When Tim Burkhammer acquired Starliner Diner last month, he already had plans to bring something new, and something big, to the table.
“I went into the purchase with plans to buy the Nancy’s Home Cooking’s name and the recipes from Rick Hahn [the previous Nancy’s owner] and combine the two diners in some way. And, with a handshake deal that Rick would teach my cooks the exact same recipes from Nancy’s,” explained Burkhammer.
You see, when Nancy’s Home Cooking closed in 2020, Clintonville was never the same. Sure, there are classic diners throughout Columbus, but none that made chicken and noodles, meatloaf, and creamed chicken over biscuits the way Nancy’s did for over 50 years. Plus, none of them kick you out right after you’re finished eating, displaying a huge sign in the restaurant that says, “Eat It & Beat It.” That was all part of the charm, really, and it was the only way to get through the mass amount of customers standing in line every day for homemade sausage gravy & biscuits.
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Starliner Diner has also made a name for itself with their American and Cuban diner fare, but over on the other side of town, in Hilliard. This ever-popular diner, located at 4121 Main St. in Old Hilliard, has had a line out the door since 1995, and for a good reason – huge omelets and breakfast burritos for breakfast, and cubans, burgers, and pizzas for lunch and dinner. They’ve continuously been considered one of Columbus’ best diners.
And now, the two famed diners are combining to be what might be the most ultimate collaboration Columbus has ever seen. “Nancy’s will be in the exact same building as Starliner Diner, but now with some of Nancy’s best recipes, like their beef tips and noodles,” Burkhammer confirmed. “Everyone that comes into Starliner Diner is going to get the exact same recipe that Nancy’s has been using for 50 years in Clintonville, including the creamed chicken over biscuits and chicken and noodles.”
However, there is a caveat. Burkhammer wants to be clear that people shouldn’t expect the entire Nancy’s menu at Starliner, or that Starliner is being replaced by Nancy’s. In fact, they’re keeping the name “Starliner Diner.” He said, “I don’t want people in Hilliard to think it won’t be Starliner Diner anymore. Starliner is every bit as iconic in Hilliard as Nancy’s was in Clintonville.” He’s confident that the two will complement each other perfectly.
So when is this actually happening? Believe it or not, ASAP. “Rick will start teaching my chefs their secret recipes next Monday and Tuesday (Feb 12 and 13), and then my chefs will practice, and then it’ll be official,” Burkhammer said. He encourages everyone to keep your eye out on Starliner‘s social media accounts, because this could be happening as early as next week.
To finish on even more exciting news (if that was possible!), Burkhammer said that he’s currently looking for a property to open another Starliner x Nancy’s restaurant in Clintonville. “You can’t have Clintonville without Nancy’s,” he concluded.
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