Dayna Sokol - Sunny Side Up

To round out our Home issue, we tapped Tee Jaye’s president Dana Sokal for her Final Word this month. She’s worked in the “family biz” since she was a little sprout, and you can be certain she’ll bring opinions as strong as her coffee when she comes to your table.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People that don’t listen and don’t care.

If a dish were named after you, what would it be?
I would be cornmeal pancakes, because everyone loves them.

What do you do most often for others?
I’m a great listener, so anytime someone has a problem, I’m right there to listen.

What are the three greatest things you learned from your parents?
Well, I learned the value of a dollar very early in life. I learned how to respect people and how important religion is.

Describe your Death Row dinner.
I want a six-pound lobster with lots of butter, probably a baked potato, and I want a big ol’ piece of cheesecake, New York-style, and then I’m good to go.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made?
Not finishing college.

Do you collect anything?
Actually, I collected those little ceramic shoes and cows. I’m over it now.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
Jackie O.

Explain the Barnyard Buster.
My father happened to walk through the restaurant one day and a woman had a plate of biscuits and gravy and country fries, and it was all piled together. He looked at her and asked her what she was doing. She said, “It all goes to the same place, right? And this tastes really good.” The name actually came from one of the cooks that used to work here.

What three things are you taking to a deserted island?
Dogs one, two and three. And maybe my husband (laughing).

If laughter is the best medicine, who or what makes you feel better?
Myself. I’m my best audience. That’s all I do is laugh!

You’re visited by an angel who tells you that you are immortal. What do you do with your first day of immortality?
Kill myself (laughing). Please don’t tell me that!

Columbus needs _______ more than it is prepared to admit.
It needs a casino more than it’s willing to admit. People don’t realize it’s going to revitalize the west side.

What is your fondest family memory growing up?
My fondest memories are of some of the fights we had. My brother was a year older than me, and my sister was three years older. We were all in high school together, so it was terrible. But anyway, my fondest memory actually really would be Christmas. It was so fun. My father loved to give, my mother loved to give, and we were all together.

What’s the last memorable thing 
you purchased?
I bought the Shake Weight, and it doesn’t work (laughing).

Favorite vaca spot?
Las Vegas.