Who chose the Coca Cola theme for Cokers BBQ Restaurant? Manager, Crystal Donahower’s eyes light up. “My dad. He’s a collector. He started collecting Coca Cola memorabilia. He thought it would be a cute theme for a restaurant.” Cokers’s manager, Crystal Donahower is enthusiastic about two things: Cokers BBQ Restaurant and her dad, the restaurant’s founder. The Donahower’s enthusiasm in turn has inspired loyal customers who are enthusiastic about Cokers.
Crystal brought out a to-go order to a customer waiting at a table. She ran back to the kitchen. In a few minutes she popped out, smiled, greeted another waiting customer by name and was gone again. When asked what was special about Cokers, Crystal responded, “The atmosphere. Most staff here are family or friends of family. Cokers is family owned and operated.”
Crystal’s dad, Ron Donahower, is the founder and owner of Cokers. Crystal points out that her dad is the only cook at Cokers. She thinks being family owned and operated, not part of a corporation, is one of the things that makes Cokers special. She should know about the family operated part. She has worked at Cokers since 1996 when her dad opened the restaurant. She was 12. At 18, she became the restaurant’s manager and has been ever since.
Customers respond to the Donahowers’s enthusiasm with an enthusiasm of their own. The night I dined at Cokers the lady at the next table noticed that I was reviewing the restaurant. Before she left, she made a point to tell me how good Cokers’s peach cobbler was and to brag on their food. I only discovered Cokers because my carpool buddy, Nancy said “If you are reviewing BBQ restaurants in Arlington, you have to visit Cokers.” The night that I visited Cokers, customers crowded the lobby, waiting for a table.
The Donahower family runs Cokers restaurant with obvious enthusiasm. Customers respond to that enthusiasm by returning again and again.
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