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Downtown diner reopens with new owners
My Place Diner
The new “My Place Diner” is located at 104 Ga. 9 North, next to the Circle K gas station in downtown Dawsonville. - photo by Julia Hansen

One Dawsonville restaurant now has both new management and is offering more cuisine to satisfy what many locals have been craving -- breakfast in downtown.  

Rick Fenical and his sister-in-law, Diane McDonald recently acquired the assets of a former eatery located at 104 Ga. 9 North and held a grand opening this past week as “My Place Diner.” The red restaurant building is situated downtown next to the Circle K gas station at the corner of Hwy. 9 and Hwy. 53.  

My Place Diner 2
Rick Fenical and Diane McDonald are the two co-owners of “My Place Diner.” - photo by Julia Hansen

Fenical said they were able to quickly turn the place around in about a month, doing things like refreshing parking lot lines, adding new signage at the road and painting and installing new interior cooking equipment.  

He said the key decision for him and McDonald was to change the diner’s concept from lunch and dinner to breakfast and lunch.  

“It’s a small town,” he said of Dawsonville. “People go home and eat during the week…we’ll have a family dinner [here] Friday and Saturday. I really wanted to do the diner concept because, really, there's nowhere to sit down and eat your breakfast in downtown Dawsonville.” 

The menu lists fresh diner-style options, including hand-cut pork loins and steak and cooked-to-order French fries.  

Fenical described their grand opening week as busier than usual but manageable. McDonald has two decades of food service experience, working from the dining room all the way up to management. While she serves as what Fenical called the “face of the business,” she can also jump in with him and others to help with the back-of-house duties.  

“So I know [about] being out there with your crew and not just saying, ‘You do it,’” McDonald said. “I’m out here working with them (the servers), talking to everybody and getting feedback.”  

She’s enjoyed having the opportunity with the diner to talk with and meet new people.  

Fenical said that once everything is running smoothly with the restaurant, McDonald will take over as the hands-on person as he transitions to a business opportunity in Cleveland. However, he plans to work a couple days a week on alternating shifts so that an owner is always present.  

“It’s been a challenge,” McDonald said about her team’s work modifying the diner. “I want to see it succeed, whereas there have been places that’ve been here that didn't. I would like to see it be a part of the community.”