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Valley News Dispatch

Springdale Township's David's Diner among the top in the United States

Emily Balser
| Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 5:03 p.m.
Dave Speer, 57, owner of Dave’s Diner in Springdale Twp, straightens the flag at his establishment. Wednesday July 18, 2018. Dave and his wife have owned the Diner since 2012 and have recently been voted as one of the top five diners in the country by Travel + Leisure.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Dave Speer, 57, owner of Dave’s Diner in Springdale Twp, straightens the flag at his establishment. Wednesday July 18, 2018. Dave and his wife have owned the Diner since 2012 and have recently been voted as one of the top five diners in the country by Travel + Leisure.
Lisa Speer, gives her husband Dave a kiss at the counter of there Diner in Springdale Twp. Wednesday July 18, 2018. The couple have owned the Daveճ Diner since 2012 and have recently been voted top five diners in the country by Travel + Leisure.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Lisa Speer, gives her husband Dave a kiss at the counter of there Diner in Springdale Twp. Wednesday July 18, 2018. The couple have owned the Daveճ Diner since 2012 and have recently been voted top five diners in the country by Travel + Leisure.

It’s just like home.

That’s how customers of David’s Diner describe the atmosphere of the Springdale Township restaurant recently named fifth best diner in the country by Travel ­+ Leisure.

The list, based on Yelp ratings of local restaurants, includes 25 diners from all over the United States. David’s Diner joins the list with diners from places such as Washington, D.C., Florida and Montana.

East Deer residents Lisa and Dave Speer opened the diner in 2012. After working most of their lives in restaurants owned by other people, they decided it was time to take the leap and go out on their own.

Since then, they’ve refined the space to be exactly what they always wanted — a place where people can come and feel comfortable while enjoying a home-cooked meal.

“Here we are, six years later, and just very grateful and blessed,” Lisa Speer said. “The weekend we opened up the doors, they just came in, and what’s really awesome is they keep coming.”

Whether you’ve been coming for years or it’s your first time, everyone is treated as a special customer.

Many customers are greeted with a friendly wave and “hello” from the Speers as they pop in and out of the kitchen. Others share jokes and stories with the servers.

“Sometimes, it is like you’re walking into Cheers,” Lisa Speer joked.

The owners also honor veterans, members of the military and first responders with a 10 percent discount every day. Honoring those who serve others was important to Dave, who is an Army combat veteran.

Allegheny Township resident Bob Scover has been coming to the diner for about a year. He said he’s happy to see the diner recognized.

“I was just wondering who the other four were that beat them,” he said.

Scover said he’s enjoyed the people he’s met and the conversations he’s had at the diner.

“You get to know quite a few people,” he said. “I met a guy who was in Pearl Harbor.”

Ray Heller and Walt Ciesielka have been coming to the diner on their lunch break for about five years. They work at the nearby Pittsburgh Glass Works plant in East Deer.

“They’re much friendlier — it’s almost like family,” Heller said of why he chooses the local diner over a bigger chain restaurant.

Ciesielka said he has enjoyed getting to know the owners and the staff over the years.

“It feels like down home,” he said.

The Speers said they were surprised to learn of their newest accolade on the Travel + Leisure website. And, while they are proud to be recognized for their work, they don’t let it go to their heads.

“We’re happy this is happening, but we just want to take care of our customers,” Dave Speer said. “We try not to let that distract us from our original goal.”

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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