Springfield, MO

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ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR: Springfield Diner owner Omer Onder, far left, considers colors while Longitude’s Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells show him interior designs for the restaurant.
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR: Springfield Diner owner Omer Onder, far left, considers colors while Longitude’s Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells show him interior designs for the restaurant.

Made to Order Chapter Eleven: Crafting ‘Klasik’

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A change is in the offing for Springfield Diner.

Following through on the July 10 naming workshop led by Longitude LLC owners Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, diner owner Omer Onder has settled on Klasik Diner as the eatery’s new moniker. The name incorporates the Turkish word for “classic,” which Onder said unites food concepts of his birth country of Turkey and his new home in America.

“It explains we are serving diner classics and Turkish classics,” he said. “Klasik includes almost everything in it.”

Several other possibilities emerged during or soon after the workshop: Omer’s Kafe, Omer’s Diner and Yeni Türk, which means “new Turkish.”

Exactly when the new name will hit promotional materials and signage is not yet decided. On July 25, the trio met for a 30-minute design direction meeting to get the ball rolling on new logos, signage and interior designs.

“We have a pretty good idea where we want to go, as far as the concept is concerned,” Myers said. “Now, it’s more finding the line on visual direction. We’ve found that over the years with suggested sign projects, it’s much easier if you agree on a general direction or at least get some of your feedback before we get too far down the road in the wrong direction.”

Different ideas and interpretations of visual looks vary for everyone, Myers said, as some people prefer a clean and simple design, while others want a more dramatic look.

The team spent much of the meeting gathered around Myers’ laptop reviewing design concepts Longitude culled from the internet to garner Onder’s opinion.

“These are not too far from our menu,” he said of one set of colorful promotional materials in multiple fonts. “We have yellows, we have reds. It is good.”

Myers noted a previously agreed upon positioning statement will need to be slightly modified to fit the new name. It will now be “Turkish-inspired American diner” from its previous “Turkish-inspired classic diner.”

Inside the restaurant, Onder is fine with Longitude’s suggestion to replace a large cityscape mural that covers one of the walls. It has no connection to Turkey. It’s actually an image of Portugal that Onder liked when originally designing the diner.

Onder said he’d like to lean on the Longitude guys for the new-look interior, but Myers and Wells reminded him they’re not interior designers. He may have to budget for that work.

“The atmosphere and the experience tying in with the brand – it all has to be aligned pretty well,” Wells said. “There’s a lot we can do on a budget, for sure. But there are going to be things that will require some additional investments.”

Nodding his head in agreement, Onder said seating and lighting will need to change. Still, he’s concerned about the oncoming renovation expenses.

“I don’t know how much I can get in the next two months,” Onder said, noting he doesn’t believe he’d be able to pursue a small-business loan to cover costs due to having such a short credit history. “But I want to make all these changes, interior, menu, we have to do lots of things to the restaurant. I want to change everything at the same time.”

He may close the restaurant for a week or so for the renovation work to take place, followed by a grand reopening celebration. But making all the potential changes is an uncertainty, Onder said.

“I don’t know if I can or not yet, because of money and what we are going to change,” he said, adding several months ago he priced replacing the diner furniture, including its booths, at around $10,000. “It is expensive. To make all of these changes, it’s probably going to cost around 40-grand. I don’t know; I’m just throwing a number out.”

Acting on some of the feedback from the meeting, Myers said Longitude would spend the next couple of weeks working on design elements tailored to the diner. A follow-up design presentation is expected later in August.


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