Ann’s Chicken Fry House restaurant of west Oklahoma City closed shortly after Christmas, blaming the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
OKCTalk.com revealed the restaurant’s permanent closure in a tweet Friday:
One of the photos of a sign on the window stated: “Permanetly (sic) closed. Thank you OKC for a great run … until COVID.”
Shirley Burchett, the contact for the restaurant, stated in an email Friday afternoon:
“We closed after Christmas. It had been a struggle since we had to close back in March due to Covid. I just was not able to stay open any longer. Closing was the hardest decision I’ve ever made … because our customers have become our extended family. Thank you for your concern.”
The Oklahoman newspaper reported:
Making enough money to “keep the lights on and pay my employees” was half of the problem, but Burchett said the anxiety of working in a pandemic was the other.
“It’s scary, I’m nearly 70 years old. Most of the staff is close to my age. Been with me 20 and 30 years. I just decided I couldn’t go on any longer.”
More social-media reaction to the closing:
The Road Wanderer reported history on the restaurant years ago:
Ann’s Chicken Fry House started life on Route 66 in 1948 as a Cities Service gas station. It operated as such along the Mother Road until 1966 when it was transformed into a restaurant called “Three Bulls Steak House.”
In 1971 when Al Burchett returned home from Vietnam he was looking for something to do. He became a partner with his brother and they purchased the Three Bulls Steak House. They needed another name though and couldn’t decide on one. With a stroke of inspiration they put all of their names, including their wives, in a hat and relied on pure luck. Ann, Al’s brother’s wife was drawn – and Ann’s it became!
(Hat tip to Rhys Martin; image of Ann’s Chicken Fry House in Oklahoma City by Kool Cats Photography via Flickr)