by Brian Lamar, Assignment Editor

Long Beach resident, Rik Dew, has spent a lifetime serving others, caring for others and now he wants to feed others.

Dew, who spent 30 years with the military, working with the VA, and is now an RN has held onto a long-time dream. Dew wanted to own a diner. When he was 15, he was a busboy in an Italian restaurant. After a while, he worked his way into the kitchen and worked his way through college. That’s where he got the notion to own his own place one day.

Dew and colleague Will Devin, who owns the Bearded Owl in Gulfport, learned that the sisters, Laura and Kellie, who owned and operated The 60 something-year-old Palace Grill was planning to close.

“I have always dreamed about owning a diner. The opportunity was available. I was approached by someone who let me know that the diner would be available. The sisters were interested in selling it,” Dew explained.

Dew realizes The Palace Grill has a loyal almost cult-like following being the only old-school type of diner in the area. The big question on everyone’s mind is if it will be their same beloved diner or will it be a new creation.

Dew and Devin plan to give the diner a facelift as far as usability of the dining spaces and the lunch counter, but that is about as far as it goes in regards to changes.

“When we were looking at buying the diner, we were so interested in their concept of what the restaurant was. I was concerned more with how they did things than what I plan to do with it. We will be following through with their concept the best we can,” said Dew.

In order to do that. Dew has been in contact with the previous vendors who supplied their products. Dew plans to keep the same menu with just a few minor tweaks.

“When you have something that works. Don’t change it. That is a tried and true motto. In addition to providing quality service to everyone, we intentionally want to target our police, military, veterans, and firefighters with promotions for them,” said Dew.

The current plan for The Palace Grill is for an opening to take place at the end of April.

That is all dependent on inspections and occupancy licenses from the city. As soon as those items are underway.

Diners can get back in their booths and chairs and get to filling their bellies with wholesome goodness.

Dew realizes that he has big shoes to fill. Diners will be expecting something comfortable and familiar. J

“We don’t want it to be an atmosphere that is stale and sticky. We want to keep the laughter, the conversation and feel welcome while getting your stomach full and just enjoy being there and can’t wait to come back. We want that family feel. We don’t want to erase the memories. We want them to carry on in the restaurant. All that stuff is still going to be there.