Don't be surprised if Yvonne Reagan knows your name.
As owner of Clarkes Stand on West Genesee Street Road (across from Emerick Road), Reagan has a very loyal customer base that includes Baldwinsville resident Gail Massett, who comes to the roadside restaurant often with her family. In addition to the convenient location and reasonable prices, she also appreciates Reagan's friendly demeanor.
"Yvonne is wonderful," Massett said. "She learns everybody's first name."
Massett and other regulars are excited about the recent changes at Clarkes, which celebrated its 50th birthday on July 4. The renovation converted the restaurant from a seasonal drive-in facility to a year-round, dine-in establishment.
A self-described workaholic, Reagan was eager to expand so that she can remain open all year long.
"I have a calling here. My customers are wonderful, she said. They're very supportive and caring."
Nearby residents Lee Evans and Corina Edwards enjoy Reagan's company as well.
"We like Yvonne (and) the conversation," Evans said. "We like the food and the ambience. We've been coming for years."
Reagan's husband Bill Clarke passed away in 2000, and now she considers the staff at Clarkes her family, including long-time employees Cathy Caulkins and Maggie Lincoln.
"She's my right hand," Reagan said of Caulkins, "and Maggie Lincoln is my left hand."
Clarkes is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Monday.
Breakfast offerings include bagels, English muffins, toast and breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese, sausage or bacon.
For lunch and dinner, the menu has a variety of sandwiches including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, sizzle steak, clam boat and sausage with onions and peppers. Sides include an assortment of salads, cole slaw, fries, onion rings, beans, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms and their famous fried pickles, which are dill pickles coated with a dill breading and then deep fried.
"Everybody seems to love them," Reagan said. Fried wedges of macaroni and cheese are also popular.
And don't forget about dessert. Clarkes serves shakes, sundaes, cones and floats, all made with Perry's hard ice cream. Soon Reagan also hopes to start baking pies, cakes and cookies, and she's working on developing a catering menu as well.