CLAREMORE, Okla. — Claremore's oldest diner, Dot's Cafe, has been serving customers since 1971.
It recently celebrated its anniversary amid the pandemic, which has forced its dining area to shut down until further notice.
"Most of our customers have become like family. We expect to see them every day, so it’s sad not getting to see our usuals,” says Brandi Gatzemeyer, manager of Dot's Cafe.
She estimates sales have gone down by more than half at the restaurant named after her grandmother. Gatzemeyer's mother, uncle and niece are trying to keep the business afloat.
Every day they come in waiting for an order to be made.
"We’re down to just curbside, takeout and we are now delivering within city limits," says Gatzemeyer.
They are trying to attract more customers, so they posted a sign outside their door that reads "Honk and Holler."
Even with this creative twist to social distancing, Gatzemeyer says business is slow.
Since dine-in stopped three week ago, they have reduced their hours and laid off a dishwasher. However, they remain optimistic hoping to be able to serve their customers inside their cafe once again.
For now, they are taking it day by day.
“We’re trying to keep the doors open as long as we have enough customers come in and rebuy the groceries. Obviously we’re not making a killing off it, but we don’t want to lock the doors up," says Gatzemeyer.
You can find Dot's Cafe on Facebook for their full menu and daily specials. It is located on 310 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore.
Dot's Cafe is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sunday.
The restaurant is one of several local small businesses we continue to highlight in our "We're Open Green Country" series.
Visit our website, for a full list of businesses. You may also fill out a submission form for a small business that is still operating and offering essential services.
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