Bonnie's Café to reopen in Farmville
The Farmville Enterprise
Monday, January 7, 2019
FARMVILLE — Farmville’s Main Street is getting ready to see a familiar face return.
BBD Hospitality LLC is working with Dixon and Associates to reopen Bonnie’s Café after a four-year hiatus.
Bonnie’s Café originally was opened by Bonnie and Ruby Allen in 1940 and was in continuous operation under ownership of the Allens, then Sam Hobgood and finally Tommy Dickinson until 2014.
“We’re excited to get Bonnie’s back open,” said Jamin Dixon of Dixon and Associates.
Bonnie’s Café will maintain its original look and feel, but is undergoing renovations to the bathrooms and kitchen, according to Dixon.
“We’ve been looking for the right group to team with to bring our hometown diner back to life on Main Street,” he said.
After prompting by Dixon, BBD Hospitality LLC was formed by lifetime Farmville residents Tommy “Big Tommy” Brady Sr. and his son, Tommy Jr. along with Brady Sr.’s son-in-law Kevin Diermeier.
“Big Tommy has been cooking chicken, fish, barbecue, and steaks for family weddings and fundraisers for decades around the Farmville area,” Dixon said. “If you have supported the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department or the Pitt County Shriners fundraising events, you have eaten Big Tommy’s cooking.”
Big Tommy got his start when his father, J.R. Brady, opened Brady’s Barbecue.
“Daddy was cooking pigs for Bonnie Allen when Bonnie recommended that he open his own place,” Big Tommy said. “The barbecue restaurant did well enough that he also opened a seafood restaurant near where Doug Henry is now.”
The family closed both restaurants when J.R. died.
“Opening Bonnie’s with my son and son-in-law is something I have wanted to do for years,” Big Tommy said.
Little Tommy, a graduate of East Carolina University, is an information technology specialist for East Carolina University and is chief of the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department.
“One of the core values at Bonnie’s will be service to the Farmville Community,” Little Tommy said. “Daddy and I have been leading the fire department fundraisers and will continue to do so with the help of Bonnie’s Café sponsorship. We will also offer discounts for military, fire, law enforcement and rescue service personnel.
“Kevin brings a unique combination of military leadership experience, business education, and experience running a small business,” he said.
Diermeier is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I was blessed to be entrusted to command a battalion of 800 personnel, conducting aerial intelligence collection missions with a combination of manned aircraft and drones,” Diermeier said. “It was a great way to complete a military career that included tours to Korea, Germany, and the Pentagon.”
In addition to a 21-year military career, Diermeier earned two master’s degrees in business and started his own DJ company.
“My wife, Angela, and I started MusicHead DJs, while we were living in the Dallas, Texas, area and watched it grow from three performances in 2014 to over a hundred gigs in 2016,” he said. “When we moved back to Farmville last year we sold the Dallas business to my senior DJ and opened a branch in eastern North Carolina.”
Big Tommy added, “We will be ready to serve our Farmville friends as soon as the town finishes the utility project and parking lot repavement off of Bonnie’s Alley.”
Bonnie’s Café is expected to reopen in the spring.