Tulsa Rib Crib Where Employee Was Killed Back Open For Business

Monday, May 24th 2010, 8:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley & Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Tulsa restaurant at the center of a tragedy is back open for business.

The original Rib Crib opened its doors Tuesday morning, five days after a cook was shot and killed during a robbery.

The restaurant has been closed since late last week when employee Bud Stoddard was killed while taking out the trash.

Tuesday morning it was back to business but far from back to normal.

The doors were unlocked and customers were back at the Rib Crib at 16th and Harvard.

"As you can imagine it's pretty somber around here this morning," said Brad Dentis, Rib Crib Vice President of Operations.

Rib Crib officials shut down the restaurant last Thursday night.  The restaurant was robbed just after closing time and Bud Stoddard, who worked here for eight years as a cook, was shot and killed.

5/21/2010 Related Story: Vigil Held Following Death Of Tulsa Rib Crib Employee

"He was really an amazing person," Dentis said.  "Everybody around here looked at him kind of like a dad figure, a lot of the employees here.  He was a great guy."

Vice President Brad Dentis says reopening the store was a difficult decision and that the employees are emotionally drained. He says there are plans to fashion a memorial inside the restaurant in Stoddard's memory and beginning this Sunday, for one week, 20 percent of the sales will go to the fund to help Stoddard's family.

The customers we spoke with say they wanted to come in for lunch to show their support for the company as well as Bud Stoddard.

"Just senseless. I didn't know the man, but his kids," said John Parker. "It's just not right and they're a standup business that would do this for him."

Rib Crib says the support they've felt from the community has been amazing. They say other restaurants in town have offered to donate to the family. The customers say now is the time for Tulsa to reach out and help two families dealing with such a tragic loss.

"Oh yeah, very important, very important," Ross McGuire said. "Keeping the love here in the state of Oklahoma."

Police have arrested three men in connection with the murder.  Deonte Marshall, Isaiah Peevy, and D'Andre Finnie are each being held without bond on a complaint of first-degree murder. 

A memorial For Stoddard has been set up at F&M Bank in Tulsa.