The building that housed the now-closed Box Car BBQ restaurant in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, may soon become a medical marijuana dispensary.
The Sapulpa Times reports an application for a special use permit has been filed with the city to convert the building at 918 W. Dewey Ave. (aka Route 66) into a dispensary. Sapulpa’s planning commission passed the measure unanimously to advance it to the city council.
The newspaper reported:
Lance Groenewold, the son of the famed pitmaster George Groenewold, has held the building since the restaurant closed, renovating the interior and running his digital marketing business out of it ever since. Groenewold said the idea of putting a dispensary inside was partly one of opportunity, but also something closer to home; his father died of prostate cancer about two-and-a-half years ago, and “by the end of his life, the opiates weren’t helping,” Groenewold said, hinting at the reasoning behind the dispensary to keep others from suffering the way his father had. […]
In his application for the SUP, the City says Groenwold wants to turn the exterior of the building into a facade of 1950s era gas station (what the building actually was in the 1950s) in order for it to be “cohesive with Route 66” and the nearby Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum with the gas pump. Groenewold confirmed that he would be painting a Route 66 shield on the side of the building.
George Groenewold’s obituary contained a brief history of the restaurant:
George had an entrepreneurial spirit so the BoxCar BBQ was created, in 1984. The plan was build the BoxCar BBQ, pull the trailer to Colorado Springs CO then set up near the Air Force Base, in the mountains. The trailer being built by George, his dad and Joanne, was too heavy and cumbersome to pull behind a 2 ton truck. So, it ended up on the SW corner of Taft and Main, in front of Leon’s mufflers. BoxCar is now at 907 W Dewey, Sapulpa.
I lived in the Tulsa region for almost a decade, but never ate at the Box Car because of its erratic hours. (Plus Tulsa had its own embarrassment of barbecue riches.)
The restaurant’s Facebook page indicates it closed in 2011, reopened in 2016 and closed for good with Groenewold’s death in 2017.
To many people’s surprise, Oklahoma voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana in 2018. One official in Miami, Oklahoma, told me pot dispensaries soon opened up all over the place along the Mother Road in the Sooner State.
(Excepted image of the Box Car BBQ building in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, via Google Street View)