Rebuilding An Oklahoma Landmark

Friday, June 29th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

The rain isn't dampening the enthusiasm for a construction project underway in Green Country. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports the owners of the landmark restaurant are rebuilding after a fire destroyed a well known eating spot.

At the Thomas Restaurant in Pryor much of the steel is up, the concrete slab is poured and the plumbing is in place. It's the start of a new beginning for the restaurant.

"You go anywhere in the town and everyone is like ‘When's it opening, when's it opening?’ So we're all excited, and the town is excited, and we just can't wait for it to come back," said the owner’s daughter Penny Frailey

The Oklahoma landmark restaurant, which opened in 1954, burned down last year. Penny Frailey's dad owns the eatery and had worked at the Thomas Restaurant since he was a teenager.

"Flames were coming out the top, and fire trucks were all around and it was real devastating," Frailey said.

It was a sad day for thousands of people who came here for a good chicken fried steak, or breakfast, news and conversation. The restaurant evolved into a favorite destination for several generations of customers, not just people from Pryor.

"People remember coming in as little kids and with their families, kind of a sit down Sunday dinner and have a lot of memories there," said Frailey.

The original restaurant had seating for 62 people. The new building will be able to accommodate more than 100. There will be a new, more modern and efficient kitchen, and a number of other improvements inside the new building. But the owners say they wanted to keep some of the restaurant's down home feel.

"We just want it family, comfortable family,” Frailey said. “Not really a theme, just a comfortable place for families to go because that's how people remember it."

Soon there will be more memories made at the new restaurant. If there aren't any construction delays, Thomas Restaurant will reopen this fall.

Watch the video: Popular Eatery Returning From The Ashes

Watch the 2006 video, click here.

Related Stories:

5/18/2006 Fire Destroys Pryor Restaurant

5/19/2006 Pryor Mourns Loss Of Restaurant