Traveling through far north Edmond on Wednesday, I stumbled upon the sad news that Goldie’s Patio Grill had closed. I hadn’t eaten there in years, so I was anxious to try it out in the location it moved into in 2008. Unfortunately, when I got to the door a small sign was taped to the door, thanking it’s longtime patrons for their support. The dining room was filled with boxes, the lights off.
Thus ends an era started in 1986 by former University of Oklahoma football coach and defacto King of Oklahoma Barry Switzer, former OU football player and gubernatorial candidate Ron Shotts, and Quail Creek Bank founder and Chief Executive Officer Dave Davenport, who opened the first Goldie’s franchise in the metro area, in Edmond, spinning off the Tulsa original founded by Goldie and Melvin Crow in 1962. The Tulsa-area locations are still opened.
Another location opened in Norman shortly after the Edmond store. That spot, too, closed in the last few years.
Goldie’s was home of the pickle bar, Angel Fire burger and happened to be the first place I ever worked that wasn’t in the employ of my parents. In the summer of 1988, I enrolled at Oklahoma Christian for my junior year and moved into campus housing. Not having taken a class yet, the only person I knew was my girlfriend, Mandy. But she was enough to keep me from wanting to spend another summer in the leather goods factory in Brownwood, Texas.
Problem was, I had to have a job to keep me in gas and Mandy in dinner-and-a-movie dates.
So, after a month of knocking around, I landed at Goldie’s. I told the manager I’d do what it took to learn how to wait tables, he told me he could teach me and he did. I spent most of the summer there, before a family illness drew me back to Texas in August with classes starting shortly thereafter.
What I learned was Goldie’s, which was more or less a tax shelter in those days, did a huge lunch crowd and a moderate to light dinner crowd except for Saturdays. We had two gentlemen that came in every Saturday and ordered steaks. They had the same waitress and were big tippers. There was a group from a local lumber company that came in at least once a week. They didn’t tip squat unless one of two gorgeous co-workers was taking care of them. But most importantly, I learned that I was a terrible waiter. Multitasking is total sanscrit to me, and the volume Goldie’s did at lunch turned my brain to mush. If not for a nice server named Joy, folks in my section might still be waiting on their lunch, which would be difficult since the place I worked is now an OnCue station.
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