Jo’s Diner to change owners

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By Colby Berthume
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer

Those who enjoy a hot meal at Jo’s Diner, or a night out at the Double Header, there will be some new faces running the business, but many hope the service will stay the same.

The outside wall of the diner is a chalkboard that features the daily specials.

“These last few years have been really enjoyable,” said Deb Pacheco, co-owner of Jo’s Diner, 13631 Main St., and the neighboring bar, the Double Header. “It’s came to a point, though, where my partners and I think that it’s time to move on.”

Pacheco decided to go into the restaurant business in June of 2005 with three partners, and they chose Bath because of its proximity to their hometown of Lainsburg, Mich.

“I was approached by some friends who were looking to start a small restaurant,” Pacheco said. “We looked through our options and decided that Bath was a nice fit. It was a small, little town that didn’t have many options for its residents.”

Two years later, Pacheco decided to expand the business into Joe’s Double Header, a bar that is connected to the diner. Bath residents were encouraged to participate in a competition to name the new bar, and the eventual name came was inspired by the stuffed double-headed calf that was on display in the restaurant.

Terry Ranshaw, owner of several restaurants in the Lansing area, decided to buy the diner and bar because of the strong appeal it had with Bath residents.

“I’m from the area, so I know what type of draw this place has,” said Ranshaw, who is using the business adventure as a way to get his son into the restaurant business. “My goal is to keep this restaurant going exactly how it is. Everyone likes it the way it is, so why change? I’m always looking for new business adventures, and this is a way to get my son into the business.”

Bath residents agree that Jo’s Diner has a strong appeal, and would enjoy a smooth transition. Sheryl May, an avid customer of the diner, said that she knew the old management and believes the new management will continue to build upon the strong relationship with the community.

“It will be difficult,” Pacheco said. “This has become more than a business for me.  Unfortunately, it’s time to move on, and I only hope that the new owners will appreciate the community as much as I did.”

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