Focus on Food

Eat Local in Waurika

Eleventh in a series of stories about local Waurika businesses. Shop local and invest your tax dollars where we live, work and play.

Bill's Fish House

Bill and Nell Schram opened Bill’s on July 9, 1962, on a hilltop overlooking the Red River Valley. After Bill’s death in 1964, Nell and her employees kept their dream alive until her retirement in 1978. Nell’s grandchildren, Jeri Nell Mays and Steven Goza along with their families have carried on the tradition and helped the business flourish. “The consistency of our recipes, our quality products, our friendly hospitality and the rural location, make us unique,” according to co-owner, Jeri Mays. “We are a friendly place where friends meet.” “We are fortunate to have a long-standing reputation of serving a delicious catfish basket along with homemade tartar sauce. Our fish are farm-raised, hand trimmed and filleted in house, coated with seasoned cornmeal, then deep fried.” “Our large gulf coast shrimp is another customer favorite. Other popular dinners include chicken tenders and calf fries. Our hand-battered onion rings are a favorite starter. All our dinners are served with complimentary hush puppies, lemon, pickles and onions,” Jeri continued. Jeri reflected, “After 57 years of serving our customers there are no words to express my gratitude to the family for helping to keep our Grandparents, Bill and Nell’s, vision moving forward. As for the employees they are truly the people who make the business grow and thrive on a daily basis. We have been blessed with loyal and hard-working individuals who care about the customers, business and our reputation in the hospitality industry.” When asked about the importance of the Waurika Chamber to the business community, Jeri commented, “Chamber compliments the local businesses with special events, promotes the town and community. It also helps with enhancing the way others see the town. The Shop Local promotion keeps revenue local and is a way for merchants to give back to individuals in the community. Thank you to everyone who makes our town great. We are a very warm and welcoming community.”

Location:  3545 U.S. Highway 79

Phone: (580) 228-2372

Owners:  Descendants of Bill and Nell Schram. Steven Goza’s family and Jeri Mays’ family.

Hours:  Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 8:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday open 11 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. Sundays 12 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. CLOSED MONDAYS.

Bill's Fish House Employees
Jeri Nell (center) and team

Location:  209 N Main Street

Phone: (580) 228-2334

Owners:  Dennis and Dee Goss

Hours:  7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sunday.  Closed Saturday.

Open occasionally on Friday Nights.

Owners of Circle D Cafe Waurika
Dennis & Dee Goss

Circle D Cafe

Dennis and Dee Goss have owned Circle D Café in Waurika for five years. They also own Circle D in Ryan which they’ve owned for 23 years.  Circle D in Ryan was the location of Dee’s Aunt Jo’s restaurant, Big Sky Café. In fact, Dee comes from a long line of restaurant owners with her great aunt, Mary Fuller, owning Mary’s Café in the 1950’s. Dee began working in her aunts’ restaurants (Lou’s and Big Sky) when she was 14. She uses many of the family recipes in the Circle D Café today. “Fullers are known for being good cooks,” Dee said.

The Circle D Café in Waurika is located across the street from the Jefferson County Courthouse. Everything they serve is homemade. “Our Chicken Fried Steaks are all hand breaded,” Dee stated. “We serve homemade desserts daily.  One of our most popular meals is our home-style specials with a meat, two vegetables, hot rolls or cornbread, salad bar, drink and dessert for $10. We also offer a full menu of other items. Our customers look forward to our desserts because we make them unique and seasonally oriented.  Our full menu features all types of foods from basic sandwiches and burgers to our meat or cheese enchiladas served with chips and homemade salsa,” Dee said.

Dennis farms and ranches on their ranch in Ryan. Part of the ranch was purchased from Tobe and Mary Fuller. Dennis helps Dee at their restaurants when he can.  “He is a big help when he has time. My brother, Otto Brink, is my right-hand man and I couldn’t run the restaurant without him,” Dee said. “I’m also blessed with really good employees.”

Dee thinks shopping local is very important.  “If we want our small towns to survive, we all have to do our part and shop local every time we can,” Dee stated.  “When my daughter, Dr. Jody Campiche moved to Tennessee about five years ago one of the first things she noticed out there in the small towns was that there were lots of small businesses in all the small towns.  And they all were thriving businesses. Everyone out there shopped local. They didn’t go to Memphis to shop.  They all shopped local,” Dee said. “Every community needs to do the same and shop local so we can keep our local businesses and help them thrive.”

