MONROE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – No, that’s not a mirage next to the theatre off of Main Street in Monroe.

“Since 1933,” said Tim Ratliff.

It’s hot dog haven. An ice cream escape. A slaw… sanctuary?

“Anybody asks about downtown Monroe, they say ‘Oasis.’ They know where Oasis is,” said Tim.

Okay, we’ll call it by its name… Oasis.

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“It was my first job when I was 15 at the old location when I was in high school,” said Tim.

Though it was his first job, he’s now the owner of Oasis Sandwich Shop in Monroe. It’s been in his family for a  long time and those who eat there become family too.

“This is my great nephew, Henry. Henry is the mascot for Oasis,” laughed Donna Norwood, who’s been coming to Oasis since she was little.

For generations, families have traveled to the Oasis eating the same hot dogs off of the same trays.

“For as long as I can remember, my lunch has always been on a Christmas tray,” said Donna.

But for the last few weeks, one thing has changed.

“Let me tell you, sitting at home, is driving me crazy,” said Tim. “The first two weeks, I didn’t even get to come up here.”

Tim is recovering from back surgery and hasn’t been able to come to the shop. He’s hoping to officially head back to work later in the fall.

Because this… is a special place and it’s not the hot dogs that make it an ‘oasis.’