Hollywood Diner to start cooking again

DOVER — The former home of the Hollywood Diner, with its bright chrome and red siding right in the heart of Dover’s U.S. 13 corridor, is certainly an iconic and eye-catching building.

It certainly attracted the attention of restaurateur Ekrem Arslan, who purchased the 1950s landmark property that sits at 123 N. Dupont Highway on Oct. 9.

The property’s listing agent, Carl Kaplan of R&R Commercial Realty, is pleased the historic property will remain a diner.

“It’s a great location on Route 13 so it wouldn’t have been surprising to see a developer come along and buy it as a tear down,” said Mr. Kaplan in a press release.

“We were really happy to see that not happen because it’s such a unique building. I know the Arslan family is going to do a great job with it.”

Mr. Arslan formerly owned and operated Sussex County’s Laurel Dutch Inn until he sold it in June 2019.

Ensar Arslan, the owner’s son, will serve as the diner’s manager.

The Arslan family says the new menu will consist of typical diner fare with a comfort food twist. Although they’ve yet to settle on a new name, the family is hoping to reopen the eatery in 2021.

“We’re planning on keeping it mostly the same with the exception of a few cosmetic changes,” said Ensar Arslan.

“We’re definitely planning on keeping its great, 1950s-style charm. My father, Ekrem, will be bringing his 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry to the place, as well. It’ll be a family-run business, and we’re hoping to turn it into a comfortable place where all feel welcome to fill their bellies.

“There’s still a fair amount of work to be done on the inside, and we want to make sure everything is right before we open the doors.”

Ekrem Arslan noted that his primary goal is to provide top-quality food and service to make his customers feel at home.

“My family, my future staff and I can’t wait to get to know everyone in the community firsthand and to become a big family,” he said.

Most recently, the building was home to the Southern Grille Hollywood Diner of Dover, which was owned by Ronald White, who also owns the Southern Grille in Ellendale.

Mr. White purchased the business and building in March 2018 and officially reopened its doors that June. That venture lasted only about a year before it closed in late June 2019.

Originally opened in the early 1950s, the landmark eatery had simply been known as the Hollywood Diner.