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Call him what you will…
Java John is no longer whipping up lattes and cappuccinos for his cherished Quinnipiac students. Johnny Cash, however, now mans a register from opening until 2:30 every weekday. They are, in fact, one and the same: QU’s beloved John Raccio.
“The coffee area was always jamming,” Raccio said. “Most of my regulars didn’t believe it was gone. It’s Sub Generation now, baby.”
Raccio started working at Quinnipiac in January of 1995.
“I’ve been mentioned in graduation speeches, had articles about me, QAQ ads, dunk tanks, pies thrown in my face, everything,” he said.
Sitting down in an old WQAQ “Best DJ” T-shirt, Raccio told The Chronicle that he used to be very involved with WQAQ before it was taken off the air temporarily four years ago. He is still involved in music through his 30-year association to rocker Todd Rundgren.
Raccio said that his renowned cheeriness comes from his ability to always stress the positive.
“I have a responsibility to the customers. Even when I got pretty down and had family problems, I tried to just leave it at home,” he said. “I just try to have a one-on-one relationship with folks all the time.
Junior Ryan McAssey said that one-on-one relationship is always apparent.
“Apparently Java John is familiar with the area I live in, he always comments on how I’m from the smallest state, and knows a wiener joint near my house,” he said.
McAssey said that he had a friend pay for him in Raccio’s line because he lost his Q-Card the night before at a party. Raccio’s reply was, “that’s cause that’s how this dude rolls.”
Raccio is known throughout campus for this kind of humor. He often jokes that junior tennis player Brian Mikkelson is “foot faulting” in line.
“‘You’re my favorite customer,’ that used to be my mantra,” Raccio said. “I’d say it to every customer.”
Raccio said that it’s tough to pick a most memorable moment from his many at Quinnipiac, but he’s “seen some pretty crazy Halloween costumes.”
“I just like the interaction,” he said. “In all the time I’ve been here I’ve very rarely had any problems.”
Before working at Quinnipiac, Raccio was involved in his family’s cloth diaper business. Once that hit tough times, he applied for a job at Quinnipiac and has been here ever since. Even though he’s been Java John since beginning at the coffee station in 1996, he’s OK with a new job at the registers.
“As long as me and the students still interact it doesn’t matter,” he said.
Asked about his future plans, John said, “I don’t know, maybe buy some lottery tickets and sit next to a girl at happy hour.”