Danica’s Diner Owner Shooting for July 1 Opening; Continuing Deb’s Style
(Pictured above: Terry Theiss and granddaughter Danica Lander.)
“I didn’t believe him at first because he’s been saying it for years since I was about five,” said Danica. “So when he said that, I’m like ‘No, you’re not.’ And, then it happened. I was surprised.”
What happened was Grandfather Theiss purchased Deb’s Diner in Strattanville and hopes that one day the diner will be hers. Terry Theiss and his family are no strangers to restaurants.
“I just always liked the restaurant business, and I’d been looking for one for quite a while, but I didn’t want to move out of the area.”
When the Theiss family had the Clarion Motel along Route 322, Lee Theiss built a small brick building that still stands that housed Lee’s Diner.
“After the motel closed, we continued to run a restaurant, and I later changed the name to the Route 322 Diner,” said Theiss.
It’s been about 25 years since he operated a restaurant, and as he looks back on those days, he’s also looking forward to being a chef again.
“I’ve always liked the restaurant business, it’s a nice business to be, in and you get to meet lots of people. We’re shooting for a July 1 opening, and I have received a good number of waitress applications, and we are still looking for cooks. I always did like to cook.”
Theiss will be doing some cooking and also some managing the restaurant. Hours are going to be seven to seven for the dining room and until nine for the outside ice cream window.
(Pictured above: Ice Cream window will still offer Perry’s Ice Cream, and they will possibly add soft serve.)
“We’re looking for a soft-serve ice cream machine in addition to continuing to sell Perry’s hard ice cream,” added Theiss.
Not much is going to change with the menu, featuring home-style cooking.
Terry will continue to operate the nearby 322 Variety Sales which offers an eclectic collection of merchandise from lift recliners to U-Haul rentals to Amish-built sheds.
“While I manage the diner for now, someday it’s going to be hers.”
Danica is looking forward to starting to work at the diner after school at Clarion-Limestone and learning about her future business.
Her parents named her after Danica Sue Patrick, a former professional racing driver. Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel car racing.
Danica is used to the famous namesake, and now she has a diner named after her. The race is on.
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