New diner promises classic, home-cooked food 

click to enlarge Sunnyside Diner, under construction on the southeast corner of N.W. 6th and Classen Boulivard, 2-9-16. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Sunnyside Diner, under construction on the southeast corner of N.W. 6th and Classen Boulivard, 2-9-16.

There are plenty of great breakfast places in Oklahoma City, but Shannon Roper said a diner is a whole different animal.

“True diners have real comfort food, done right, from scratch,” said the co-founder of S&B’s Burger Joint and Hillbilly’s. “That means doing a really great biscuit and gravy. Turkey dinners and hot beef sandwiches for lunch. I grew up in a small town. This was the stuff we’d eat every night for dinner.”

Roper and co-owner Aly Branstetter have a vision for Sunnyside Diner, their new restaurant set to open this spring in the renovated Mid-Town Service Center building on the southeast corner of Classen Boulevard and NW Sixth Street.

A giant, simple “DINER” sign has already gone up, stoking interest from neighbors, but Roper said there’s still work to be done inside.

The 3,000-square-foot space will feature an open kitchen that is a staple of small-town diners. Guests will see their eggs cracked and their pancakes flipped in a dining room that seats 69.

click to enlarge From left, Shannon Roper and Aly Branstetter of S&B's Burger Joints, lookover blueprints inside the Sunnyside Diner breakfast restaurant concept under construction on the southeast corenr of N.W. 6th and Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City, 2-9-16. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • From left, Shannon Roper and Aly Branstetter of S&B's Burger Joints, lookover blueprints inside the Sunnyside Diner breakfast restaurant concept under construction on the southeast corenr of N.W. 6th and Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City, 2-9-16.

Branstetter said Sunnyside will be, first and foremost, a friendly place for everybody. Whether in a suit or pajamas, she said, people just need to want good food and good service to enjoy the restaurant.

“I want to be able to recognize the guy coming in for coffee and know how many sugars he wants before he orders,” she said. “It’s just a place we can all come together.”

It’ll be family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty for adults. The diner will serve mimosas and bloody marys to help start off the day.

But Sunnyside won’t be open 24 hours, or even for dinner, Roper said. Serving food from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week will give customers plenty of time for breakfast and lunch while giving the staff the necessary time to correctly prepare dishes from scratch.

“Cooking like this is an all-day thing,” Roper said. “Right now, it’s a three-day process to do our roasted turkey, from brining to roasting to chilling to slicing. We want it to take some time.”

Branstetter said that many restaurants are so focused on creating something unique that they might miss what makes some simple dishes so wonderful.

“This will be classic home-cooked food,” she said. “Healthy, high-quality, but without anything pretentious about it.”

It’s something the neighborhood needs, Roper said. They want Sunnyside to become a hub that helps build the surrounding community as more and more residents return to the downtown area from the suburbs.

If nothing else, though, the pair hopes the diner lives up to its name and gives guests a bright start to the day.

“A big plate of good food for a reasonable price,” Roper said. “Who doesn’t like that?”

Print headline: Sunnyside rising, Sunnyside Diner aims for a spring opening in a classic location.

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