Lord’s diner extending to Southeast Kansas

Lord’s Diner extending to Southeast Kansas. Hoping to open its doors and feed the hungry in November of 2016.

By Michael Stavola

Posted May. 16, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Pittsburg, Kan.

PITTSBURG — Construction plans to better feed the needy of Southeast Kansas were revealed Monday at the newly acquired location formerly known as Parrot Bey.

Parrot Bey and Corner Bistro in Pittsburg were acquired last Thursday and will be the future site of the Lord’s Diner. The diner is slated for Nov. 1 and will serve an estimated 200 to 250 meals a night, 365 days a year. Joe Dellasega has been one of the many faces behind the local effort to feed the hungry and spoke to about 50 people in the future dining area.

“I think with this project work has not even begun,” Dellsega said. “We’re not hoping to make this illusion that we are celebrating this high-point, this is just a milestone along the way.”

The Pittsburg location was chosen due to community support and food insecurities in the county. According to Feeding America, in 2014, 17.4 percent of people worried about their next meal in Crawford County compared to 14.2 percent in the state.

The Diocese of Wichita began the Lord’s Diner program 14 years ago. The Pittsburg location will be through the nonprofit’s food program that feeds roughly 2,500 meals a night.

Dellasega’s connection to the Diocese of Wichita through Our Lady of Lourdes helped bring the diner to fruition. Jan Haberly is the director of the Lord’s Diner and drove from Wichita for the milestone event.

“We are excited to be here. It has been a long journey,” Haberly said. “When you get a (building) it feels real.”

The renovations will be done by Crossland Construction and are slated for summer.

The work will require knocking down part of the wall separating the buildings to better serve food. The kitchen space will be expanded to take two-thirds of the old Corner Bistro with the front third being turned into office space.

The search for a director will also begin this summer, then a director of volunteers and kitchen staff. Haberly said there will be three to four full-time positions and one to two part time.

Lord’s Diner received a $130,000 loan from the City of Pittsburg in February. Dellasega said other donations came from community members.

Dellasega named several community members behind the endeavor, including Marcee Binder, who eventually plans to reduce some of her food services for the needy at Wesley House. She is also a member of the Pittsburg Lord’s Diner board of directors.

“I don’t want to compete, I think there is great value in this,” Binder said. “We are going to encourage our people to come here Monday through Sunday for a hot meal … It’s a great win for our community.”