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Perry's Restaurant & Pancake Place treats you like family

Brandon King / Red Dirt Report
The sign for Perry's Restaurant in south Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was three o’clock in the morning on a fall morning in 2014.

With three finals in and one to go, there was no chance that I was going to be able to sleep.

During this time, I was living on the south side of Oklahoma City next to Oklahoma City Community College and Community Hospital.

Seeing as I had work in four hours and there was nothing in my pantry, I got in my car and headed north on May Ave. It was here, on the corner of May and 74th street, that I found a new home.

Shining upon the night sky, a yellow smiling face was behind a plate of pancakes and juice. This was above a blue and red sign with white lettering that read, “Perry’s Restaurant Pancake Place. Open 24 Hours.”

Since 2014, this place has been one of my home away from home.

I consider myself a simple man. To prefer the simpler things in life is the best way to live it. Give me a classic diner over a fine dining eatery any day. Trust me; it’ll fill you up better thananything your highbrow friends could suggest.

For three years, there has yet to be a time when I come here that I don’t feel like I’m coming home after a long trip. The red painted wood of the outside and the twinkling of the Christmas

lights that hang from the rafters all year round make me want to come in.

The perfect time to go to Perry’s is around this time of year. Even on the brightest day, the twinkling of a Christmas tree.

As you walk up to the entrance, old newsstands are filled with the latest papers and magazines.

The smell of bacon grease and fir can be found wafting through the door. Even on the outside, I can hear people laughing and see them smile as they hold each other close in the tight booths.

When you press you hand on the glass door, you can feel as though the rest of the world doesn’t matter. No politics, no religion, no worries. It’s all comfort here.

Rough, gray carpet lines the floors of the medium sized diner. Lining against the walls are dark blue and brown striped booths with laminated wood tables. Each table is equipped with two bottles of hot sauce, some sugar for people’s coffee or tea, and club crackers.

In the middle of the restaurant sits a granite top bar with seven swivel chairs. Half of them are off balance and squeak but it’s never a problem for the clientele.

The counter at Perry's (Brandon King / Red Dirt Report)

Most of the people who step through the door are older people, vagrants and worn out college students looking for unlimited coffee and cheap food. It doesn’t hurt that it’s open 24 hours.

As you walk in, ladies dressed in blue jeans and either a blue or grey shirt will ask you to sit wherever you like. There is something in their voice that entices you to come be with them. It’s the grace and gratitude only held by old family members and older friends.

I stepped to the bar top and smiled at the woman behind the counter. Two pots of coffee in each hand, she never stopped but she smiled and greeted me by name. We talked for a few moments about everything that was going on in our lives and she filled me a cup of coffee.

Black and bitter, just the way I love it.

Theresa, the waitress, never stopped working around the half-filled diner. Each person that she saw, she knew them by name and asked about their family. A skeptic could argue that this is just a phenomenal waitress working towards a tip.

I’d be inclined to believe you on normal occasions.

It’s never been this way here. The waitresses that work here don’t have to plaster a smile on in front of customers just to make their way towards their wallets. All they have to do is be themselves and the rest will follow.

I ordered my usual, an A-3. Two hotcakes, two eggs over-easy, and a mixture of bacon and sausage links. When you find something beautiful, never let it go, right? At this point, I’ve had just about everything on their menu but there is something about a breakfast that says I’m here to be happy.

A bar top breakfast at Perry's. (Brandon King / Red Dirt Report)

If you’re going to go for lunch, get the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. You won’t be disappointed.

As I continued to write at the bar top, I guzzled coffee with each paragraph done. Truth be told, I’ve never once seen the bottom of a Perry’s coffee mug.

This is where the love of this place began and remains.

While I waited on my food, people trickled into the diner.

“Reggie!” the waitresses shouted. The man waved and greeted them all by name. “Ms. Beverly can sit wherever she likes,” another would say. There must have been only one or two new comers that they didn’t know.

By the end of it all, they knew and so did they.

It was as though I was in a rerun of Cheers. The only thing missing was Norm and I would’ve been set.

The food arrived and I devoured them. Like a last supper, I hunched over the plate and ate everything. By the time it was finished, they might as well have stuck it back on the rack. I cleaned it, trust me.

Aside from the coffee, the pancakes are the things they are known for. They are the fluffiest, most light pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. A dollop of easily spread butter and sweet syrup and I’m gone; away into a world that matters only in the confines of the plate in front of me.

The meal is over and here I sit at the bar.

The sounds of 93.3, the country music station, can be heard only through the breaks of laughter from the front and back of the house.

In the diner, Perry’s has done something that I can appreciate each time I come in: no television. Not a single screen boxed into the corner for people to be distracted by. When you come here, you’re family.

I pay my ticket at the front of the house. A single register is manned by a woman who is also helping make the fresh chicken noodle soup. It’s the soup of the day and many of the patrons arrive just for the occasion.

By the time I leave, my stomach is full and I leave waiting anxiously to come back to see everyone.

Perry's Pancake House
7432 S. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: 405-686-1022

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About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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