By Jeanne LeFlore
The Steak n’ Shake restaurant on George Nigh Express way officially opened its doors Thursday as a McAlester firetruck sounded its siren and flashed its lights.
It was part of the grand opening festivities that according to McAlester native and store owner Mike Dusenberry.
“ It’s been an year and a half in the works,” Dusenberry said.
He said the community and the city of McAlester were very helpful during the process.
Born and raised in McAlester Dusenberry said he wanted to open the restaurant in his hometown and decided the US Highway 69 bypass would be a good location, but it did take a little work.
“ We turned a rock pile into a restaurant.”
Overall he said the whole process has been a great experience.
Dusenberry said he’s hired more than 120 new employees from the McAlester area for the restaurant know for its “Original Steakburger™ and hand-dipped milk shakes.”
The official ribbon cutting was hosted by Dusenberry, his son, Kyle Dusenberry; general manager; Ben Capers, restaurant manager; and Athena London, manager.
Among those present for the ribbon cutting McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison and the McAlester Chamber of Commerce Chairman David Keith.
Employees dressed new black and white 50s style uniforms clapped their hands and cheered as the restaurant officially opened it’s doors at 10 a.m.
According to a press release the restaurant was founded in 1934 in Normal, Ill. by restaurateur Gus Belt, the pioneer of the “better burger” segment of the restaurant industry.
Meanwhile Mike Dusenberry said the 3,515 square-foot restaurant has a new look for the franchise and is the proto-type for the state of Oklahoma.
“ One of the ways we different from other Steak n’Shakes is we do our cooking in front of the restaurant, not behind closed doors.”
Just before the doors opened restaurant hostesses Brandy Dowell and Kyleigh Brumley said they were excited for the customers to arrive,
“We are ready,” Dowell said.
The restaurant is at 1102 George Nigh Expressway.
For more information visit www.steaknshake.com.
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at firstname.lastname@example.org.