New, old-style diner

TUPPER LAKE – Ohana’s 1950s Diner is now open and offering a unique touch to the dining circuit on Park Street.

The diner, located at 284 Park St., opened as part of Amanda Kelly’s longtime dream of owning her own 1950s-style restaurant. After receiving the building from her father, who had owned it since the 1980s, she worked with her husband Mike to overhaul the interior and open the diner in late May of this year.

The restaurant mimics a mid-20th-century business from the menu to the decor. Inside, pink and blue walls are covered with ’50s memorabilia. There is a flashing countertop with vintage autographed photos, a jukebox with ’50s music, arcade games and several other amenities you might expect from a diner that opened 60 years ago.

The reconstruction of the building’s interior, which used to house Smoking Horseshoe Barbeque, was done almost completely by Mike Kelly and his friend, saving the couple thousands of dollars in contracting fees.

“We figured that this town could use something different,” Amanda said. “A lot of the places to eat here are similar, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We just wanted to go with a theme that stuck out and felt unique to the customers.”

The diner’s menu includes 14 different types of burgers and a variety of milkshakes and hot dogs as well as other dinner entrees. The Ohana’s Boss Burger challenge is by far the biggest meal: a pound of burger with a plethora of toppings, served for free with a T-shirt if finished in less than 25 minutes. Smaller meals are available for kids and served in small, car-shaped boxes. Amanda Kelly said they plan to offer beer and wine once they receive a liquor license.

Amanda runs the branding and business side of the restaurant using her college education in business management. Mike said he commands the culinary aspect with more than a decade of experience working in restaurants.

The couple said they chose the term “ohana,” which means “family” in Hawaiian, to convey a feeling of togetherness rather than just a destination to fill one’s stomach.

“We wanted it to be somewhere people could hang out instead of just eat,” Mike Kelly said. “Kids could play games, and parents can hang around and have a few drinks.”

The couple said their goals for expansion include a paved driveway, increased outdoor seating, a permit for live music and a small candy outlet indoors. They mentioned the possibility of hosting events such as square dancing lessons and an Elvis Presley impersonator.

The diner is open Friday through Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.