Hot dog! US diner hits town

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A CHANCE holiday friendship has led to an unlikely business partnership for a Kirkcaldy couple.

For they have been joined by close friends Jeannie and Jason Mahone from California in setting up an all-American diner in Kirkcaldy.

And the Californian couple and their two young daughters are in the process of moving to the Lang Toun to realise their dream.

The couples first met while Gordon (55), and Kathleen Leitchman (53), who live in Valley Gardens, were at their holiday home in Turkey in October last year.

They heard children’s voices in the communal close and popped outside to say hello when they met Jeannie and Jason from Long Beach California and their daughters Sophia and Miya.

“We just got chatting and hit it off. Before we knew it we were going out for meals together and spending a lot of time with each other.”

Since then the couples have each visited each other’s home towns and Jeannie and Jason fell in love with Kirkcaldy and the warm welcome they received.

“We were talking one day and I said I would love to run a restaurant. It was also Jeannie’s dream, and it just all spiralled from there,” explained Gordon.


The Great American Diner at the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street is currently having the finishing touches added, with all the seating booths, mirrored ceiling, counter and lighting designed and sent across from America, giving it a really authentic diner flavour.

It will have a jukebox, and to ensure the real flavours of the US, an American chef is being brought in to teach his Scottish counterparts how to cook authentic American burgers, chilli dogs, waffles, milkshakes and ice cream sundaes.

“We are really looking forward to moving to Kirkcaldy,” said Jeannie, whose husband Jason is a teacher in California.

“We want to provide the people of Kirkcaldy with an authentic taste of America in an authentic American diner.”

George added: “We intend to employ local people, and we want to give the local youngsters somewhere they can come and enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”

The diner is expected to open within the next few weeks. For more information visit