The Collegiate Restaurant, more often referred to, as “The Jet” is a significant landmark for many Alfred locals and students. It was first founded in 1924; 20 years later, John and Angie Ninos bought it in 1949. Currently the restaurant is owned and operated by their son, John Jr. and his wife Chelly. The original building was severely damaged by smoke and water as a result of a recent fire on 3 N. Main Street. For over 85 years “The Jet” has been familiar place for Alfred residents to relax and enjoy. A place for students to unwind with a 50-cent cup of bottomless coffee. The Ninos family knew they had to act quickly to restore this wonderful atmosphere.
“The inside of the building is going to look almost identical to how The Jet was,” said Ninos. The interior of “The Jet” is unique and exciting. Holding on to collections from Alfred past, Greek paddles from fraternities and sororities line the walls. Many return to find their names engraved on these lasting monuments. The setting is simple and gives you the feel of an old-fashioned diner. A welcome laid-back aura fills the air for all to enjoy.
It has been deiced to reopen the restaurant in a new location providing many improvements to the previous hotspot. Its new home will sit at 31 N. Main Street. Mid-January construction began on the new building. Ninos reported around 20 contractors would be working to complete the job as soon as possible. He is in hopes for a grand re-opening around Hot Dog Day!
Excitement grows as “the location change allows for greater seating capacity and estimates that his new restaurant will be able to serve 125 people. The Jet was only 16 feet wide and the new location will be 34 feet wide. The eatery will also have three entrances, a handicapped ramp with outside heating, a summer outdoor dinning area with a overhead foyer, and a completely state-of-the-art kitchen.”
Head, Justin. “Alfred’s ‘The Jet’ changing locations, getting makeover.” The Evening Tribune January 21, 2010