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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Restaurant Notes: New owner, cook slowly changing things at Olde Towne Diner

<p>By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel</p><p>Olde Towne Diner head cook Nicole Gable and new diner owner Brian Kieffer serve many of the same longtime menu items but aren't afraid to try new things, like this cake topped with fresh strawberries. </p>

By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel

Olde Towne Diner head cook Nicole Gable and new diner owner Brian Kieffer serve many of the same longtime menu items but aren't afraid to try new things, like this cake topped with fresh strawberries. 

<p>By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel</p><p>New ownership at Olde Towne Diner in Leo-Cedarville doesn't mean a completely new menu. Some of the favored items, including the homemade pies, remain, but with additions. </p>

By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel

New ownership at Olde Towne Diner in Leo-Cedarville doesn't mean a completely new menu. Some of the favored items, including the homemade pies, remain, but with additions. 

<p>By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel</p><p>Olde Towne Diner head cook Nicole Gable and new diner owner Brian Kieffer share their creative sides through food items they're introducing – while keeping many of the dishes favored by longtime customers.</p>

By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel

Olde Towne Diner head cook Nicole Gable and new diner owner Brian Kieffer share their creative sides through food items they're introducing – while keeping many of the dishes favored by longtime customers.

More Information

Olde Towne Diner

WHERE: 14515 Leo Road, Leo-Cedarville

HOURS: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday

CALL: 627-2395

 

Inside

See more restaurant news in Features each Tuesday. 

Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 461-8244 or send email to notes@news-sentinel.com or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 12:02 am

Brian Kieffer knows not to fix something that isn't broken.That's why Olde Towne Diner in Leo-Cedarville has the same unique tables and photos of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, and most of the same menu, despite Kieffer having assumed ownership two months ago.

Kieffer, 31, was familiar with the diner from when his brother worked there. The Dwenger graduate has always worked in restaurants and owns three Fort Wayne Bon Bon's Coffee Company sites. So when the diner owners talked to Kieffer about buying the business he decided to do it.

Since then, he has slowly added items with the help of head cook, Nicole Gable, who started working there around the time he took over. 

"What they did before, they were successful," Kieffer said. 

He wants to build on the 1950s diner theme while appealing to younger families and work professionals. 

"You want dessert after a game?" Kieffer said. "I want to be that place. You have a birthday? I want to be that place you go to."

Gable, who went through Fort Wayne Community Schools' and Ivy Tech Northeast's culinary programs, has added her mark on the menu. She makes the pies and cakes from scratch. One was what Kieffer called her Willy Wonka cake: a white cake with cherries covered in four different colors of icing. "It looked like a watercolor almost," said Gable, who turns 21 next week.

Guests still ask about the breakfast burger – a 5-ounce patty with ham and bacon topped with a fried egg – once offered. The diner doesn't serve breakfast yet. That's something Kieffer hopes to add this summer.

"We're doing the best we can to fit into the community," Kieffer said. So, the staff is really interested in the feedback they get from guests as the diner serves new items. Some aren't as successful, such as the Reuben bites, which Kieffer blames on introducing them on a busy Friday with not time to explain them to diners.  

So they continue to try new things while keeping many of the items that guests have come to love, including the fish dinners. Specialty coffee seems a natural future step, given Kieffer's interest in his other businesses. "I want to integrate that, but I don't want to lose the focus." 

Kieffer and Gable seem to have a synergy that fosters creativity. While eating a Girl Scout caramel delite cookie made of chocolate and toasted coconut he wondered if Gable could create a cake like that.

"You challenged me," she tells Kieffer.

She met the challenge immediately.

He knows some customers may be skeptical of new ownership. He hopes to draw them in with some of the same fare as before, alongside new offerings. They'll serve a strawberry cheesecake, but have a plain one, too.

"What you've come to like is here," he wants to assure them.

 

 

 

 

 

More Information

Olde Towne Diner

WHERE: 14515 Leo Road, Leo-Cedarville

HOURS: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday

CALL: 627-2395

 

Inside

See more restaurant news in Features each Tuesday. 

Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 461-8244 or send email to notes@news-sentinel.com or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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