By Alyssa Weston
On the edge of Youngstown State University’s campus is a new diner, welcoming students and community members and aiming to serve delicious food. Their speciality — macaroni and cheese.
Elm Street Diner, owned by Ron Heinbaugh, is located at 832 Elm St. and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to 10 different macaroni and cheeses, Elm Street Diner serves breakfast, soup, sandwiches desserts and more.
Each macaroni and cheese dish ranges in price from $8 to $13 and is served with a side salad and breadstick.
A few of the assortments of macaroni and cheese include “Original Mac” with cheddar and New York sharp cheese, “Southern” with pulled pork and barbecue sauce and “Hawaiian” with Bavarian ham, croutons, smoked cheddar and pineapple.
Heinbaugh said the macaroni and cheese options are the most popular menu items and are highly recommended.
Heinbaugh is no stranger to the restaurant industry. Before Elm Street Diner opened its doors, he owned four restaurants in Champion Township and Cleveland.
“One of the restaurants I owned was Cheddar’s,” he said. “I’ve worked in this industry for most of my life.”
According to Heinbaugh, the idea for Elm Street Diner came to life when Pat Rosenthal, executive director of Commonwealth, asked him if he wanted to open a restaurant on the property.
“We know each other because we go to the same church, and she knew about my culinary background,” he said. “She told me about previous plans for the space not working out, one thing led to another and now here we are,” he said.
Heinbaugh’s Youngstown roots run deep, and he grew up on the north side of Youngstown in the 1970s and 1980s after moving from Minnesota.
“This area is great for the diner, especially with the park being down the street, and I believe Youngstown is becoming nicer every day,” Heinbaugh said.
He said he has enjoyed opening the diner and looks forward to serving students for breakfast and lunch.
Taylor Walker, a senior physics and astronomy major, enjoys Elm Street Diner and believes Youngstown should continue to add locally owned businesses.
“Trying new places is always an interesting experience,” she said. “They have so many different options of mac and cheese too, so that’s a big plus.”
Myranda Bukovinsky, a senior general studies major, visited Elm Street Diner earlier in the semester.
Bukovinsky described the diner as hip new place to eat at in Youngstown.
“[Elm Street Diner] has a nice light and a friendly atmosphere. It’s a good place to eat, hangout or study at,” she said.
Heinbaugh plans to open the front porch for outside dining with music hooked up to play throughout the area once the weather permits.