By Jacob Mathias
A new dining option will soon be open in Whiting.
R.D.’s Diner, owned by Ryan Drifka and his mother Donna Rolstad, is set to open November 11 in the former location of Jo Jo’s Family Restaurant.
“I really wanted to open up a restaurant that everybody can come to,” said Drifka. “Just a hometown restaurant where everybody can meet up with their friends and just enjoy their food.”
Drifka is no stranger to the food service industry having been a manager at the Elizabeth Inn, Tempura House and is currently a manager at Opi’s 5 Star Lanes in Plover. Prior to his restaurant work, he was a factory worker with Donaldson Company.
Drifka said the diner will serve homemade “stick-to-your-ribs” diner food with multiple homemade soups, pies and daily specials. The burgers will only be made with fresh meat and Fridays will include the ever-popular fish fry on special. The menu isn’t finalized but Drifka said the soups are what he’s most excited about and his cooks have skill in that area as well.
“Just fresh, wholesome food,” said Rolstad.
She said Drifka has cooked since he was a child and was making omelets for his grandmother at only six years old.
“I won’t even let my six-year-old touch the stove,” said Drifka.
The diner has been repainted and decorated but the iconic Harley Davidson embroidered booths- a popular feature of Jo Jo’s- are still in place, in honor of Drifka’s sister who rides a Harley herself. Rolstad said the restaurant will have a “homey” feeling instead of feeling like a cafeteria.
The diner’s location has been home to many past restaurants, one where Drifka ate while growing up, but he RD’s will have what it takes to be successful.
“We will have very good service. I’m not going to be one of those owners that comes in and collects his money and goes home,” said Drifka. “I’m going to be here all the time. I want to talk to everybody. I just want to make sure everything’s right. I’m going to do what I can to do that.”
R.D.’s Diner is located at 2404 Post Rd. in Whiting. The diner will be open Saturday to Thursday from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Fridays from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.