Harvey’s soon to open in place of old Dexfield Diner

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Harvey's Diner and Pub served "American comfort food" since June 2016 at the site of the former Dexfield Diner.

The loss to Redfield with the closure several months ago of the Dexfield Diner will soon be made good with the opening next week of Harvey’s Diner and Pub at 904 First St.

Friday, June 10 is the planned date for the restaurant’s soft opening, according to Katie Martinez who, together with her partner, Rick Martinez, recently bought the building from R. Joe Smith of Redfield.

The name of the diner and pub — Harvey’s — comes from Katie Martinez’s maiden name. She grew up in the Stuart and Redfield area, attended Stuart-Menlo and West Central Valley schools and now lives on the family’s six-generation Century Farm outside Redfield.

Martinez moved to New York City after high school in order to pursue a career in performance and acting. Like many another starving artist, she found a day job in the restaurant trade and eventually came to learn the workings of the business at an Italian steak house where she had “incredible teachers and wonderful chefs.”

Her 20 years in New York also brought Rick into her life. They met on or near Broadway, where she acted and he worked on the technical side of theater production. She married the native New Yorker 12 years ago, and regular trips to the Midwest have since made her urbanite husband fond of central Iowa.

Katie and Rick Martinez
Katie and Rick Martinez

 

“We’ve been looking at spaces and trying to figure out our path,” Katie said, “and I wanted to find a way just to honor the community I grew up in.”

Luckily, Katie said, they had “the pure joy of meeting R. Joe Smith and his charming wife, Nancy,” and she and Rick “purchased their baby from them and are making a go of Harvey’s Diner and Pub.”

The menu will feature “American comfort food,” she said, describing their chef as “really special” and his training as “very broad.” Ingredients will be locally sourced from the Redfield Locker and local farms, she said.

“We will still a diner but able to do some really special items, too,” Katie said. “We’re not drastically changing the decor at the beginning because people have loved this place for the past 17 years, and we’ll be trying some new cuisine but also bringing back some customer favorites because it’s important to honor the people that live here and have been your customers.”

High-quality food will be matched by high-quality customer service, Katie said.

“It’s all about quality, about customer service, about making people feel welcome,” she said. “Our true desire is to have a business in a community that has a need. There’s no need in New York to open another restaurant. It’s oversaturated. There’s a true need here for a restaurant. We go ’round and ’round all the time here, and we’ve got our doors open, and we’re cleaning, and people are just dying. They’re like, ‘When’s it opening?’ It’s like they’ve lost a friend.”

Katie said Harvey’s menu will include some old favorites, such as the Dexfield Diner’s prime rib, and they will be open to suggestions.

“We hope that people, when they come in, will share their favorites with us and with the chef,” she said, “and if there’s things we can incorporate into the menu, we’ll certainly try. Our passion is for food and for people and for community and for neighborhood. This pace and this lifestyle is really what we were looking for.”

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IMG_6619 dexfield diner
The site of the former Dexfield Diner will soon house Harvey’s Diner and Pub. A soft opening is planned for next week.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Katie and Rick will be a major asset to this community, and I am sure Harvey’s will draw people from all over Iowa. They have a unique perspective and an amazing culinary background that is sure to open the hearts and fill the bellies of the patrons.

  2. Thank goodness someone with standards has bought it. It had been going downhill for so long. We refused to eat there due to a staff of people all high school age or under running the place with no regard to cleanliness, cold food, and poor service. I hope they hire some adults. I would love to come back. How about hot beef sandwiches for lunch?

  3. Actually running a restaurant is a lot tougher than showing up a couple of times and being critical of the staff. Joe and Nancy did a tremendous service to the community by keeping the Dexfield Diner open for 17 years. The Diner project resulted in the renovation of the entire Northeast corner of First and Thomas and undoubtedly lead to other improvements at the four corners in Redfield. I challenge you to compare the downtown Redfield area in 1999 to the area today. There is no comparison. Thank you, Joe and Nancy, for keeping it open for so many years. The Dexfield Diner will be missed . . . and we also look forward to the next chapter. Welcome to Harvey’s Diner and Pub in Redfield, Iowa.

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