We would like to congratulate Liberty Gathering Place for being selected the West Liberty Business Association’s September 2023 Business of the Month. The LGP restaurant is located at 111 N. Detroit Street in downtown West Liberty, Ohio.
New owners, Ashley Shaffer and Eric Karn, purchased the restaurant from Cindy Oelker in March 2023. Ashley works full time in the business. Eric is a food safety auditor as well as owning ETK Dumpsters. They currently have approximately 10 employees.
Liberty Gathering Place was established in 1995 in the former Dajolee's Restaurant location. Before Dajolee's, the restaurant was called The Betty Lane Restaurant, which opened in 1941 and was run by Cora Saltz. In 1958, the restaurant was sold to Rose Emma Smith and her son Dan. The name was changed to Dajolee's, which was the first 2 letters of Rose Emma's son's names (Dan & John), and the middle name of Jerry Lee.
In the early 1970's, the Smith's purchased the adjoining building, which housed the former Kirby Hatchery. Dajolee's was expanded to include the banquet room. After 23 years, the Smith's sold Dajolee's to Delbert and Kathy Fullencamp, who at the time, also owned The Graystone Restaurant in West Liberty.
In 1995, Cindy Oelker purchased Dajolee's from the Fullencamp's. Cindy had been operating The Graystone Restaurant since 1988 for the Fullencamp's. In April of 1995, the entire operation was moved to the Dajolee's location, and The Graystone Restaurant closed its doors. Cindy Oelker wanted to establish a new name for the restaurant, and after consulting with her customers, it was decided to name the new restaurant "Liberty Gathering Place" because it's the place where people would gather in downtown West Liberty. Cindy sold it to Ashley and Eric in March 2023.
Liberty Gathering Place offers customers a comfortable atmosphere to gather with friends and family to enjoy great food and homemade pies. Ashley and Eric believe the restaurant is unique because of the length of time the restaurant has been in business. They are members of the West Liberty Business Association as well as support the community, local businesses, and schools as often as possible. The customers love the fact that they can gather in a relaxing atmosphere and socialize all while enjoying a variety of foods. The restaurant offers many specials such as their salad bar. They have also started a breakfast buffet that they feature one weekend per month currently. They encourage residents and visitors to follow them on their various social media accounts to see updated specials and dates. You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/libertygathering.place and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/libertygatheringplace/. The phone number is 937-465-3081. Their hours are Monday and Tuesday from 6:00AM-2:00PM, Wednesday through Saturday from 6:00AM-7:00PM and Sundays from 8:00AM-2:00PM.
When not working at the LGP, Ashley and Eric enjoy spending time outdoors, working on their homestead, listening to music, playing games, and watching and attending sporting events. They say their favorite thing about West Liberty is the support that the community gives to the local businesses and the support and encouragement that they have received from West Liberty residents. Ashley and Eric say they feel very fortunate for the opportunity to own and operate their business in West Liberty.
Again, congratulations to Liberty Gathering Place! There will be an award presentation at the restaurant on September 1st at 3:30 pm.
Written and submitted by: Brenda Snyder, WLBA Secretary
WL Business of the Month
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Past Winners (By Month)