WAURIKA, Okla._One of Waurika's only restaurants in town caught fire last week, leaving the small town without a longtime staple.
The Silver Spur Cafe, as it was recently known, first opened its doors in Waurika in the 1930's. After being declared a total loss, several residents are now mourning the loss of one of Waurika's most beloved spots.
Whether you know it as the Southwest Cafe, Molly's, Nicki's, Dyer's or even Fuzz's, the Silver Spur Cafe has been going strong, longer than most of us have been alive. Now the restaurant is gone and many of the residents feel like a piece of the their small town went right along with it.
"It's always been an early cafe; it's always open at five in the morning," and that's what compelled owner Gerald Collier to save the Silver Spur from permanently closing just a few years ago.
"Norman and I decided 'well we'll just buy the cafe and open it up at five and carry on the tradition," said Collier.
That tradition is something hundreds of folks in Waurika not only remember, but relied on day in and day out. It was a place that gave comfort to everyone, from those who sat at the tables, to even the ones who turned the lights out at the end of the night.
"That's just where all of our friends came, and we met people from all over the world," said previous owners Joe and Debi Jinks. "We fed our kids out of there, and many other kids, friends, relatives. That one was like home to everybody. It'd been there for years and years and years."
Collier said last week's fire was nothing short of devastating, "I don't know how to describe it, but it's just a bad feeling. You just have a knot in your stomach, it just makes you sick."
Just like the day he purchased the little building, he's dedicated to continuing the tradition created by generations before him, "everybody in town is wanting us to build it back, so I suppose we will. I really enjoyed the friendship we've had down there; unless you experience it it's hard to believe. It was just an old building, but it had something about it you know."
Collier said the cafe just finished a complete renovation this past October that even included new artwork. Now he and his business partner have decided to rebuild. He said it's too early for a timeline but they hope to have the old building cleared by next week and construction starting this year.