Delta Diner for sale: Why owners are selling the iconic Northwoods eatery

DELTA, WI(Northern News Now)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:48 PM CST
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DELTA, WI -- Those driving around Northwest Wisconsin might stumble upon a small diner that’s built an almost cult-like following over the last 20 years: the Delta Diner.

Founder and co-owner Todd Bucher said the diner had humble beginnings.

“It’s hard to believe we’re entering our 20th year. It’s a long time ago, but I’ve always had a passion for diners,” he said.

Bucher’s fascination with diners began when he was younger; one quick stop at a small roadside diner changed his life.

“When I was 12 years old, my family took a trip out east where we went into a diner somewhere in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Years later, you know, things just lined up where we decided to recreate one here in Delta.”

Over the years, the diner has become one of the most popular restaurants in Northwest Wisconsin.

Bucher attributes that success to his staff’s intentional approach.

“The food has to be right, but it’s honestly about the experience. It’s about the sense of belonging,” he said.

Despite his success, Bucher believes it’s time to pass the baton to a new owner.

“I’ve got a friend who gave me some advice a number of years ago,” he said. “You essentially need to start the process early enough where you still have the passion to get the work done, and we do love this place.”

As Bucher and his wife grow older, they want to experience new things.

“For 19 years, we’ve been building and running it at the same time. So we’re honestly looking forward to being able to just run it while we are trying to find that next owner,” he said.

The diner has become a staple not only for tourists passing through but for the Delta community as well.

“When I go to the diner, I would say third to a half of the people that I see are local,” said Marilyn Einspanier, who owns a nearby lodge.

Einspanier says she’s in full support of the Bucher’s decision to hand over the keys.

“Making the decision to transition rather than have a crisis situation where they would need to find a buyer immediately, it’s much better for the business. It’s much better for the community,” she said.

They don’t know when the sale will go through. Bucher said it could be as soon as this year or a few years down the line.

Still, Bucher assures he and his wife will make sure to find a new owner who will continue their passionate approach, but it won’t be an easy process.

“You can’t spend a third of your life passionately doing something and not have it be you know, bittersweet,” he said.