This will be perhaps the biggest boating weekend of the summer, thousands will hit Oklahoma lakes. One unique small business established to feed those hungry boaters and their families will be grounded by order of the US Corp of Engineers.
News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to Lake Eufaula to find out more about this Burger Boat battle.
Robert Howe and his wife Jona operate the Burger Boat on Lake Eufaula, and then Monday they got a certified letter from the Corp of Engineers. "They spanked me with that one." The letter contained a warning citation and ordered that they stop selling burgers on the lake. "Consider this a formal letter to cease operation and remove all commercial advertising from your boat."
His small effort at sharing in the American dream, of owning his own business, had, at least for now, run aground. The Howeâ€™s have been coming to Lake Eufaula for years and knew there were just not enough opportunities for folks to get hot food and a cold drink out on the lake. So last fall, he bought a used pontoon boat and converted it. "I stripped it down to the aluminum logs and started over."
Basically he constructed a screened in floating kitchen. Including a very nice gas grill. They got a health inspection and a tax permit and launched their little business Memorial weekend, selling burgers and brats and hotdogs to boaters who congregate on the lake. "Even though it only lasted a month we had a good time."
He's hoping once he explains to the Corps he only has the best interests of the lake and it's patrons at heart they re-consider. "And so we'll put the Burger Boat to bed one more time." He is hoping not for the last time.
Robert Howe is sending his formal request for a vendors permit to the Corp of Engineers, but because of the holiday weekend he's not sure when he'll hear back from them.