Have you heard about Digger's Diner yet? Owners Jon and DiAnn Lei opened the restaurant on Oct. 15, a Wednesday, without a grand opening, but that hasn't stopped crowds from digging into Digger's delicious burgers and sandwiches.
We've been really blessed, DiAnn said. We opened the doors, and it's all been instantaneous. Brentwood has been good to us.
Digger's isn't your typical diner. Gone are the iconic posters that transport you to the days of poodle skirts and letterman jackets. Instead, you'll find a mural of a graveyard.
After moving to Knightsen a year and a half ago, the Leis decided to open a sister diner to their Concord restaurant of the same name. Digger's is named after DiAnn's gravedigger uncle Digger Dave, who opened the Concord establishment with his wife Kathy in 1994. The mural in Brentwood features Digger Dave, aunt Kathy, Jon and DiAnn smiling in a graveyard as DiAnn lifts Digger's signature dish, the coffin burger.
It's essentially a ginormous bacon and cheese burger, said Jon of the burger that includes three buns, two 1/3-pound patties, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, cheese and bacon.
Another crowd pleaser is the Ballpark Fries, covered in fresh garlic, parsley and butter. The portion is so big, it's a meal in itself.
While DiAnn and Jon are excited to be open in Brentwood, no one is more thrilled than Scott Lawrence, who commuted to Concord for six years just to get his Digger's fix after moving to the Shadow Lakes area.
Lawrence said he frequents the diner because he can't resist the Digger's atmosphere. It's a good family restaurant. It feels like I'm at home. People know me here, and they know what I like to order. It's just a fun place to be.
DiAnn said although Digger's has been open only a few weeks, she and Jon are already seeing some customers becoming regulars. Players on the Heritage High varsity football team have made a trip to Digger's part of their pre-game ritual. The team must be on to something. After their first meal at Digger's, they killed off Liberty in the Brentwood Bowl 49-0, and this past weekend, buried Antioch 42-15.
DiAnn and Jon said they are pleased that Brentwood customers have taken a liking to their diner. We hope people feel better when they leave than when they came in, Jon said. We want to brighten their day. We go the extra mile to make our customers feel like family. We want to provide that comfort.
Jon and DiAnn try to make everyone feel like family at Digger's because Digger's is a family affair. Their two children, Ethan, 5, and, Gracie, 4, roam the restaurant talking to customers to make sure Brentwood approves of mom and dad's food. DiAnn's mom comes out to help watch the kids and bus tables when needed. Uncle Dave and aunt Kathy swing by occasionally to ring up orders.
Since family is a priority, DiAnn and Jon close Digger's at 8 p.m. so that they can spend some down time with their family in the evening. Digger's is closed on Sundays for the same reason.
DiAnn takes a moment to scan the restaurant as it fills with people for the early dinner rush and she become teary as she smiles with pride. I never thought I'd like this business, but I can't think of doing anything else. I love it. You have to love what you do, and I couldn't imagine not being here.
Digger's, located at 2261 Balfour Road, is open Monday through Saturday from from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The phone number is 925-240-8958.