Just West of Downtown Akron stands a small, unassuming building on West Market Street with a neon sign. Diamond Grille is a restaurant and Akron icon. Guests pull into the gravel parking lot and enter through the back door, stepping into a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a place where the owner’s mother, Susan Hammond, may be the person to seat you.
The Diamond Grille restaurant, established in 1935 is known for its steaks and classic American food. Restaurateur Katie Stack purchased the restaurant after waitressing there for four years. She says her nursing career failed to provide the satisfaction she expected.
“I went from wearing my waitress uniform on Saturday night to wearing a power suit and heels on Monday” Stack says. “Hospitality and nursing are similar. Both are about meeting peoples’ needs.”
Stack says that Diamond Grille has always focused on the customer experience and many customers are multigenerational. Stack speaks of them like close friends.
When asked how a restaurant with such tradition introduces change, Stack laughs and says, “very carefully, it has to be subtle.” She gives an example of changing the carpet in the dining room a few years back.
“Guests would comment that something seemed different, but couldn’t figure out what. That’s when we knew we got it right.” Stack is unapologetic about her desire to preserve the restaurant as is. As I was enjoying my lunch, I heard Katie on the phone tell a customer “we are pretty laid back here.”
There have been updates to the menu, always with the needs of their customers in mind. Stack adds, “There is nothing to hide the food, no sauces, the plates are plain white, letting the food speak for itself.”
Instagram: @diamondgrilleakron For reservations call: (330) 253-0041
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