Remember Restaurants this Holiday Season

Oakland Tribune

Remember Restaurants this Holiday Season

Alameda news publishers — going back to the Encinal’s publisher Fred Krauth who piloted the city’s first influential newspaper in the late 1860s — become connoisseurs of local business. As the decades pass, a publisher watches local businesses closely, always hoping for them to succeed, thereby ensuring his own success.

In one particular case, a local restaurant managed to outlast the Alameda Times-Star. Take into consideration Park Street mainstay Ole’s Waffle Shop. Founded in 1927 by Alameda resident Ole Swanson, Ole’s Waffle Shop has been operating in Alameda under the same name longer than any other business. Ole passed the shop to his managers after his death in the 1950s, and it changed hands once more in the 1960s for the whopping sum of $100.

The family that purchased the shop continues to operate it today. But here’s the sad part.

The pandemic has taken a massive dent out of Ole’s success. Gone are the diners shoulder to shoulder at the bar. The line down the block for breakfast on weekends is now waiting for takeout.

This holiday season, our local restaurants and their owners are facing dire financial conditions. Other news outlets reported Ole’s owners have had to make painful personal sacrifices to keep their employees working and paid just the same over these long nine months of restrictions.

We are certain Ole’s isn’t the only restaurant facing extremely hard decisions daily just to stay open — they’re just our longest-running success story.

It’s not easy to find room in one’s budget to help everyone, but please see if you can find it in your heart to order a waffle this holiday season and support the people we take for granted who have worked hard to feed us for so many years.

Alameda resident Ole Swanson as he appeared in a 1940 news article. Swanson immigrated from Scandanavia with a family recipe for waffles.