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Nancy’s Home Cooking Is Back… Sort Of

In a heartwarming turn of events for Columbus’s culinary scene, two of the city’s most cherished diners are set to merge, bringing together decades of history, community, and comfort food under one roof.

Nancy’s Home Cooking, a staple of the Clintonville community since 1968, will soon share a home with Starliner Diner in Hilliard, promising to serve up its iconic menu items, including the much-loved chicken and noodles.

The story of Nancy’s Home Cooking began over half a century ago when Nancy Kimmerling opened its doors at 3133 North High St. in Clintonville.

After a couple of years, she passed the torch to Cindy King, affectionately known by the community as “Nancy” for decades to come. Under King’s stewardship, Nancy’s became more than just a diner; it evolved into a community landmark, celebrated for its generous spirit and commitment to serving those in need.

King’s approach to business was anything but conventional. She prioritized generosity over profit, a philosophy that endeared the diner to the hearts of many. The restaurant became a family affair, with King’s relatives and longtime employees banding together to keep the legacy alive, even in the face of adversity.

When King fell ill in 2008, the community rallied around Nancy’s, providing financial and moral support to save the beloved diner from closure. After King’s passing in 2012, the restaurant faced challenges but continued to serve the community, thanks to the dedication of her niece Sheila Hahn and other family members.

Despite hardships, including the closure of its downtown location due to the pandemic and leasing issues, the spirit of Nancy’s Home Cooking has persevered. Rick Hahn, Sheila’s husband, has kept the diner’s legacy alive through community outreach initiatives, including annual free Thanksgiving meals and a pay-it-forward program.

booths at starliner diner
via Facebook

Now, as Nancy’s prepares to join forces with Starliner Diner, a beloved Hilliard eatery known for its commitment to high-quality, flavorful dishes, the future looks bright. Starliner Diner’s announcement on Facebook shared the exciting news, emphasizing a shared dedication to personal excellence and concern for others.

This merger is not just about combining menus.

It’s a fusion of histories, values, and communities. As Rick Hahn has made surprise appearances to serve Nancy’s signature chicken and noodles, it’s clear that the demand for Nancy’s comforting classics remains strong. The partnership with Starliner Diner ensures that these dishes will continue to be a part of Columbus’s culinary landscape.

As the two diners come together in Hilliard, patrons can look forward to a menu that honors the legacy of Nancy’s Home Cooking while continuing to enjoy the unique flavors that Starliner Diner has offered for over 30 years. This merger is a testament to the enduring power of community support, family, and, of course, good food. Columbus residents and visitors alike have much to anticipate as they witness the next chapter in the story of these iconic diners.

If you’re keen to hear updates, you can check out Starliner Diner’s Facebook Page. They’ll be making announcements over there.