Nick’s Country Oven, 511 W. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson, (248) 850-7289
Since opening its doors in October, Nick's Country Oven in Clawson has enjoyed a steady rate of customers and has even been the setting of a movie scene for George Clooney's .
Even before Clooney rolled his crew into the diner in March, Nick's had established a good reputation for its competitive prices and home-cooking appeal. Utica resident Arsim Hergaja owns Nick’s Country Oven in Clawson and there are a few others throughout Metro Detroit under different ownership.
Hergaja said Clawson residents welcomed the idea of the diner because it fits in nicely with the small town setting. “I like it here," Hergaja said. "It’s a small community, so everyone is friendly.”
Many customers who meander into the restaurant come in with families or are senior citizens attracted to the discount menu that caters to their tastes. Dinner is the most popular time for the restaurant, Hergaja said, although it offers breakfast and lunch as well. In fact, breakfast is offered at any time of the day.
Pegging menu favorites is a challenge for Hergaja because Nick’s offers such an array of items, along with a daily list of specials. From steak to pancakes to fish, Nick’s has just about everything. To top it off, Hergaja said all entrees come with a dinner salad, soup and dessert at an affordable price.
For example, the baked meatloaf, baked ham, broiled lake perch and roast beef dinners come with potatoes and a vegetable for $7.95. Baby back barbecue ribs cost $9.95 while fettuccine alfredo with chicken or shrimp costs $7.15. Sandwiches and burgers run $4-$6, desserts cost $2 on average and breakfast items average $4-$5. A children's menu is available as well.
“We just try to make sure everybody’s happy and taken care of right away,” Hergaja said.
Clawson resident Candy Norman’s favorite items on the menu are the sandwiches and burgers. She frequents the diner because of its good prices and its close proximity to her house.
“The service is good and they have a large variety of stuff,” Norman said. “It’s just like home cooking, and prices are decent.”
One of Hergaja’s goals is to get more involved with the community. He said the restaurant has aided area churches but would like to reach out to the community more and help where it can.
Waitresses Erika Keyes and Jennifer Taylor say they enjoy the atmosphere because Hergaja makes it a pleasant place to work, and they like the residents who routinely come in for meals.
“I like working here because we have a stable clientele, and Arsim’s great to work for,” said Keyes, 24, of Birmingham.
Taylor, 28, agreed. “I love it here, it’s like family,” the Clawson resident said. “And there’s so much variety; you can get a group in here, and they can get whatever they want — breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
Prices: under $10
Credit cards: all major
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily