Markham Station has been a fixture of the Malvern neighbourhood for over 35 years.
Founded by Jim Psihopedas and Perry Panagakos, the duo has owned and operated the restaurant since its grand opening in 1988.
Both partners have strong ties to the restaurant industry. Jim’s uncle and father were both in the business, and Perry's family was also involved in food service. It was these connections, Jim tells me, that helped them get Markham Station off the ground.
Jim oversees the day to day operations at the Scarborough location, while Perry spends his time managing the newer Richmond Hill location.
Both restaurants resemble retro diners, with a few twenty-first century touches. Wooden tables and cozy booths dominate the dining area, while a bar sits tucked away near the steel and glass takeout counter.
The restaurant's current look is the product of a 2016 renovation. Markham Station had previously been decorated with trains, a motif which is still reflected in its name and menu.
A hand-painted mural, depicting a brightly coloured steam engine, is one of the few railway-related elements that remains.
Though the restaurant's atmosphere is homey and relaxing, the staff work round the clock to ensure that diners leave feeling satisfied, no matter when they arrive.
Markham Station is open 24 hours a day and plays host to a variety of different customers: shift workers and contractors show up early to grab a bite before work, while locals and families come in for leisurely lunches and dinners.
After dark, club goers and night owls take advantage of the all-day breakfast menu.
"We get all kinds of people around here," Jim explains. "There's always something going on."
Jim's Greek heritage has had a strong influence on the menu. In addition to diner staples, such as pancakes, french toast and eggs benedict, traditional Mediterranean dishes like spanakopita and souvlaki are available for purchase.
One of the most popular items is the Early Train Special ($8.99), which is available daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 am. Served with toast, three eggs any way you like them and your choice of meat and potatoes, this dish is highly customizable and a great way to start a busy day.
The Station Club ($16.99) is a classic sandwich, layered with oven-roasted turkey breast, fresh bacon and slices of lettuce and tomato. It comes with a side of mayo, which makes the perfect addition to the sandwich or a tasty dip for your fries.
The Chicken Souvlaki ($20.99) rests atop a bed of seasoned rice, with roasted potatoes and tzatziki on the side. A basket of garlic bread and a crisp Greek salad help to complete this hearty meal.
For those looking for a lighter alternative, the Greek salad ($14.99) can also be ordered as a main. Topped with feta cheese, black olives and house dressing, this refreshing salad is an excellent option on a hot summer day.
Coffee, tea and fountain drinks ($3.29) are all bottomless.
Milkshakes ($4.79) are available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. All three flavours are garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. They're also made with real ice cream, which gives them a smooth texture and a rich, creamy taste.
"The secret," Jim says, "is to stick to your roots." He elaborates that, for him and Perry, that means two things: following the example of those that came before them and sticking to a winning formula.
Markham Station is located at 5117 Sheppard Ave E. Open 7 days a week.