The Lord’s Diner in transition to indoor service

Lynne Dirienzo pours a container of gravy mix into a cooker at The Lord’s Diner in downtown Wichita. She and her husband, David, are volunteers from Andover. (Advance photo)

Want to volunteer for The Lord’s Diner?

Those wishing to volunteer to help get the Diner back to full service may visit , call 316-266-4966, or email [email protected].


The transition to full indoor service at The Lord’s Diner is making progress.

Emily Thome, the Diner’s director, said a more “in-person dining experience” was introduced on Monday this week at the main location north of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

“It will be very similar to what it was like,” she said the week before. The people will come in and queue up in the waiting area. They’ll walk through the line as they used to, but we’re going serve the food in to-go boxes. They will be able to get a drink and choose whether they will sit down or take it to go.”

Family Room is open

The Diner’s family room is open, she said, adding that individuals will have the choice of eating inside the diner or taking their meal home. Patrons will not be allowed to sit on Diner property outside to eat, Thome added.

The serving arrangement at the Diner was upended because of the Covid pandemic. The Lord’s Diner served only meals-to-go for many months and recently began allowing a restricted number of patrons to dine-in.

“If you feel uncomfortable because of Covid or any reason, we are providing this option but we ask that you take it and eat it off-property,” Thome said.

One of the other reasons for serving in disposable trays is because the volunteer base, which was also a victim of the pandemic, is not yet broad enough for service with washable plates, glasses, and silverware.

“We are struggling with getting our volunteer base back,” she said. “That’s not the only reason. We want to see how many people are choosing to eat-in and gauge how many volunteers we will need. We anticipate going back to real dishes and to fully reopen at that time.”