JW's Travel Stop

JW’s Travel Stop is locally owned and operated by Cary Wilson. It features a full-service restaurant as well as a fully stocked convenience store, gas and diesel pumps, and showers for the many truckers who stop in for food and diesel on a daily basis.

“Being locally owned and operated makes a big difference in this industry especially in a smaller community,” Cary stated.  “It means you really value your customers because you know you depend on repeat customers a lot more than stores like ours in larger markets.”


The restaurant is open all day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. “We serve breakfast all day long and offer a buffet and salad bar for lunch as well as a full menu of offerings from hamburgers to hamburger steaks, Mexican food and specialty salads for lighter entrees,” Cary stated. “Our buffet features several different entrees each day as well as multiple vegetables. Our salad bar features fresh vegetables and fruit as well as several different combo salad items like pasta and potato salad.  Our fruits are whatever are fresh and in season.”


“Our employees are one of our greatest assets and many of them have been with us for many years.” Cary said. “In this industry you have to have the best service and quality food to keep customers coming back.”  She continued, “My son, Jessie joined the operation a few years ago and it’s been great having him as part of the organization.  My husband, Jeremie and I have been married for 27 years.  It’s likely that you’ll see our older daughter, Jordan, as well as our younger daughter, Cece and son, Nic, working here from time to time, as well.”


“We feel it’s important to support the community.  That’s why we are happy to support the Shop Local program and participate in the Cookie Crawl this Friday as well as the Scavenger Hunt on Dec. 6.  We have Shop Local Waurika game cards and ‘I Shopped Local, Waurika’ stickers,” Cary concluded.

Location:  8933 US Hwy 81
(Intersection of US HWY 81 & US HWY 70

Phone:  (580) 228-3800

Owner:  Cary Wilson

Hours:  6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. – 7 days a week

Cary & Jessie Wilson

Location:  524 S Main St

Owner:  Pat & Kristie Gaines

Phone:  (580) 228-2560

Hours:  Monday through Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday, Saturday & Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Pat & Kristie Gaines

Waurika QuikMart

Pat and Kristie Gaines purchased the Waurika QuikMart 20 years ago this October. The QuikMart features a full deli plus Simple Simons pizza and sub sandwiches and has a gift shop with unique items from all over as well as all the convenience store items. They have four booths and one long bar so customers can eat in comfort.    “Our customers tell us they really enjoy our daily specials.  The specials are items like taco’s (every Monday, Wednesday and Friday), quesadillas, taco salads, burrito supremes, and fresh steak fingers (every Tuesday and Thursday). Our steak fingers are made fresh and have never been frozen,” Kristie stated.  “The high school students love our chicken and cheese. When WHS graduates visit Waurika and stop in at the QuikMart, they often ask for chicken cheese.”

“We have a 5-ft warmer full of great deli items from sausages to fried chicken,” Kristie explained. “We’ve added some popular items like pecans from the Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls. Our customers really like our products from the Peanut Shop in Calera, Aromies from Wimberley, Texas as well as OKIE t-shirts, candles, and a growing selection of wines.”

Kristie gives much of the credit for their success to the employees. “We have great, hard-working employees that make the QuikMart successful.  Thank you to Mary, Hope, Linda, Penny, Angie, Samara, Blake, Ana, Tara, Izzy, Jennifer, Samantha, Cleta, Amber and Jane,” she stated.

Being active in the Waurika Chamber of Commerce and in the Shop Local campaign is important to Pat and Kristie. “I think it’s a good situation anytime you bring your community and businesses together for a project,” Kristie said. “As a business owner, I love how the customers have been excited about the Shop Local Program.” 

The Markette

The Markette is under new ownership and will be featured in a future article.
Stop in for a bite to eat & follow them on Facebook to see their daily specials.

801 E “D” Ave
(580) 228-3367

Notes: This story is part of series on Waurika businesses sponsored by the Waurika Chamber of Commerce and its Shop Local Waurika Program. We will add stories periodically and we hope you enjoy them.  To read more stories like it go to and find us on Facebook at

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