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AdVantage News | Fred Pollard
6th Street Diner owner Kim Bock (left) and Alan Feezel (right) pose with Joe Graziana (seated), a customer of Bock’s for 30 years. Graziana helped with the restaurant’s move last October to its new home at 300 N. 6th St. in Wood River. At left, Melody Foutch has served Wood River patrons for decades, first at the Pancake Ranch, and now at the 6th Street Diner.
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AdVantage News | Fred Pollard
Cook Viv Johnson prepares country-fried steak in the restaurant’s new, spacious kitchen. At bottom, from left, Country-fried steak, Pork tenderloin, Western potatoes.
Kim Bock and Alan Feezel, owners of 6th Street Diner, had an eye on their new location for years before they moved in.
“When we first moved into our old place, I said all along that we would be there for two years and then move here if it ever became vacant,” Feezel said. “It took two-and-a-half years, so I was pretty close.”
Last October, the popular Wood River eatery moved from its old home on Illinois Route 143 into the building known around town as the “old Tomboy store,” located at 300 N. 6th Street.
“We did a complete remodel, and it took us a year,” Feezel said. “We have all-new wiring, lights, bathrooms, and we built the kitchen from the ground up.”
With a cooking area nearly the size of the entire old building, there was room for more equipment, including new fryers, grills, walk-in freezers, and a 10-burner stove with a double oven.
“It is even easier now for us to provide our guests their favorites like the pork tenderloin sandwich and our famous western potatoes,” Bock said.
The story of the “little diner that could” actually stretches back to the early 1970s. The Pancake Ranch on Edwardsville Road closed in 2010 after 37 years to make room for the expansion of its neighbor, the Hit-N-Run convenience store. Bock, who had worked at the restaurant for more than two decades, says it hit the community hard.
“It was like a family there,” she said.
When the opportunity came about to open up the all-new 6th Street Diner at 29 S. Sixth Street in November of 2010, Bock knew she wanted some familiar faces on hand when her old customers walked in the door.
“We have Melody Foutch, Viv Johnson, Joe Stephens, and Sue Shores from the old days of the Pancake Ranch here,” she said. “I also have one of the girls from the old Pancake Ranch in Bethalto here with us, too.”
The restaurant’s new home is steeped in local history, as well. Dating back to 1941, it originally was the home of the Schutz Market, and later the Tomboy Market. After a stint as a furniture store, the building once again was empty and the time was right for the diner’s owners to work with Claude Johnson, the building’s owner.
“This place has a very homey atmosphere,” Johnson said.
Although the scenery has changed, the menu has not. Breakfast items include the establishment’s old favorites, such as steak, ham and deluxe egg breakfasts, omelets, and golden brown pancakes.
Popular lunch and dinner items include burgers, BLTs and other specialty sandwiches, rib eye and T-bone steaks, and a variety of soups, salads, fried chicken, desserts, and more.
The Sixth Street Diner, always offering daily specials, is open daily from 5:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. With the new location, the restaurant also has a separate section available for private parties and events.
For more information, call (618) 251-9715.