#foodie #foodporn #eatlocal
The candy coated grids of Instagram drip with sugar, sweets and over-the-top desserts residing under these hashtags. One handle, @thepokydot, takes over-the-top to a whole new level. Tucked along the road in Farimont, W.Va., the bright colors of days-gone-by are hard to miss on the exterior. The interior reflects the vibe as well, with long counters, bright booths and milkshakes made to share.
Opened in the ‘50s, the Poky Dot featured all the best things about the era – 24/7 service, neon colors, pretty waitresses and breakfast all day. Once Parkersburg native Steve Atkinson purchased The Poky Dot, his wife (Dee) wanted to keep the aesthetic going.
“Dee kept the diner feel alive. The visions for all the decorations are hers. It’s often described as tastefully tacky. The girls wear ‘50s costume jewelry – it’s like playing dress up for work,” manager Alyssa Caputo said.
As The Poky Dot grew, so did its social media following as they added the big desserts that splash across their Instagram. Cake slices on top of milkshakes, sundaes that take two hands to carry and trendy cheesecakes helped to bring national attention to the restaurant.
“Over the last five years again, we’ve added the big desserts. The specialty shakes that you’ve been seeing have been here two to three years. Everything has always been big. You’re eating for the Insta. People want that picture. It doesn’t get better than eating at The Poky Dot, if you’re looking for a good gram,” Alyssa said.
Patrons visit from all over to get a taste of the larger-than-life offerings at The Poky Dot. The burgers rival the milkshakes in size and bring in nearly as many likes. Alyssa would put their burgers up against any burger in the state.
“The shakes get more attention because they bring in the girls. The guys want the big burgers. The girls are the ones sharing it on social media, though” Alyssa said.
When the shakes originally came to The Poky Dot, they didn’t do traditional advertising and they weren’t offered on the menu. However, they were selling them everyday through the power of social media. Their record for shares is held by a milkshake raking in over 100,00 shares on social media.
The viral photos bring in people from all parts of the globe who have heard of the monster shakes and shareable burgers.
“Over the summer, we had a man call to make a reservation. He’s a doctor in Morgantown and wanted to bring 16 people to visit. They were from Shanghai, China. He had picked them up the night before and they had chosen The Poky Dot as their first American meal. They had already had it picked out, but he had never been here,” Alyssa said.
It’s pretty common for the staff at The Poky Dot to see people from the surrounding regions making a day trip over the weekends. Visitors from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Kentucky often find themselves waiting more than an hour on weekends to fit into the 62 seat dining room. Alyssa explained that the back room is being remodeled for more seating, and is becoming just as tastefully tacky as the front.
The Poky Dot doesn’t just live in their social media sphere though. They are a community staple.
“Fairmont University is right up the road and we’re big supporters of them. We’re proud of this town and community; and to serve this community. You don’t stay in business since the ‘50s without being part of the community,” Alyssa said.
The Poky Dot has only ever seen three owners, and they manage to change with the times while still holding fast to that ‘50s diner feel.
“There are no super heroes in this restaurant. We’re one team and we all work at The Poky Dot. Bus boys, manager, everyone does what is needed. The girls will help the guys, we’re all in it to help each other. We’re proud of it,” Alyssa said.
The Poky Dot embraces the family aspect of the business with everyone working together to give guests the best experience possible.
“I’ve been working here for two years. I used to come when I was little. I always thought it was cool looking. I like working with the people I work with. I like interacting with people from all over – it’s not the normal restaurant,” waitress Allison Moore said.
So, the next time the hashtags of Instagram are calling, check into The Poky Dot and let the likes roll in.