That’s exactly what Betty Watowich is doing. And she is counting on her husband, Mark, being her best customer.
Betty and Mark moved to Claremore this past summer from Gravette, Arkansas (just west of Bentonville). Betty retired from Walmart Corporate after 25 years of working with international logistics. Mark is an employee of Cherokee Nation Entertainment, located in Catoosa. That’s a bit of a drive from Gravette, yet he did it every workday. So when it came time for Betty to retire, they decided to move to Green Country to shorten Mark’s commute. Initially looking in Tulsa, they decided they craved more of a small-town feel. After searching the area, they decided on Claremore.
Betty’s first plan was to simply enjoy retirement, but she found that she was itching to start a business. Back in Arkansas, the couple ate at Doe’s Eat Place in Bentonville once or twice a week for the past 15 years. Knowing the Tulsa location was no longer open, it was decided: Betty had her project. Her first call was to the City of Claremore, and they recommended she check out the vacant space in the Will Rogers Hotel. Construction is now in full swing, and it’s going to be great!
Using only local contractors as well as supplies from Pixley Lumber, Doe’s Eat Place is coming to life. With the charm that comes from a historical location, including the original flooring, it promises to be a cozy, intimate locale. The red and black color scheme sets the mood for a delicious meal in a private setting.
The original Doe’s Eat Place opened in 1941 in Greenville, Mississippi. Owned by Dominick “Doe” Signa and his wife Mamie in the Signa family’s grocery store, the place really took off when Mamie perfected her hot tamale recipe, which is still a Doe’s staple today. Doe’s Eat Place has 13 locations currently in operation across Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, and Louisiana, with two still owned by the Signa family. Of all the locations, two are open for lunch. Every other Doe’s is strictly dinner, and that’s how the Claremore restaurant will be. This also helps with parking, as Main Street will have space after 5p, as well as the RCB Bank lot across the street.
The two most popular menu items are steaks and tamales, which have been featured in the past month on The Travel Channel. Doe’s Eat Place has received much recognition, as well as awards from Men’s Journal, Southern Living, the Food Network, and more. The beef is aged and cut daily in-house. Steaks will be available in different cuts, of course, like porterhouse, t-bone, top sirloin, ribeye, and filet. Diners can choose steak size, from 8 oz. to three pounds. Many of Doe’s steaks are meant to be shared, and are much thicker than most cuts you’ll find elsewhere.
Tamales are the original menu staple, and are still made with Mamie’s recipe today. The beef tamales are served with homemade chili for a taste that will make your mouth water! Available by the dozen or half dozen.
Seafood will be a popular choice, for sure! With options like shrimp, salmon, mahi, and sea bass, there’s something for everyone. They even have a variety when it comes to chicken fingers, offering broiled, fried, or blackened. Of course, there are several side items that will complement any Doe’s dish, including roasted sweet potatoes, green beens, mac & cheese, baby red potatoes, and mixed greens. For dessert, a special treat is the chocolate cabernet ice cream.
Doe’s in Claremore will have a main dining room, with a bar and additional seating upstairs. There is also a private room available for events.
Doe’s Eat Place is scheduled to open Monday, June 4. Hours for dinner service will be 5p – 9p, Monday – Saturday. Follow them on facebook to keep up with the latest updates and hiring information.