirts.”

Amanda emphasizes that the diner hires staff of all orientations. “For sure we are 100 percent inclusive. I came out when I was 19 and Amy’s Place was my safe place, where I could be me. I want staff to feel safe here, and we do develop trust here. Working here has been an awesome opportunity, and I have room to be creative in this kitchen: we make good food, and we make people happy. This place is slammin’!”

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Swan Street Diner, 700 Swan Street, Buffalo | Instagram

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Nancy J. Parisi

Nancy is a social documentation photographer based in Buffalo, NY.