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Isle of Capri is key to magic of Krebs

The Food Dude continues his road trip to Oklahoma's iconic eateries with a stop at Isle of Capri in Krebs.
by Dave Cathey Published: April 10, 2013
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The only thing unwelcome in Isle of Capri is time. Or at least it appears to have passed the place over. From the original neon sign out front to the remarkably well-preserved fixtures and furniture within, the Isle must be time-warp friendly. Three dining rooms boast about 250 seats and could probably squeeze in 300 if the fire marshal was on vacation. There is nothing corporate or slick about the Isle. This is a family affair and has the quirky charm to prove it.

Both Fields and Duff grew up in the restaurant, then went off to college to learn a new profession, only to learn the restaurant bug isn't an easy one to shake. Especially when so many of your loved ones made sacrifices to keep it successful enough to sustain the family for generations.

“You grow up in it, and you get a hunger for it,” Fields said. “It's like a production every night.”

Duff continues, “You see the same people come in, and you know what they're going to eat, and what they're going to drink. And they've come to you because they love what you do.”

“You become a part of special occasions, special moments in people's lives,” Fields interjected. “I don't ever want to see this fail. This is our family heritage, and that means a lot to me.”

Goodness of Krebs

Don Robertson, nephew of Dominick Giacomo, said something in an article written years ago that is as true today as it was the day Dom first opened: “We emphasize the family. I think that's what has kept me in this business. I love my customers. They grow on you and especially if you can please them and give them a special night out. It does me great pleasure to see people leave satisfied.”

Dom Giacomo passed away in October 1974 at age 50. But the family refused to bury his dreams with him. The Isle of Capri will serve 1,500 to 2,000 people most weekends. Without it, Pete's Place, Roseanna's and GiaComo's in McAlester would suffer.

I'm a firm believer that food is the best storyteller, and a trip to Krebs, regardless of which of its four long-standing Italian restaurants you choose to visit, is proof of that.

Each has its own tale to tell, and each is worth learning one bite at a time. If you haven't been to Isle of Capri, it's time.

If you go

Isle of Capri is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and for dinner from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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