Lehigh Valley

Billy's Downtown Diner in Easton gets ready for customers

EASTON, Pa. - The much anticipated Billy's Diner in Easton is almost ready for customers.

After two years of delays, Billy's Downtown Diner is hopefully just weeks away from welcoming its first customers.

"Took a lot of punches but well worth it," said Owner Billy Kounoupis.

The restaurant has faced a series of setbacks after it was announced that it would be located on the ground floor of Easton's city hall.

"I was told that this was the first restaurant of its kind. The first restaurant to be inside city hall. I don't think the building was really developed for a restaurant," said Kounoupis. 

Kounoupis said reconfiguring the building to add a large commercial kitchen hasn't been easy.

He said everything is still falling into place.

The indoor dining room will seat about 80 people and an outdoor patio will seat about another 80.

Kounoupis said the Easton location will be the only one to serve dinner and offer an expanded menu, including more options for vegans and vegetarians.

He also plans to apply for a liquor license.

"The amount of work going into this project is similar to trying to put a stop watch together. There is a lot of pieces to the puzzle," he said.

Kounoupis said he's hired 45 people and is looking for about 20 more.

"We were projected to do a friends and family soft opening on Sept. 4, but we are dealing with a lot of challenges with installers and equipment that hasn't arrived," he said. 

After a series of soft openings, Kounoupis hopes the restaurant will open for good at the end of September.

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