BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- For most of us, Thanksgiving means a long day of cooking at home, football, and then an afternoon spent on the couch; it also happens to be one of the busiest days of the year at Oliver’s Restaurant in North Buffalo.
For more than 50 years, Oliver’s has been the place for people who want to enjoy a turkey dinner and skip the dishes; like the Swales family, who’s visiting Buffalo from Chicago.
“We flew in this morning, had a chance to come over to one of Mary’s favorite places,” said Bill Swales, who’s visiting Mary Taylor, a western New York native.
Taylor knows the menu at Oliver’s well.
“My family ate here, my mother and father, back when it was opened in the 30s,” she said.
Oliver’s owner David Schutte told News 4 reservations for Thanksgiving lunch and dinner service started as early as last year.
The up-scale contemporary American restaurant is also open Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Guests are served from one until eight o’clock on Thanksgiving, and preparation starts early.
“It really starts probably about a month ago, when we ordered our turkeys. We get them in fresh and we have to plan all of the other accompaniments too,” Schutte said.
Staff breaks down and brines the whole turkeys; they go through about 35 on Thanksgiving.
While the menu has a vegetarian lasagna option, fresh lobster, and more, it’s always turkey that’s the big seller.
This is server George Narby’s first Thanksgiving shift at Oliver’s.
“It’s really cool to see how the staff is like a family and the guests are treated like family,” he said.
Thanksgiving at Oliver’s is a chance for staff to make a lot of money, because it’s always packed, but Schutte tries to make the day special in others ways too, like a family dinner before their shift starts.
At about five until one, guests start streaming in.
“We’ll be busy all day long,” Schutte said.
And at least one of them doesn’t need anytime deciding on what they’d like.
“I know today it will be turkey and stuffing,” said regular patron, Mary Taylor.