The IHOP on Clayton Road had seen better days. Built in 1965 it was time for a remodel. So after 14 weeks, it reopened Tuesday morning at 5:30. The cool thing about going to a restaurant like that on the first day is you don't walk out smelling like it. But I digress.
One of the big changes is the dining room layout. There used to be a non-smoking section on one side of the building and a smoking section on the other. But if you walk in now you'll notice there's just one big dining room... no sections. That's because the entire restaurant has gone smoke-free.
The general manager, Mo Lathon told me it just made sense because in July Clayton's smoking ban becomes law so why have any smoke in there. Makes sense to me.
It was fun watching regular customers return to their favorite place for pancakes and such for the first time in nearly four months. One older couple walked in and was greeted by hugs and waves from just about every employee. They seemed thrilled to be back. They told me they were celebrating more than their IHOP's re-opening. Today is their 53rd anniversary. Awesome!
I hope Mo picked up their check!
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org