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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
GIFFORD — You won’t need a bib to eat at Gifford’s newest restaurant, but don’t be surprised to see the owner wearing one. Bib overalls, that is.
Lorin Schluter is well known for that type of attire, so much so that that’s what he has named his restaurants.
He opened Bibbs restaurant in Potomac in February 2011. The newest Bibbs will be opened at 204 S. Main St. in Gifford in the building that formerly housed Main Street Cafe.
The grand opening of the Gifford eatery is set from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The event will include a meal special.
“Dine in or carryout and meet the help,” Schluter said.
Bibbs won’t be open the following day, but will then open for business Monday, Dec. 3. Regular hours will be 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.
The restaurant will offer daily lunch specials such as pulled pork, Philly steak, chili, ham and beans, fried chicken, fried fish, prime rib sandwiches and tacos and will have the same full menu that is offered at the Potomac restaurant.
Anyone who wears bibs on Fridays will get 10 percent off their tab.
“That goes over pretty good,” Schluter said.
The restaurant will employ “six or seven,” he said.
Terry Grant, one of Schluter’s waitresses, said the Potomac restaurant has gone over well because customers get “what they want” and “it’s a family-oriented” business.
Bibbs also caters any size gathering.
Schluter said Bibbs is also community-oriented.
“We give a lot away,” he said. “We donate a lot to funerals and special groups.”
Schluter, who also farms in the rural Armstrong area, first ventured into the restaurant business when he opened the first Bibbs. He said he comes by his love of cooking naturally.
“My mom was a tremendous cook. It’s in my blood,” he said, adding of his decision to start a business, “I’m not one to be told something can’t be done.”
The key to the eatery’s success is that he is “surrounded by tremendous help.”
Schluter said the need to provide his employees more hours is a major reason for opening the second Bibbs.
Besides Grant, he said his top waitress is Pam Glines. Bridget Joyce, “the top cook” at The Oasis restaurant before it closed, will cook at the new Bibbs. Jesse Cook, a former Army cook who was one of the owners of Main Street Cafe, will cook on Sundays. Schluter also does some cooking.
The entrepreneur enjoys the restaurant business.
“I learn something every day,” he said. “It’s just good to see satisfied customers come back,” noting that word of mouth led to the success of the Bibbs eatery in Potomac.
That restaurant has customers from throughout that area, coming from as far away as Westville, Bismarck and Cissna Park.
“You’ll have to come try our fried chicken,” Schluter said.
Grant concurred, “It’s the best around.”
She adds: “Nobody leaves hungry. You get a lot (of food).”
Schluter wears his trademark bib overalls almost every day.
“The only time I don’t wear bibs is when I go to a funeral,” he said.
“They’re more comfortable, and I need all my pockets.”
He wears bibs even when he’s cooking — “especially when I’m cooking,” he said. “That way I don’t have a loose shirt hanging over the cooking grill. I need the extra pockets for my meat thermometer.”