Yup, these are locals, they thrive on repeat business and have many very loyal customers. The owner, Dave, is great to his regulars and good to the town, and the place is a small, funky, oddly remodeled space (like most of the town), shockingly over-decorated with SE Alaskan memorabilia, and can be a fun and authentic experience IF you know what to expect.
First, walk in, sit down somewhere, and make yourself at home. Nobody's going to tell you where to sit and they don't pay for hostesses. This place is pretty much entirely run by Dave and his wife and they're usually running around like mad. They'll get to you, I promise. If they don't see you come in, say hi! If you're the only ones and you don't see anyone in the place and you're there during open hours (especially if it's a nice day), they're on the back porch. Most locals enter from the entrance on the porch because that's where the parking is, so they see us coming. ;-) Again, go say hi.
Second, the food is simple straight forward American breakfast and lunch. Think eggs omelets, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, soups and sandwiches. But unlike most places Dave actually makes it all. For hash browns, he buys potatoes and grates them, they don't come from a freezer. He makes the soups, sometimes in consideration of his regular customers dietary needs even. SO, it will not be lightning fast, it will be simple, but it will be good, real food.
Third, for prices in Ketchikan, Dave's is really reasonable. Eating out here costs 1.5 to 2 times as much as it does in most areas of the lower 48. Very few places here could be deemed affordable and none cheap unless you count McDonald's, though i can't bring myself to call that a restaurant. Just don't expect it to be priced like down south. Every restaurant and grocery store here has to pay $$$ freight just to barge up food, and the impact of this cost is greater in the smaller establishments where it becomes a palpable consideration in pricing.
All things considered, if you're looking to be waited on hand and foot or for gourmet food, this is not the place for you. If you want a real Ketchikan experience and food to keep you going, Dave's is perfect.
**Celiacs take note!** Dave often makes a weekly GF soup for my Mom so that she can eat there safely, she's a regular. And I (also a celiac) frequently go in for omelets and hash browns. Not a ton of selection for us, but it's one of only two places I can eat in town currently! I'm really grateful for it!
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