Rory’s Diner brings people together over classic cuisine—
no TV required

Rory’s diner is the new familiar place in town. It’s a diner-style restaurant that celebrates Americana with a Colorado flair.

Music piped from the speakers is a blend of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, “but mostly fifties, except in the evening—then I put in more seventies to rock it,” says Rory’s owner Jeff Holland. The diner’s popularity is evident in the literal growth of the place; last month it moved from a 25-seat corner in the Victorian Peaks building to the space next door, where it can now accommodate 84 patrons.

But who’s Rory? I ask. The owner gets up without a word and grabs a menu from the hosting station. He opens it in front of me and it’s all there: a little boy with spectacles and demure smile is pictured at the bottom of the first page. It’s his nephew, Rory, at age 2 1/2, before he lost his battle with cancer. This diner, along with Rory’s Catering and soon-to-be opened Rory’s Soda Shop (in the vacated space next door), is Holland’s homage to him.

“I noticed that Downtown Parker didn’t have any businesses like this, a place where families could come and talk and hang out together,” Holland explains. “I wanted to bring back the age of innocence.”

And there’s no TV. “I get a lot of flack for that. The guys tell me they want to watch the game, and I say, ‘talk to your family!'”

Holland takes pride in sourcing locally, and serving food that’s authentically Americana and includes the local flavors of Colorado (think: Southwestern influences). A perfect example is the Breakfast Renello, made with scrambled eggs and cheese stuffed in a roasted poblano pepper, dipped in batter and fried golden brown, then topped with red or green chili.

Although Rory’s Diner and catering continue to receive raves around Parker, Holland’s ultimate goal is to make a positive local impact. “I want to be a part of the community. I volunteer at my daughters’ schools, I hire more than 25 local kids each summer,” Holland says. “I just want to provide a nice place for people to come hang out and be with their families.”