Ronnie’s Diner is now officially open in the former Happy Days building at 116 S. 5th Street in Lincoln. Hours are everyday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Sundays.
New owners Teri DeWitt and Kara LaRiviere purchased the former Happy Days Diner from Tina Anderson the first part of December and opened Ronnie’s Diner officially on December 19, just in time for the Post Rock Country Christmas holiday celebrations happening in Lincoln.
The following article from the December 9, 2015 issue of the Lincoln Sentinel provides more details about the diner’s opening.
On September 30, Happy Days Diner closed its doors after almost seven years in business when owner Tina Anderson decided to explore other career opportunities. However, the doors of the diner in Lincoln won’t remain closed for much longer.
On Thursday Dec. 3, 2015 new owner Teri DeWitt and her business partner, Kara LaRiviere, both from Beverly, purchased the old diner. The new owners plan to call the new business Ronnie’s Diner. Teri DeWitt says the business is named for her father.
DeWitt said closing on the deal last Thursday leaves the time between closing and purchase by new owners, just over two months. Although there will be a new name, and new ownership, some things will remain the same, including a similar menu.
“We will serve the basics for sure. Hamburgers, French fries, sandwiches, and for sure ice cream,” DeWitt said.
On top of the food having a lot of similarities to what Happy Days offered, DeWitt says Ronnie’s Diner will employ some of the same staff as the previous owner.
“I’ve interviewed 10 applicants for various positions,” DeWitt, who previously worked for Advanced Auto Parts in Salina for nearly two decades, said. “Some are from the Happy Days staff and some are new applicants.”
One thing that will not remain the same is the exterior of the restaurant. When the weather gets warmer, Dewitt plans physical improvements to the restaurant. She plans on fixing up some of the siding on the outside of the building and painting the building.
While DeWitt says she doesn’t have experience running a restaurant of her own, she has plenty of experience in the industry.
Growing up in Minneapolis, Kan., she worked for her parents who ran the Country Club Restaurant. This was her first chance at getting a first-hand look at what it takes. She also got experience in working at the Pizza Hut in town. She says both opportunities gave her valuable time in learning all the ins and outs of the business.