The Downtown Buffeteria is working hard to replace a Tulsa landmark, the legendary Nelsonâ€™s Buffeteria. The new place has familiar food, even familiar faces. They just seem to be having trouble getting the word out.
News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says once upon a time Nelson's Buffeteria was a regular stop for people who worked downtown, get in line for one of those chicken-fried steaks. But Nelson's closed last summer after 75 years in business.
Collette Devan thought downtown Tulsa need a place like this so she's opened her back up. "I think downtown needs a place that's big enough to hold a lot of people." Problem is a lot of people don't know they're open.
Nelson's was closed for about six months, hungry people found other places, so the old lunch rush has slowed to a trickle, itâ€™s been a struggle. â€œIt has, just getting them to know we are here."
The Round-up Boys are back on Fridays to liven the atmosphere. Shirley Rains is back too, she worked at Nelsons for 21 years. "I feel like I'm back home." Some of the Nelson's regulars are back too. Peggy Miller's glad they're open. "Definitely, definitely. You can only have so many burgers."
The steam table is new but the food it holds has a familiar look. Collette Devan: "Things people like to eat, comfort foods." The Downtown Buffeteria has attracted some of its own customers, folks who never went to Nelsonâ€™s. Tisha Anglin: "We have a few people in our area that eat here a lot." She says she likes it; it's fast but not fast food. And they're not too busy to say thanks. And on Friday you get country music.
The Downtown Buffeteria is open Monday through Friday for lunch from 11 AM until 2 PM.