Oasis celebrates its 80th year

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 04:11 PM

After 80 years, people keep flocking to The Oasis for its food, its atmosphere and especially its hotdogs.

The business started in July of 1933 and later moved to its current location at 116 S. Main St. in Monroe.

Today longtime customers of all ages can be seen enjoying the various menu items The Oasis offers or catching up with old friends.

“You come in alone, but you’re never really alone,” Doris Taylor, one of The Oasis’ many customers, said.

It’s common to come by the sandwich shop for a quick meal and run into old friends to chat with while you’re there. In addition to often seeing people you know, the restaurant staff is very friendly and welcoming, so even if you’re eating alone, you never feel like you’re really alone, Taylor said.

Clyde Helms, who has since passed away, started the business and first opened it on July 4, 1933, in the old Monroe Opera House on Hayne Street that used to sit across from the old Union County Courthouse. For a period of time, Helms also operated a toy store that was next to The Oasis. Since then, the business was moved to its current location on Main Street and for a short time, crafts were sold out of the business. People today still visit it regularly for its food and atmosphere.

“Oasis has always been part of my life,” Tim Ratliff, the current owner of the business, said.

His aunt, Patty Norwood, as well as some of his other family members and himself worked in the restaurant for years before his aunt later came to own the business and eventually turned over ownership to him. So far he has owned the business about six years. A lot of the characteristics of The Oasis today are similar to how it was years ago. Though a few things have been added to its menu over the years, a lot of it is still the same, Ratliff said.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said in reference to why he’s chosen to maintain a lot of the business’ features.

He’s glad to see the business reach 80 years, and in honor of its 80th anniversary, on Wednesday, July 17, the business will be selling hotdogs for 80 cents the entire day, he said.

“The food is good, and it’s like the food we grew up eating,” Sis Dillon, who along with her husband, Tom Dillon, visits the restaurant several times a week, said.

They enjoy the sandwiches at The Oasis as well as its overall atmosphere, Tom Dillon said.

“The food is good, and I don’t think it’s too fattening,” he said laughing.

While The Oasis has many adult regular customers, some members of younger generations are also regulars as well.

“We’ve been coming here since we were babies,” Savannah Griffin, who visited the restaurant with her cousins

and boyfriend last week, said.

They don’t live far from the business and often walk over to it during the day for its hotdogs and other food, she said.

“It’s the only place I trust eating a hotdog from,” she said.

A number of people in addition to Griffin said they enjoy eating the hotdogs at the business.

“It has the best hotdogs in town,” Ken Austin, who visited The Oasis last week, said.

In addition to being a place where you can pick up a good meal, many said it is also a good place to socialize and hear more about what’s going on in the town.

“You come to The Oasis to get news,” Virginia Bjorlin, another Oasis regular said, and the people you meet at The Oasis and its staff are very friendly, and the food is good.

For more information about The Oasis call 704-289-3633.

Other Business News

What: Business After Hours — “Christmas in July”

When: July 18, 5- 7 p.m.

Where: Extreme Ice Center, 4705 Indian Trail Fairview Road, Indian Trail

Note: The event is sponsored by Henderson Properties. The event is hosted by the Union County Chamber of Commerce and is free to attend for chamber members. Attendees of the event are asked to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater and dress casual to hit the ice for fun with curling. For more information visit the Union County Chamber of Commerce website at www.unioncountycoc.com or call 704-289-4567.