The History of Doe’s Eat Place
Doe’s Eat Place was established in 1941 by Dominick “Doe” Signa and his wife Mamie. Doe’s Father moved to Greenville in 1903 and opened a grocery store in the building that now serves as the restaurant. The family lived in a house behind the store. The grocery which the Signa Family called Papa’s Store did well until the 1927 flood. After that, Big Doe Signa went into bootlegging to help the family get back on its feet. After several years he sold his 40 barrel still for $300.00 and a Model T Ford. Around 1941 Mamie received a partial recipe for hot tamales. She improved the recipe and began selling them. That was the beginning of Doe’s.
At first Signa ran a honky tonk in the front part of the store. It was strictly for blacks. He had things like buffalo fish and chili. Ironically, the “carriage” trade arrived by the back door, like segregation in reverse. One of the local doctors began coming for a meal between calls. Big Doe would cook him up a steak and feed him in the back. Pretty soon the doctor brought another doctor then a lawyer and before he knew it Doe had a regular restaurant in the back. After calling in family and in-laws to help with his thriving restaurant, he eventually closed the honky tonk and focused on the eat place.
Big Doe Signa retired in 1974 and turned the business over to his sons Charles and Little Doe. Today they still carry on the family tradition of greeting customers in the front kitchen that was the original honky tonk. Though time has taken a toll on the building, it only adds to the atmosphere of dining at an old family restaurant where the true authenticity of the 1940′s grocery and restaurant remains.
Mamie passed away November 5, 1955 and Doe Sr. on April 29, 1987.
Our Doe’s Story
(or “How We Were Bit By the Steak Bug”)
Doe’s Eat Place – Springfield, MO
Ben, Lori, Jim, and Maggie Rogers
We are proud to be a family-owned and operated business
We visited Doe’s for the first time in Springfield, MO (we’re proud to say that we’ve loved this area & its community since 1985). Upon getting our menus that first visit, we read about the original Doe’s Eat Place beginnings & the amazing culture they established for the south at that time (see above). To say we were impressed would be an understatement.
It didn’t take us long to realize that Doe’s is different. For starters, their steaks had immense flavor by serving them by the pound (instead of by the ounce like most steak houses). We fell in love with their family-style meal splitting that offered such great value (both for our wallet & our experience as a group). We also loved the idea that you could experience a perfect steak in a more relaxed, unassuming atmosphere.
Our obsession with Doe’s had begun . . . (Fyi – Ben once walked three miles in the snow to get to a Doe’s!)
When the Springfield location closed, we had to go to family counseling for about 6 months to “get over it”. Haha! The next couple years found us driving to more & more Doe’s locations – the closest one being 2 hours away!
During our trips to the various Doe’s Eat Places around Fayetteville, Bentonville, and Fort Smith – we became acquainted with several of the owners. How did they make such magic?!
On a cold January night, we committed to learning all we could about what it would take to bring the flavor & culture of Doe’s back to Springfield, MO.
Now with a new location / totally remodeled building, we have the confidence that we have learned all the secrets & techniques necessary to bring back the BEST-MOST-DELICIOUS-HIGHEST-VALUE STEAK you may ever share.