Metro Diner, the restaurant that gained a heaping helping of fame from an appearance on the hit Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives,” is in the home stretch for its Columbus debut.
On Thursday, employees at the 5,000-square-foot eatery at 5524 Whitesville Road, in The Landings shopping center, were continuing their training for the restaurant’s opening on Tuesday. The location is in the former Fuddrucker’s hamburger space.
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A sneak peek and first taste of the homestyle menu at Metro Diner is scheduled this weekend, however, for those making donations to a couple of very worthy causes.
Proceeds on Saturday go to House of Heroes, the Columbus-based organization that enlists volunteers to repair and tackle improvements to the homes of military veterans and their spouses, as well as those who have served in public safety, to include police officers and firefighters. On Sunday, donations will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia, the organization that provides a place to stay for the families of very ill children undergoing treatment at local hospitals.
Metro Diner has set the operating hours for its new Columbus restaurant, which will have 100 seats, as well as a covered patio outside that accomodates 20 people. The hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant serves made-from-scratch dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with breakfast being served all day. Its menu includes fried chicken and waffles, Charleston shrimp and grits and a meatloaf plate. Most dishes are under $15.
Founded 25 years ago in Jacksonville, Fla., but now based in Tampa, Metro Diner is a celebrity of sorts, having been featured in 2010 on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” a popular Food Network road show hosted by bleach-blonde and gregarious chef and entrepreneur Guy Fieri. The restaurant already had a following among locals, but suddenly drew attention from tourists who had seen the segment.
Metro Diner has been growing steadily and adding new locations through the years. It opened a location in Macon, Ga., in July and another in Birmingham, Ala., in August. The company now has more than 40 active and future restaurant locations.