The Norman Transcript

Commerce

June 7, 2008

Goldie's: Love at first bite

By Tom Blakey

Transcript Staff Writer

It may have been love at first bite.

The first night Rhiannon went to work at Goldie’s Patio Grill, manager Tyler Abla placed a rose under the windshield wiper of her car.

“Then I scheduled her to work with me as much as I could. Making the schedule had its advantages,” Tyler said.

Last week, Tyler and Rhiannon celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary.

Goldie’s has played, and continues to play, a major part in the Ablas’ lives and in the lives of their closest friends.

The Ablas’ now own Goldie’s, having taken ownership of the restaurant March 13.

“It was always a dream of mine to buy it — it just came true a lot earlier than we thought,” Tyler said.

When the previous owner of Goldie’s decided to sell the restaurant and move on to other things, Tyler said he “took the opportunity to buy it.”

“I checked around and found the resources to purchase it. Things fell into place, with help from our family and friends,” he said.

Goldie’s also has played a major part in the life of Tyler’s mother, Chris Abla.

Chris answered a newspaper ad and came to work at Goldie’s 10 years ago in August.

“Lloyd Stricker, the previous owner, and I met and became instant friends,” she said. “We still are. Lloyd has moved on to another venture-adventure.”

Chris now manages Goldie’s. She says many people think Goldie’s “went away permanently” when it relocated from 1808 W. Lindsey St. to 1310 E. Alameda St. in December 2006.

“Our doors never closed — everything is exactly the same. We still have the best burgers around,” she said.

Goldie’s employs 15 people. The restaurant maintains a loyal base of longtime customers — some from when it was the original Boomerang at 1808 W. Lindsey St. — and a loyal base of new customers as well. This week, the restaurant hosted a group of young cheerleaders from Arlington, Texas, in Norman for the junior high and middle school cheer camp at the University of Oklahoma.

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