LIMA — A throwback to the 1950s, Teasers is reviving the old Fat Cat diner on Main Street with an eclectic mix of affordable meals on-the-go, southern-style classics and cocktails.
The diner reopened as Teasers last summer, one of the latest editions to the downtown food scene.
Owners Todd Sterling and Matthew Treadway — who got their start in retail by selling unused merchandise returned to big retailers like Amazon and Kohl’s, for half the price—saw potential in the previously abandoned diner.
Teasers was developed with the blue-collar crowd in mind: meals are large and priced to compete with Kewpee. And the diner is open 24 hours in the summer, targeting the third-shift crew.
“They are looking for a meal that fills them up at a price that they can afford,” Sterling said. “They want to be able to buy a meal for the same price that they can go to the Kewpee for.”
The Teaser Burger, topped with sausage, egg, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato has proven popular, as has the diner’s take on the Philly cheesesteak and the Manhattan.
The diner sells a wide variety of classic meals — chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, meatball subs, tenderloins and fried chicken, to name a few. Diners can even order $3 cocktails with their meal — $5 standalone cocktails — or grab some ice cream from the new cooler in the dining room.
Occupying the old Fat Cat diner has presented its own set of challenges. The duo at times have to remind Limaland that the diner is no longer closed, despite the new logo out front.
“People go by, and I think they don’t even think we’re open anymore because it’s been closed down so many times,” Sterling said.
To combat that impression, they plan to install an updated marquee with Teasers’ new logo. The duo has been slowly renovating the interior and patio, installing new features and decor to reflect the diner’s ’50s theme periodically.
There’s more on the way: Sterling and Treadway are exploring their options to open a second diner on Lima’s west side or the Shawnee Township area. Teasers may start delivering later this year, expanding the diner’s presence beyond Main Street.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.