PITTSBURG — Things are falling into place faster than expected for Arma entrepreneur Jim Noe and his family, who recently opened the Route 69 Diner in Arma.
After acquiring the building for his new restaurant at the corner of West St. (Route 69) and South St. in late January, Noe had planned to open the diner March 1, but was able to move that date up by a few days to Feb. 26. He first came up with the the idea of opening the diner, though, quite a while before that.
Noe, who is operating the diner with the help of his wife Paula and three sons, Chris, Justin and Logan, first thought about buying the building, which he is currently renting and where the restaurant is now located, when it went up for sale over a decade ago.
“I wanted to do my own thing and was tired of working for the man,” Noe said.
So far, Noe said, business has been going well. As of Thursday, March 14, the diner had a 5 out of 5 rating on its Facebook page, based on the opinions of 20 people. Over 500 people had both liked and followed the restaurant’s page. Customers have been coming from far and wide to visit the roadside diner, Noe said, but particularly from surrounding communities. He said he was especially happy to see customers coming from Pittsburg, where a large variety of chain restaurants and smaller local establishments are accessible much closer than Arma.
“People have been great to us,” he said.
The Route 69 Diner is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is closed Sunday and Monday. It features classic American style cuisine — hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue beef — at affordable prices. Customers can get a $5 tenderloin, or a chili dog, fries and a 20 oz. drink for the same price. Other menu items include onion rings, chicken strips, and mozzarella sticks.
Already, however, Noe said, he has been adding dishes to his original menu, such as bacon cheeseburgers. When the weather gets a little warmer, he plans to begin serving ice cream and milkshakes. At the same time, he said he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.
“We’ve come a long way in two-and-a-half weeks,” Noe said. “We want to get everything right before we try to do a lot more.”