MCCLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) – Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and waitress Cindy Bussey’s smile. If you’re looking for something consistent, Curtis Watson is the man who prides himself on dishing it out.
“Hi there, folks,” he chirps to a table for six. “Come right on in!”
He was a manager at the old Howard Johnson chain of restaurants/motels and happy with his job back in 1978.
But he heard about a little place for sale along the interstate that had the right ingredients for success: two gas stations nearby and easy interstate access.
“It’s probably the best location in the country,” he figures. “They can get in, get out, and go.”
All he had to do was supply the good food.
Curtis and his wife Norma took what they knew from their Howard Johnson days and applied some of it to their own place.
The look of the menu resembled the old “HoJo’s.”
Curtis insisted on wait staff uniforms (Watson himself always dresses in a crisp, white shirt and tie). Finally, he always insisted on ample portions at reasonable prices.
“Feed ’em good and don’t charge ’em too much,” he chuckles.
On rare occasions, Watson will let a visitor peek into the kitchen to meet the staff but his recipes are a closely guarded secret. Not even the cook staff knows them.
“So your recipes don’t walk out the door,” queries his guest?
“Yep,” he affirms.
The menu changed a little over the years, from Mexican food, to barbecue. But his most popular item remains a big plate of fried catfish and an ‘all you can eat’ option with generous sides.
Watson says, “If you ate all of that, you wouldn’t want too much more.”
If he struggled at all in the beginning it was only until he put up a sign on I-40.
Watson’s son helps him run the place these days, along with a loyal staff and a strong faith in guidance from above.
“One man can’t do it all himself,” he states. “He has to have a little help.”
Curtis is thankful he can still manage this little place he started back in the late 70s. The ‘all you can eat’ has always been just enough for him.
Curtis Watson’s Restaurant is located just off the McCloud, Highway 102 exit on Interstate 40 between Choctaw and Shawnee.
It’s open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Tuesday and Wednesday.
Great State is sponsored by Oklahoma Proton Center