The infamous Cafe Q cashier, most commonly known for his one liner, “Tap it,” John Raccio, is back behind the register as of Monday, Jan. 23, just in time to welcome students back for the spring semester.
Raccio began working at Quinnipiac in January of 1995. He said at the beginning of his career at QU, he ran a coffee bar located in the dining hall for many years. That is where he was coined the nickname, “Java John.”
After his sudden and unexpected disappearance last year, students expressed their concern and surprise.
“I got really sad actually,” sophomore Stefanie Giambrone said. “I had heard that he left, but I didn’t think it was true but as long as he’s back now and good is all that matters. He’s always so positive, caring, and genuine. Like a big ball of sunshine.”
Raccio confirmed he never left the university, he took a leave of absence. He said he was not feeling very well, a combination of not getting enough help at work and personal changes to his life.
“I miss the students tremendously,” Raccio said, “They are the only reason, aside from my need for health insurance, that I remain at the university.”
Giambrone says that Raccio is one of the staples at QU, without him, it wouldn’t be the same.
Sophomore computer science major, Rob Kmetz agrees, and he is looking forward to tapping his card at Raccio’s register.
“It was honestly upsetting when he was gone,” Kmetz said. “He is basically a human landmark of Quinnipiac, so it wasn’t the same without him. I’m happy he’s back and feeling better. As silly as it sounds, he really can make your day just through his positive words, and I’m glad he can continue spreading his good vibes.”
Raccio has spent the last couple of months getting in shape to be able to return to work. He said he likes to walk the Linear Trail near Sherman Avenue and has even seen some students on his walks.
“I am grateful to the student body at QU for accepting me for who I am,” Raccio said. “The only thing the management has recognized me for in 22 years is my perfect attendance. I miss the student body more than you can imagine. I hope we can start up again where we left off!”
Raccio has been dedicated to his customers since his first day on the job.
“My customers and I have always had an honest and natural rapport,” he said. “They know I have their best interest in mind.”