Dolly’s Diner - Welcome back to days gone by. - Mercer County WV : Mercer County WV
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Dolly’s Diner – Welcome back to days gone by.

March 3, 2020

Dolly’s Diner in Princeton is a favorite spot for locals and travelers for it’s comfortable, family-friendly environment with delicious homestyle meals that takes you back to days gone by. Husband and wife duo, Leonard and Dolly Lane are committed to serving the best comfort food in town.

When you come to Dolly’s, you can expect to enjoy a selection of American classics, like fluffy omelets, old-fashioned burgers, and steaks. If you have a sweet tooth, homemade desserts are made fresh daily by Dolly. One of her specialties listed on the dessert board is called the Holy Cow. She describes the rich concoction as a devil’s food cake drizzled with a mixture of condensed milk and butterscotch ice cream topping, followed by a layer of cream cheese icing, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with bits of Butterfinger candy. The mouth-watering list of delicacies that changes daily. From her popular peanut butter pie to her fruit pies such as Southern peach, strawberry, raspberry, and cherry, to her low-calorie options such as orange dreamsicle pie and butterscotch, few customers can resist the temptation to sample her sweet treasures.

Daily specials are popular with customers. “We have daily home-cooked specials every evening, like spaghetti, meatloaf, country fried steak, with homemade mashed potatoes,” Leonard says. Monday evening’s special at Dolly’s is a half pound hamburger steak with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and your choice of bread, all for just $8.99. 

Originally from Kimball in McDowell County, the Lanes have lived in Princeton since 1981. They pondered the decision to buy the restaurant for almost five years before taking the plunge.They continued the legacy of serving the best comfort food in the area and kept the same basic decor of the past owners. 

The business was a success and locals and travelers embraced the new name and new owners. However, in April of 2018, everything changed. A fire engulfed the building and their dreams appeared to have gone up in flames. “It was a grease fire that got out of control,” Dolly says. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

However, the roof needed replaced and with additional repair costs adding up, they decided to start over from the ground up. Leonard refers to it as a “blessing in disguise.” Fighting through their discouragement, the couple saw this as an opportunity to make all the changes they had been envisioning. Dolly credits Leonard’s vision as the guide to the new look of the restaurant. On May 30, 2019, about 13 months after the fire, the new Dolly’s opened with a larger space and a red and white retro decor that harkens back to the 1950s.

The business was a success and locals and travelers embraced the new name and new owners. However, in April of 2018, everything changed. A fire engulfed the building and their dreams appeared to have gone up in flames. “It was a grease fire that got out of control,” Dolly says. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

The Lanes appreciate their customers and value the relationships that have evolved through the restaurant. Dolly says customers appreciate the cleanliness of the place and the atmosphere.

“We have a family atmosphere,” she says. “It’s our personal involvement. We greet everybody as they come in and tell them we appreciate them. We try to learn their names.”

Take a step back in time at Dolly’s Diner and enjoy a great meal and discover some new friends. And be sure to indulge in something sweet and decadent. Dolly’s is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11:00 p.m, and is located at 909 Oakvale Road. 

This post was last updated on March 3, 2020


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