TROY — On the outside, Loomy's is a plain white building with a new sign overhead. It's easy to spot at the corner of U.S. 40 and Illinois 162. Owner Jeff Loomis says it's what's on the inside that counts.
"It's all about freshness, everything made from scratch," said Jeff of the takeout and dine-in eatery he opened in August that bears his high school nickname.
He ticks off a list: "Great burgers -- we toast our buns. Fresh meat daily from Troy. Everything made to order. You'll never find a microwave here. All local vendors. Nothing over $4. And where else can you get a red cream soda float?"
Jeff, who grew up in St. Jacob and now lives in Germantown, is proud to bring a new restaurant to the area. It's within sight of his alma mater, Triad High School.
"It's been really nice to see all the local support," he said, mentioning customers who come in before a high school game and teachers who stop by at the end of the day.
The building was familiar to many as a seasonal ice cream stand. Jeff bought the shuttered site in July after his dad Russ spotted a for-sale sign. They had it open by Aug. 19.
"I think you need food to drive the ice cream business and we've got both," he said, adding that a limited menu allows him to focus on doing those things "great."
He credits the quick turnaround from purchase to opening on help from Russ, 81, a retired millwright who consulted on a lot of structural and maintenance issues; Russ' St. Jacob neighbor, Tom Kaminski,; and Jeff's son Nick, 17, who not only created the Loomy's logo, but took on tasks like salvaging the black-and-white floor in the dining area.
Everything else had to go, Jeff said.
His wife Darla was the force that got them up and moving after long days renovating the place, said the 50-year-old. And, she chose the interior color scheme.
"She kept pushing us forward," he said.
The soft-gray walls are filled with photos of St. Louis sports teams.
Sit inside or take home a double cheeseburger ($3.75) -- "That's our biggest seller," said Jeff -- with waffle fries ($2.25/french, $1.50/chili-cheese, $3.75). While you're welcome to order a soda, don't leave without trying a 20-ounce soda float for $2.50. Thanks to Excel Bottling Co., in Breese, you'll get old-fashioned flavors like Lucky Club Cola, Frostie Root Beer, orange, Ski and Red Cream. Big 20-ounce shakes are $3.25, 12-ounce concretes are $2.95 and cones are $1.25/$1.75, with ice cream from Prairie Farms.
If you're hankerin' for something other than a burger, $3.95 will get you a fried or grilled chicken sandwich, cod sandwich or a chicken salad sandwich on Texas toast. A daily soup, plus grilled cheese, chicken tenders and nuggest also are on the menu.
Besides four kinds of fries, you can choose from onion rings or fried pickles, mushrooms, green beans and macaroni and cheese for $2 to $2.95.
Jeff had been in the restaurant managing and consulting business for 25 years. He got out nine years ago to design and sell spas and hot tubs. He hesitated about going back, but decided the time and the place were right.
He admitted that he'd forgotten how much work was involved, but doesn't regret the decision.
"It's not easy, but it is fun."
What: Takeout and dine-in burgers, sandwiches, sides and ice cream
9070 State Route 162 (at the intersection with U.S. 40), Troy
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily winter hours.
Information: 618-667-8000 and like Loomy's on Facebook