CommunitySpotlight Series


Pete's Diner wins patrons with traditional model and delicious food

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 27, 2024

LANCASTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — If only you could smell through a web article, you’d understand why patrons of Pete’s Diner in Lancaster are always coming back.

“That’s the key, serve good food and people will come back,” said owner Pete Dykal.

Dykal began his stint in the restaurant biz as a kid, working as a busboy. From dirty dishes to management, gigs in Vegas, jobs at Chi Chi’s and Outback Steakhouse, Dykal’s life work has always been centered in restaurants.

“That’s 48 years of restaurant business,” said Dykal.

But perhaps his most meaningful restaurant yet is the hidden gem on Pine Crest Road, a beloved diner now sporting his first name: Pete’s.

“We leased for a couple, two or three years, then we decided to buy the restaurant because this is something we both love to do,” said Dykal. “Not only do I love to cook, but my wife Donna loves to bake.”


Made-from-scratch sweets and savory specials have made Pete’s a staple among locals, but Pete says it’s employees and pricing that really sets his diner apart.

“If you run the business the right way, you take care of your employees the way they should be taken care of, they’re gonna take care of your customers and your customers are gonna come back, and that's what we preach.”

According to Dykal, over the last ten years, the diner has never posted a “Now Hiring” sign.

As important as the revenue, is the responsibility to teach work ethic, so he hires local kids looking for their first job. With loyal customers, those kids have often grown up dining with their families at Pete’s.

“If we did something small in their life while they were with us, wherever they go, hopefully, that’ll make them realize, ‘Yes, I was a dishwasher at Pete’s Diner at age 15,’ and whatever they do in life, this will make them better.”


While students can often be found behind the counter, the daily influx of senior citizens can be found seated in the dining room. It’s because of them that the Dykals rarely raise prices.

“What we keep looking at and going back to are the senior citizens, the people that are on a fixed income or retirement or whatever it may be, so every time we consider raising prices, we always look at that and say, 'Ya know, we’re okay.'”

Family oriented, reasonably prices, and downright good…it’s nothing earth shattering, it’s just Pete’s.

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“We’re here to serve the customers and the employees, that’s how me and Donna look at it. We’ve always looked at it that way,” said Pete.

You can find Pete’s hours and specials on their Facebook page.