LIMA — The Fat Cat Diner in downtown Lima closed its doors as an eat-in diner Friday, but as the lunch line at the counter Friday testified, it was not for lack of business.
Opened in 2012 by Chef Alisa McPheron in the North Main Street restaurant formerly the home of the Tip Top, The Court Restaurant and Sal’s Philly Steaks, Fat Cat Diner is transitioning from in-house dining to catering and deliveries, taking on the new name Fat Cat Catering & Kitchen. Before that transition took effect, however, many patrons were coming to the diner to make their final order.
“People have decided they wanted to get their last fix of Fat Cat, I guess,” Fat Cat Catering and Marketing Manager Melanie Kirchenbauer said. “We haven’t been this busy in a while.”
The decision to go to catering was made due to the fact that high demand for catering services is already there, with Fat Cat set to immediately go from closing its doors at 3 p.m. Friday to catering at Jameson Manor all weekend.
“That’s the main reason from switching our business plan from a dining room to a catering service,” Kirchenbauer said. “We’re booked all the way to December and we’re taking bookings for next year. Also, Chef Alisa will be doing special events around town outside of our catering events.”
This does not mean that no patrons will darken the doors at 312 N. Main St., with some caterings and special events to take place in house.
“We just had a bridal shower in here,” Kirchenbauer said. “We decorated the whole dining room and set it up all classy. So there will still be options for people to come here and have their parties.”
Businesses and organizations can also still contact Fat Cat at least a day ahead of time to arrange for boxed lunch deliveries.
When the announcement of the transition was made Sept. 15 on Facebook, the news was met with some disappointment but mostly good wishes from patrons and fans.
“This is disappointing,” Deb Duncan-Faul wrote on Facebook. “One of the few places I could get good vegetarian dishes. Farewell Fat Cat. You will be missed.”
“You have amazing food and we always feel so well taken care of there,” June Treftz Bell wrote. “I will miss you and miss going to lunch. Keep us posted on your new ventures and good luck.”