- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) - Two former employees of Amherst Diner have given new life to the location and renamed their new eatery Lynette and Jerri’s Diner.

“It’s been the dream,” said Lynette Booth, co-owner of the new diner. “We have fond memories here.”

Booth and her business partner, Jerri DeHart, first met in 1995 while working as waitresses at the Amherst Diner at 334 Amherst St., where they worked together for five years, according to DeHart.

As life moved on, both women found work elsewhere until they were reunited five years ago at Backseat Bar and Grill.

The pair talked about running their own business together, and when the location on Amherst Street closed, they decided to take their chance.

“We wanted to come home,” DeHart said. “This would have been the only one we would have wanted.”

DeHart and Booth spent a few months cleaning, painting and getting the diner up to code - including buying new equipment for the kitchen - and held what they called a very successful opening in November.

“We’ve been very blessed,” Booth said.

She and DeHart currently split the workload, with Booth spending more time in the kitchen and DeHart handling customer service. Both, however, do whatever needs to be done to make the restaurant a success.

“I’m a jack-of-all-trades,” Booth said.

According to the duo, they tried to keep the classic-diner feel, which they said is becoming scarcer across the country.

“As far as menu goes, it’s still the same diner fare,” Booth said.

There are many classic breakfast and lunch options on the menu, including pancakes, French toast, eggs, steak-and-cheese subs and vegetable soup.

All of the food is homemade and comes from the women’s recipes, according to DeHart.

Booth said that if there’s a menu item they recommend most, it’s the meatloaf.

“That’s kind of our signature dish,” she said.

For now, Booth and DeHart don’t have plans to hold their grand opening, mainly because they haven’t had the time. Because the neighborhood was poised to take advantage of the re-opening of the location, they have been kept busy since their first day.

“Our soft opening wasn’t soft at all,” DeHart said. “The community has really been good to us.”

“It’s a new experience every day,” she said. “It’s good, though.”

Booth agreed, saying the business has been both challenging and awesome.

She added that they have both risen to the challenge.

“I couldn’t think of a better partner,” Booth said.


Information from: The Winchester Star, https://www.winchesterstar.com

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