Saturday January 27, 2018

Best Bets For Breakfast: Jocko’s Famous Ritz Diner

Iconic diner a staple in Port City for more than 35 years
By Lou Sorendo

    The Ritz Diner Breakfast Bowl

    (Editor's note: This feature is being presented in correct form because of several production errors that occurred in the recently published College Life edition.)

    For many Oswegonians as well as the SUNY Oswego college community, breakfast at Jocko’s Famous Ritz Diner in Oswego is tradition.

    The diner, located at 359 W. First St., has been an Oswego dining staple for more than 35 years.

    Phil Reitz, son of founder Jocko Reitz, said college students are looking for a hardy, homemade, tasty and filling meal in a social atmosphere.

    “Dining is a formal affair, except in a diner. A diner is a place for socialization and connecting with community,” he said. “I wish we were closer to the college so they could visit us more often throughout the week. College students really embrace the camaraderie associated with diner dining.”

    The diner features plenty of parking lot parking and serves breakfast, lunch and coffee.

    Leading selections for college students include breakfast burritos, breakfast boats and bowls, frittatas, Denver omelets, The Ritz breakfast sandwich and “fiery” home fries.

    The Ritz features farm-fresh eggs with American cheese and choice of baked ham, savory bacon or breakfast sausage on grilled Italian bread.

    Breakfast also features its popular omelets, combos, pancakes, and varieties of French toast, along with a host of breakfast sides.

    Reitz noted his business is competitive based on quality ingredients, taste, a variety of breakfast options, and a menu that is refreshed every three months.

    He said The Ritz has become a tradition for the college community, a legacy his father created.

    “College students have been coming here for years based almost solely off word of mouth from other college students,” Reitz said.

    In terms of the college crowd, Reitz said his staff “truly cares that they enjoy their experience.

    “We don't take their presence for granted. We make menu items specifically that we think college students would like,” he noted.

    Reitz said the diner has served many different items that have circulated throughout the seasonally varied menu that they have popularized to the point of permanently becoming fixtures on the menu.

    “They are always guaranteed to have a great meal and a good time for what we consider reasonable prices, especially considering the cost of doing business today,” he said.

    Reitz said he “would love to hear suggestions from the college crowd on how we could earn their business and get them to visit throughout the week instead of just the weekend.”

    Of course, talking about the dining would not be complete without mentioning its founder, Philip “Jocko” Reitz.

    “Born an entertainer and always a gas, he was an unforgettable, original, accept no substitutions, charismatic, tell it how it is, electrifying kind of guy. He founded this business in earnest to bring people together and entertain them with his unique persona,” Phil says on his website.


    • Phone: 315-342-0947

    • Hours: The diner is open from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

    • Website:

    • Facebook: @JockosRitzDiner


Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 160

Issue 160
February/March 2019

Cover Story


James Weatherup

On The Job

What Are Your Goals for 2019?

Success Stories

Laser Transit Ltd.

My Turn

The Incompetent Boss and the Peter Principle

Economic Trends

Economic Advancement Plan Progress Report

Last Page

Chena Tucker