Old Germany Restaurant closes, Choctaw Oktoberfest cancelled
After 42 years of drinks, meals and memories Old Germany Restaurant closed its doors for good Monday, April 16.
Changing consumer tastes and dwindling restaurant attendance were the catalyst for what locals considered a rapid and unexpected closure.
Shortly after celebrating 42 years of business, the Turek family was forced to make the decision which drew to a close an era of authentic German food, drink and fun in eastern Oklahoma County.
Old Germany Restaurant was established March 1, 1976 by Heinz and Christel Turek just two years after their family immigrated from the small town of Bad Soden, Germany.
Operated by Christel with each of the Turek children (Ute, Birgit, Olaf, George, Jutta and Mike) being involved at some level in the operation, the restaurant grew from a small “sausage stand” to one of the state’s most celebrated fine dining destinations.
Turek’s Tavern opened five years ago as an effort to provide something unique to the area and attract consumers whose tastes had seemed to change over the last four decades.
While attendance remained high in the tavern, the fine dining that had helped put Choctaw on the map had seen a significant decrease in attendance over the last several years.
Since 1991 Old Germany has hosted an Oktoberfest that has grown from an inaugural attendance of 1,200 to a celebration that attracts around 50,000 people from around the world each year.
As part of the Old Germany closing, the tavern and Choctaw Oktoberfest will also be closing.
“We have hosted the event and picked up the majority of costs for years,” said Mike Turek. “Annually, we lost money, but it was such a mainstay of the community that we felt we had to carry on. I think it’s going to be a huge loss to Choctaw and to our state.”
The family hopes to sell the restaurant and bar to a company that will be as involved in the community as the Turek family has been over its long history.
“When we started, German food was a novelty and people drove for hours to sample our authentic European fare. Unfortunately, newer consumers are not drawn to this type of dining, but in light of our huge community support, I’m confident a new buyer will come to this area and have the same patronage we have over the years.”
After 42 years of business, the Turek family bids their customers a fond farewell and “Auf Wiedersehen.“
Make no mistake about what has happened in this case: Mike Turek, the boss of “Old Germany,” threw in with the big shots ramming the turnpike through people’s farms and homes out there, and he appears to be getting his just reward for that crass betrayal of his fellow citizens. This is how such treachery ought to be met.
The Turnpike gang – including both the highway lobby oligarchs and locals who think they’ll benefit by supporting such schemes – need to be put on notice in no uncertain terms: THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, and there will be a PRICE to be paid for it.
Us as employees feel so betrayed an made a fool of not only did we NOT get paid for our wages for the last 2 weeks we were lied to an takin advantage of its ridiculous giving away free drinks all the time an acting a fool in front of customers . we were loyal an what did we qet a text saying meeting to dicuss future of the restaurant them bam no more, no notice no pay nothing!!!. who does that a very selfish person who only thinks only of himself an his bank loan . what about us who were loyal an stuck it out with this family and got nothing . Dont be fooled by there bullshit lies to cover there ass . GOD always has the last say .
If you still haven’t been paid contact the Labor Board.
I recall Spencers BBQ, also liking the idea of ruining the reason we chose to live in this area.
Also a local construction company in this area. It’s amazing how quickly, and Quietly removed all signs of a house ever being there. They have been busy on Reno, just east of Peebley Rd. of late.