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A new family business is promising American food of epic proportions.
Richie’s Diner in Green Street Green Road, Dartford, threw open its door for the first time on Friday.
Specialising in burgers, the restaurant boasts 21 different types, including the big one; The Empire State – three 8oz patties, streaky bacon, hash browns and onions rings all set between two buns.
Co-owned by Richie Hearne and close friends Syed Choudhury and Maz Hussain the men, who have experience in the building trade, spent the past few months doing up the vacant shop themselves and transforming it into an American diner with a twist.
Richie’s Diner is designed to be ultra modern.
Richie said: “We just wanted something a bit different. Every other American diner you go in you’ve got the red booths and the cars sticking out the wall and stuff. We didn’t want to do that. This is a modern American diner.
“We’ve got all the traditional diner foods, though, including foot-long hotdogs and the burgers, but I don’t expect many people to be able to finish The Empire State.”
The 42-year-old saw the empty premises and thought of opening a cafe, with his building work becoming ever more strenuous on his knees.
He said: “I took Syed to have a look and he said ‘le’s do it’
“It was my son Louis who had the idea of an American diner after we went to one in the West Country one time and he loved it.”
Louis Hearne, 20, is currently studying for a degree in chemistry at Kingston University, but during the summer will be helping his dad at the restaurant as a manager.
But it is not just Louis who has been roped in from the family ranks – Richie’s brother Mark Hearne will be the head chef, after many years experience including working in The Savoy, London.
His daughter Jodie Hearne, 22, will also be working in the kitchen and two of his nieces, Mark’s daughters, will be working in the diner too.
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