COLUMBIA — Not much has changed at The Broadway Diner in the 13 years it has been serving customers at its current location. But starting July 30, the diner will extend its hours by almost 40 hours per week to meet a growing customer base.
The restaurant, at 22 S. Fourth St., is open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It re-opens at 11 p.m. Thursday and serves throughout the night until 3 p.m. Friday, repeating this schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Starting July 30, the diner will stay open continuously from 5 a.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. Sunday — an 106-hour shift. The restaurant will keep its same hours on Monday and Tuesday.
Dave Johnson, who manages The Broadway Diner, said downtown has many more people than it did five years ago. That's meant an uptick in business.
"Downtown is certainly not in demand of restaurants," Johnson said. "But I think we offer a unique experience, and there is a demand for it."
Johnson said he thinks the restaurant will always have "the most diverse clientele on this planet." Customers include lawyers, students, professors, police officers, construction workers and dump truck drivers, he said. This variation has helped the restaurant's success, Johnson said.
Ed Johnson, Dave's father, opened The Broadway Diner in 1989 at the intersection of Broadway and Providence Road, where Walgreens is now. The diner moved in 2001.
In recent months, the diner has hired three additional employees so they can be trained in time for the longer, 126-hour schedule, bringing the total number of employees to 15, Johnson said.
The restaurant is known for its breakfasts, Johnson said. He is looking forward to serving dinner for the first time.
"People like breakfast day and night, so the breakfast menu will always be open," he said. "So we'll be adding some dinner dishes – really simple, quality comfort food."
He already has some recipes ready for dishes such as casseroles, shepherd's pie and chicken pot pie.
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.