AP NEWS

New owners at Bill’s Diner

March 9, 2019

Ramon and Katlyn Diaz have expanded their growing restaurant business as the Bradley couple recently purchased the popular Bradley restaurant, Bill’s Diner.

The couple purchased the business from Bill and Vicky Drimonas, who had owned and operated the restaurant for the past 27 years.

The Diaz’s are owners of La Villetta at the Elks in St. Anne and Pachanga, at the corner of West Brookmont Boulevard and Kennedy Drive in Kankakee.

The Bill’s Diner name will remain at 597 Kennedy Drive.

Katlyn explained she and her husband became aware of the owner’s retirement plans, and they started talking about taking over the location.

Ramon and Katlyn took possession of the restaurant on Feb. 21. The staff and menu remain in place.

“We came in here often,” she said. “This has always been a well-run restaurant.”

She said they will incorporate some Italian food into the menu. The location’s hours will remain 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

“This was something that was appealing to us,” she said.

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The River Valley Metro Mass Transit district still will take riders to Midway International Airport, but because of upcoming changes to the Midway Transit Center, the drop-off and pick-up have been altered.

Rob Hoffmann, River Valley’s CEO, said the change will take effect March 18.

River Valley Metro was informed in January the Chicago Transit Authority needed the space the Kankakee County system had been using.

Metro has been transporting area people to and from Midway for the past five years.

Metro’s last budget year, which ran from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, had 22,000 riders. Through the first seven months of its current fiscal year, the system has transported 14,000. Hoffmann expects total Midway ridership to be in the 24,000 range this year, a substantial increase.

So, why is ridership increasing at such a rate?

“I think more and more people are learning of this service,” he said.

The trip only cost $2, and parking at either the bus terminal at the Bourbonnais center or the Manteno transfer station is free.

Hoffmann noted the pending change also should be more convenient for metro riders.

He said the Chicago Department of Aviation has made arrangements for the metro stop to be relocated on the lower level arrivals, center lane, just north of the crosswalk at Door No. 2 outside the baggage claim area.

The new pick-up/drop-off only is a few steps from entry into the airport, so passengers are never exposed to inclement weather. The new stop only is a short walk for those who use Midway Commuter Shuttle to connect to CTA, PACE buses or to the Orange Line trains.

“Change is sometimes for the best,” Hoffmann said. “This move and the recent addition of a new vehicle fleet for this service will vastly improve our customers overall experience.

Metro offers service to Midway every day of the year with 11 arrival/departure times on weekdays, five on Saturdays and four on Sundays and holidays.

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Lastly, I will conclude this week’s column with a personal note.

Our late son, Sam, would have reached one of those milestone birthdays, as he would have turned 25 on March 9.

One thing my family has dealt with since his death is making sure he is never forgotten. We know time marches on, but sometimes it also stands still.

Happy birthday, Sam! You are deeply missed by many!

Thanks to everyone for letting me share with you.