30 years, 30 Great State stories: Hot coffee and blue smoke still mix in this Chickasha diner

Great State

CHICKASHA, Okla. (KFOR) — Maybe it’s the way the afternoon light comes through the front window.

It could be the extra hot coffee, or the easy laughter of partners Charlotte McConnell and Rowena Musick.

But the old Chickasha Motel coffee shop is, once again, breathing the smoke filled air of diner life.

“Exactly,” agrees one, regular customer.

Rowena says, “We decided we’d come down here and open this, and see how it went.”

There’s been a coffee shop here since the building was called The New Chickasha Hotel, and that was more than a century ago.

Open, then closed, but mostly closed over the past few years, Charlotte and Ro quit their other waitressing jobs to come here.

Ro worked this diner as a teenager.

Charlotte grew up down the street.

Ro admits, “I’ve been doing this about 40 years.”

Charlotte tries to shush her, but Ro continues, “That’s a long time, a long time.”

Most coffee shops no longer offer the classic combination of coffee and cigarettes.

But most of the regulars in here still like it hot and smoky.

People know each other.

They even have their regular spots.

Rowena smiles as he points out, “Corner Rick and Windo Rick. And that Rick always has to have flowers at his table.”

Customers Bill Tryon and Ray Ferguson don’t even smoke any more but they still like the old place.

There’s just something about it that’s familiar.

Ray recalls, “It’s just like my daddy used to say. It’s like a spit and whittle corner where everybody gangs up.”

Make coffee or grab a smoke.

Those are all things people could do at home by themselves, but they come here because other people just like them get lonely for company.

For this place and a few others like it, the old coffee shop feels like home too.

“It is our home,” laughs Rowena.

‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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