The sign in front of the Liberty Gathering Place. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
In 1941, Cora Saltz owned Betty Lane Restaurant in downtown West Liberty. In 1958, Rose Emma Smith and her son Dan bought the place and renamed it Dajolee’s. In the 1970s, they bought the adjoining building and made that space Dajolee’s Banquet Room.
At that time, Delbert and Kathy Fullencamp owned The Graystone Restaurant in the town. Later, they purchased Dajolee’s. In 1995, the Fullencamps sold Dajolee’s to one of its longtime employees Cindy Oelker. Afterward, The Graystone Restaurant closed.
Oelker’s regular customers chose its new name, “Liberty Gathering Place,” since she notes, “We have so many small groups that gather here for food and fellowship.”
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Now, after 30 years of hosting so many loyal customers, Oelker is hoping to retire if she can find the right buyer for her beloved restaurant. It’s crucial to her that the new owner allow her dedicated staff to stay on to work where some have been employed for decades serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week! She vows to stay open until a qualified buyer is found for the sake of those devoted employees and for the many hungry visitors to Liberty Gathering Place.
Cindy Oelker and Liberty Gathering Place received the “Certificate of Appreciation” from Ohio’s RTC (Ross Training Center) for 20 years of “recognizing and appreciating the value of people with disabilities in the workplace and in our community!”
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Homemade cherry pie is one of several dessert options at the Liberty Gathering Place. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Beverages: S&D Gourmet Colombian Coffee, or Freshly-brewed Tea — $1.49 (free refills); Cappuccino, Hot Chocolate — $1.79; Pepsi products — $1.79 (free refills); Juice, or Milk — $1.99/$2.29.
Breakfast (Served All Day): “Big Four Breakfast Specials” (in honor of the “Big Four Railroad” Stops): #1. Cleveland: Two eggs, Meat, Hash Brown, or Home Fries — $6.29. #2. Cincinnati: Two eggs, Toast and Bacon — $4.99. #3. Chicago: Two eggs, Toast, Hash Brown, or Home Fries — $5.29. #4. St. Louis: Two eggs, Grits, Meat, & Toasted English Muffin — $6.29.
Other Breakfast Options (Served All Day): English Muffin, or Bagel — $1.49; Coffee Cake — $1.89; Oatmeal, Grits, or Cream of Wheat — $1.99; Cinnamon Roll — $2.79; Corned Beef Hash — $2.99; Pancake — $2.99; Thick French Toast — $3.29; Breakfast Sandwich w/egg & meat — $3.69; Mad River Cornmeal Mush — $3.99; Dairy Farmer Omelet — $4.79; Ohio Fresh Veggie Omelet — $6.49; Hungry Farmer Omelet — $7.49.
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A sign on the wall of the Liberty Gathering Place. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Kid’s Menu (Includes French Fries, or One Side): Aunt Cindy’s Grilled Cheese, or Hot Diggity Dog — $2.99; Box Car Hamburger, or Chicken Buddies —$3.99; Choo-Choo Chicken Strips, or Super Duper Salad Bar — $4.99.
Daily Specials: Monday: Baked Fish, or Ham & Beans w/Cornbread. Tuesday: Liver & Onions. Wednesday: Country Fried Steak, or Beef & Noodles. Thursday: Chicken Stir Fry, Pan Fried Chicken w/Dressing, or Roast Beef & Dressing. Friday: “All U Can Eat” Perch or Pollack, or Baked Steak. Saturday: Egg Casserole & Toast.
Tuesday Specials: First Tuesday of Month: Spaghetti. Second Tuesday of Month: Soup Bar w/11 soups —$6.99. Third Tuesday of Month: Macaroni & Cheese, or Swiss Steak. Fourth Tuesday of Month: Scalloped Potatoes w/Ham, or Swiss Steak.
Wednesday Hot Bar Buffet/Friday & Saturday Specials (at 4 p.m., include): Prime Rib Dinner, is a seasoned juicy ribeye with Au jus and horseradish.
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The hot soup bar at the Liberty Gathering Place. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Sunday Dessert Bar & Salad Bar (11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.): Dinner w/two sides, or one side w/dessert bar & salad bar — $10.95.
Appetizers: Breaded Fried Mushrooms, or Deep Fried Dill Pickles — $3.95; Fried Green Tomatoes, or Green Bean Dippers — $4.95; Mozzarella Sticks, or Onion Rings — $5.95.
Soup: “Soup-of-the-Day” — $1.95/$2.95.
Soup Bar & Salad Bar (Monday-Saturday): $6.95.
Soup Bar & Salad Bar (Sunday): $9.95.
Salads: Garden Salad — $2.95; Chef Salad — $6.95; Grilled Chicken Salad, or Taco Salad — $7.95.
Sides: Baked Potato, Broccoli w/Cauliflower & Carrots in Cream Sauce, Buttered Corn, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, or Sweet Potato Souffle.
Sandwiches: Grilled Cheese — $1.95; “Build-Your-Own-Burger” — $3.95 (One-quarter Pound)/$6.95 (One-half Pound); Fried Fish(Cod), or The West Liberty Club — $5.95; BBQ Pulled Pork, Chicken Breast, or Fried Chicken Tenders — $6.95; Classic Reuben, Italian Sub, Pork Tenderloin, or Roast Beef Special — $7.95; Buffalo Burger (6-oz.), or The Philadelphia Sub — $8.95.
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Dinners (Includes Two Sides, or One Side & Salad Bar): Baked Hickory Ham, Fried Chicken Fillets, Fried Saltwater Perch, Roast Beef, or Seasoned Pork Loin — $9.95; Fried Pork Tenderloin, or Ham Loaf —$10.95; Chopped Sirloin Steak, or Fantail Shrimp — $11.95; Prime Rib — $12.95 (8-oz.)/$16.95 (12-oz.)/$18.95 (16-oz.).
Desserts: Ice Cream Sundae — $2.39; German Chocolate Cake — $2.79; Housemade Milkshake — $4.79. Aunt Cindy’s Homemade Pie (Could Be): Apple, Black Raspberry, Butterscotch, Cherry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Cream, Custard, Peach, or Peanut Butter — $2.99.
Aunt Cindy’s Homemade Whole Pie — $15 each w/24-hour notice.
One of two dining rooms at the Liberty Gathering Place. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Monday-Friday, 5:30a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Liberty Gathering Place has a separate banquet room for rent, that will seat up to 50 of your special event guests.
Also, catering is available for up to 200 guests at your location, with a 60-day booking.
Look for local restaurant profiles by Glenn and Kim Creyts every other week in “Life.” For inquiries regarding this column, and “Restaurant Profile” ideas and suggestions for future columns, please contact Glenn and Kim via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Liberty Gathering Place on North Detroit Street in downtown West Liberty. BILL LACKEY/STAFF