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Table Talk Ruby’s Restaurant By Jocelyn Pedersen Purcell’s little gem


Burgers and breakfast bring customers back for more than 40 years. Below, loyal patron Alfred Giroux spends many days sipping coffee at the restaurant. Photos by Jocelyn Pedersen


C ✓ Ruby’s is located at 1737 S. Green Ave., Purcell, OK.


✓ Breakfast is served all day alongside signature ham- burgers, chicken fried steaks with all the trimmings and a variety of fresh, homemade pies.


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ountry music and country cookin’ greet visitors to Ruby’s Restaurant in Purcell, Okla., where the food has been served up with a smile


since 1967. The little eatery located just a short hop east of I-35 has a rustic, old-timey charm on the outside with great food and friendliness on the inside. With Ruby’s Inn sharing the parking lot, the restaurant draws a diverse crowd of peo- ple. Some are travelers and others come just for the home cooking. Lori Burton, fl oor manager, said snowbirds from Canada “come and eat with us every year.” No mat- ter where they’re from, they seem to leave content. Many come back for more. “It’s very good,” said Tammy Boyd, fi rst- time customer at Ruby’s. “I’m glad I asked the waitress for her recommendation. This is one of the best cheeseburgers that I’ve ever had. And the french fries, bless them, are not drowning in salt.” Boyd is from Yukon and visited Ruby’s with friends from Norman who drive down to the restaurant from time to time. According to Richard Rains, vice presi- dent and general manager, the popularity of Ruby’s has grown through the years. Back in the 1950s, it was called Ruby’s 77 Truck Stop and it was located down the street from where it is now. In July 1967, Ruby built the restaurant where it now stands. Rains’ sister, Barbara Hardcastle, and her son bought the restaurant from Ruby in 1974. The fi rst units of the hotel opened up in 1975; the follow- ing year, 50 additional units went up. Ruby’s currently stands with 81 rooms and employs 36 people between the motel and the restaurant.


Ruby’s has a hot griddle and a warm welcome 365 days a year. Click above to see home cooking in the heart of Purcell, Okla. Photo by Grant Leatherwood


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“It’s been good with the times. It’s made a lot of people a living,” Rains said. “One employee has been here about 17 years and another about 10 years. We’ve had a lot of long-term employees. I’ve been fortunate.” Rains said he had one employee who came to work “for a few months” and ended up working for over 37 years. Rita Giroux is the woman of whom Rains speaks. She and her husband Alfred frequent Ruby’s still. Over the years, Rita Giroux has had “most


everything” on the menu but she still has a couple of favorites.


“I like the hamburgers and chicken fries,”


she said. “The chicken fries are their spe- cialty, really.” Alfred Giroux said his favorite is the ham-


burgers because “they’re good and juicy. You gotta wipe your hands off.” While his wife chitchats with friends old


and new, Alfred Giroux draws pictures in his notebook. He chooses pens from his pocket to produce masterpieces on the fl y. He’s likely to ask how to spell your name, draw a rectangle around it and say, “that’s your mailbox” before he starts in drawing a coun- try homestead. Between pen strokes, he takes bites of his food and sips his coffee. Besides coffee and burgers, Ruby’s has a wide variety of menu items. There are club sandwiches, grilled steaks, ham steaks and pork chops, open hot sandwiches, seafood selections and sides ranging from baked po- tatoes and okra to breaded squash. There’s always hot soup, crisp salads at the salad bar and a variety of homemade pies to tempt visitors. Those who like breakfast can order pancakes, eggs, and hash browns any time of day.


Albert Miller, 16, said his pancakes were “perfectly toasted” complimented by “salty bacon and crispy hash browns. Crispy is the only way to go with hash browns,” Miller added.


Burton said her favorite item on the menu is the club sandwich because “it’s all made fresh—not a bunch of processed meats in there.” But, she cautioned, “You gotta be hungry.”


Aside from the food, Burton said the best thing about Ruby’s is the customers, many of whom are electric co-op members. “We have the best customers in the world,” Burton said. “They’re the nicest people.” When making the drive to Ruby’s to en- joy the coffee and pie, remember to look for Alfred Giroux. You’ll not only leave delight- fully full, you might just leave with a hand- drawn masterpiece. For more information, visit the restaurant or call 405-527-5577.


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