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Rima's Diner to Reopen in Downtown Covington

This story originally ran on June 15 and is being reposted because Rima's Diner is set to open on Monday, August 19 at 10:30 a.m. The specials will be homemade meatloaf and potpies. Signature sandwiches, salads, double deckers, burgers and soups including our homemade pinto beans with cornbread will also be featured as will Sergio's famous "Quesadilla" and "Beef Taco" salads as specials.

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It has been several years since diners dined at Rima's Diner but they will soon have that chance again as the Downtown Covington restaurant prepares to reopen.

It may be called Rima's Diner again or maybe Rima D's. Owner Rima David is unsure at this point and also doesn't know exactly when the open sign will flicker on again though she is aiming for some time in July. 

What is certain is that after having the building at the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and Seventh Street on the market for a few years, David is keeping it and reopening.

"There's a lot of stuff going on in Covington, a lot of stuff coming, and a lot of people keep coming in the Crescent Springs store and saying, 'I wish you opened (in Covington)', so I just instead of having it sit empty, you just need to keep up with this," David said.

Rima's Diner in Crescent Springs has little trouble filling its tables and David said she was similarly successful in Covington. It wasn't a lack of business that forced her to close her doors.

"I've had so many people tell me how they miss Covington and so forth and the business is there and the people are great down there," she said. "Unfortunately, when my father was sick in 2008 and I took him in I had to leave the business and I just had a poor staff and they were robbing me and stealing me blind, and after my dad passed away it was either neglect Crescent Springs and do that 24/7, or just decide to close it."

"It broke my heart."

But recent development plans announced for Downtown Covington, including a new boutique hotel directly across the street from Rima's, the expansion of the Gateway Community & Technical College urban campus, and loads of new residential units, positions the diner to have even more customers when it returns.

While the building was on the market it started to appear as prime real estate with the anticipation of these Downtown developments but David said several interested parties had trouble attaining financing. At one point, celebrity Cincinnati chef Jean Robert de Cavel had checked it out as he considered a new restaurant in Covington.

But all those strike-outs have led David to step back to the plate just as the city is about to look like a brand new place.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful," David said. "I think it's a long time coming. That area could just be the neatest area. There's nothing different at this point than there was when I was open. I know it's coming. My business is really good there. That's not why I closed. As a matter of fact, that's one of the biggest reasons I've decided to come back because I know the business is there, I just know that I need a good staff."

David has also been busy raising a three-year old daughter. "I'm a reborn mom," she said. "I thought, well, I guess I won't be reopening, but here I am."

The menu at the Covington Rima's will feature sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, pizzas, and daily specials. "It's going to be really good food, home-cooked food," Davis promises.

Rima's Diner is a spin-off of The Porch restaurant in Russell Springs, Kentucky which is near Lake Cumberland. David moved from this area in 1992 and opened The Porch in 1995. After returning to the area, Davis opened Rima's Diner in Crescent Springs in 2004.

According to Rima's Diner's Facebook page, David's best friend, Connie Miller, a Jamestown, Kentucky native, manages The Porch. "So the next time you're down in that neck of the woods, tell Connie, "Rima sent me", and she just might give you a piece of pie.

Or, prepare for a slice of pie at Rima's Diner (or Rima D's) in Downtown Covington - coming soon!

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

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Photo: Rima's Diner in Downtown Covington/RCN

Note: An earlier version of this article said that Rima's last name was Davis. It has been corrected to David.