And the nominee for the best use of an abandoned Braum’s building is...
The long-awaited restaurant, which people in the Delano neighborhood have been closely watching as construction progressed over the past year, finally has an opening date: Monday, April 17.
Delano’s Diner will operate in the long-abandoned Braum’s building at 1220 W. Douglas. It’s owned by Kassem Yassine, whose long restaurant resume includes Marbella Cafe, LeMonde Cafe, Old Town Martini and College Hill Deli and Catering. It’ll serve breakfast and lunch its first six or so weeks in business, and then will add dinner.
Yassine took his time on the restaurant, and his effort shows. The interior is spacious, warm and well-decorated, and it features a vaulted, wood-paneled entrance that Braum’s had covered up with vinyl. The building has been vacant since 2009, when Braum’s moved to 201 S. Seneca.
He’s hired Eric King, a veteran of the Ryan’s Steakhouse chain and a former employee at Longhorn Steakhouse, to serve as general manager. Earlier this week, King was buzzing around the restaurant training newly hired employees.
The restaurant’s initial hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and it will serve breakfast all the time. The breakfast menu includes pancakes – including several decadent entries like cheesecake pancakes cooked with cheesecake bites inside – as well as waffles and French toast. It also includes the typical bacon, eggs, sausage and biscuits and gravy as well as sweet and savory crepes.
Lunch items include sandwiches like BLTs, hot ham and cheese, and a Reuben. There’s also a patty melt, beef gyro, a Philly cheese steak sandwich and a bierock. Other entrees include chicken Parmesan, pork chops, beef tips and grilled salmon.
And the restaurant’s chicken and waffles dish is a sight to behold. It features fried chicken strips nestled atop a bed of sweet potato waffle fries then drizzled with sweet glaze and maple syrup.
Yassine said he took a break from the restaurant industry after opening College Hill Deli and Catering with his brother, Ali Yassine. But some things, you just can’t let go.
“I missed it, really,” he said.