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Restaurants I’ve been missing

Pictured is a 1963 fire engine red soup and salad Jaguar from Molly Murphy’s House of Fine Repute. (Photo provided)

By Steve Coulter

I’ve been missing the smell and taste of Applewood’s fritters. They were always hot, fresh and had just the right amount of powdered sugar. And you could never run out. Remember how they always had someone walking around with the fritter basket? As soon as you finished, 2 more fritters would be placed into that little white plate. And don’t forget about those wonderful yeast rolls!

I miss the tasty salad bar at Steak & Ale. Now that was a quality salad bar, complete with chilled plates and all your favorite salad b

Steve Coulter, Co-Publisher

ar items. Nothing more and nothing less. It was so good with the warm honey wheat brown bread they served. Did you ever get the Hawaiian chicken served with their signature herb rice pilaf or the Kensington club steak? Always perfect and always so good!

Do you remember Bennigan’s on Meridian and I-40? They served the world famous monte cristo sandwich. Honey wheat bread layered with tender ham, roasted turkey, Swiss and American cheeses. Batter-dipped, gently fried and coated with powdered sugar. Served with red raspberry preserves for dipping. No one made it like they did.

Last week I reported that Steak and Ale and Bennigan’s is making a comeback. The first Steak and Ale is being built right now in Cancun Mexico and they’re looking for franchisees in Oklahoma. The CEO Paul Mangiamele said he will call and give me updates. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

I sure miss my lunches at Pioneer Pies. Owner Mike Smart was always right there to greet you as you walked in the door. And Linda Morris always had the biggest smile as she poured your tea and took your order. The special was half a sandwich, cup of soup or salad and slice of pie. I usually got the turkey sandwich, potato soup and pumpkin, apple or strawberry pie. Did you ever get the German Chocolate, Coconut, or Millionaire cream pie? They made so many pies, I still don’t know how they did it every day.

Who remembers a 1963 fire engine red soup & salad Jaguar? Molly Murphy’s house of fine repute was the only place where you could taste the fun! The restaurant had a lounge, dance floor, nightly entertainment and hilarious costumed wait staff. There was so much food with the Bacchus FEAST! Remember the car wash around the salad car and bathroom trips? Oh what a night at Molly Murphy’s! I know the owner and might do a story on What happened to Molly Murphy’s.

Do you remember Crystals Pizza? It was across from Venture on NW Expressway. It had a 2 story arcade and movie theatre that played cartoons. Crystals Pizza also featured a live piano room for the adults. It was a fun place to go.

I bet you forgot all about the Wilds restaurant. It was located in a carriage barn on a country road between Yukon and Piedmont. It had a rustic decor with big cedar tables. The Wilds featured catfish, steaks, barbecue, homemade rolls and had a great buffet. They had picnic areas around the lake, paddle boats, fishing and hayrack rides. You could also spot buffalo and miniature mules on site. I sure miss the Wilds!

Don’t forget about Piccadilly Cafeteria! It was located in Crossroads mall and had almost limitless choices. That was a tough decision going down the line and picking your entree, sides, soup, salad, breads and dessert. Piccadilly Cafeteria was always packed, but worth the wait for their homestyle comfort food. I think it’s also worth mentioning Luby’s, Boulevard Cafeteria and the Queen Anne Cafeteria.

Want more chips, guacamole, tortillas, tacos or sopapillas? Just raise the flag for service at Casa Bonita and Pancho’s Mexican Buffet. They often featured live performers that walked around playing festive Mexican music. I also enjoyed Nino’s Mexican restaurant and almost forgot Texanna Red’s.

Honorable mentions go out to Crocketts BBQ, Kona Ranch Steakhouse, Harrigan’s, Homestyle Buffet, The County Line Barbecue, Shoney’s, Italian Jim’s Pizza, Big Cheese Pizza, Showbiz Pizza Place, Black Eyed Peas, Harry’s American Grill & Bar and Bahama Breeze. Who misses all theses restaurants?

I would love to hear about your favorite restaurant memories. Message me and your comments might be published in the newspapers. Email me at


  1. Connie on June 11, 2020 at 9:16 am

    What a great post!!! Kensington Club for me and mushrooms!! Best meal ever!!!!

    • gale on June 15, 2020 at 11:44 am

      yes the kensington club at steak & ale, so delicious I miss it!

      • Kim on July 27, 2021 at 8:36 am

        Sleepy hollow was a great place. Wonderful food . an great sceenery

  2. Wilma Hyde on June 11, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Boy, you brought back great memories. Molly Murphys was the go to place for out of tow visitors. Also, about the restaurant that circled the landscape from N May. Food was great, my special birthday place. Thank you for this very interesting article!

    • Wayne Elkins on June 29, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Steve, my name is Wayne Elkins, I worked for Sheet Metal Service Co. And had the privilege to make the Jaguar salad bar at Molly Murphy’s restaurant!! It was quite fun to create, I had never worked on anything like that before. The architect flew in from Los Angeles, Ca to meet with me and show me what he wanted the salad bar to look like. I asked him to show me the blueprint, he laughed and asked if I had a sheet of paper. He proceeded to draw a plan view of what he wanted the end result to look like and handed it to me!!! Needless to say, it was quite a challenge, but I loved working on it !!!

  3. David Pearce on June 11, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Glen’s Hik’ry Inn and Christopher’s are the 2 I miss the most.

  4. Carolyn Dixon on June 11, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Lots of good memories

  5. Sabrina Simmons on June 12, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    Loved Molly Murphy’s so many great memories there!
    Crystal’s so many birthdays 🎂 there! Kona Ranch and Pancho’s yum! I would love if they all could reopen!

  6. Cladrite Radio on June 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    I worked at Molly Murphy’s for five years. We had an awful lot of fun.

    From my childhood, Herman’s Sea Food Restaurant is the spot I remember most fondly.

  7. Jeff Crews on June 12, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    Underwood’s BBQ on SW 59th and Blackwelder was one of my favorites growing up!
    Also, Nicolosi’s Italian restaurant on South Penn was excellent!

  8. Donna C on June 13, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Missing Sullivan’s & Fred Gang’s Meat Market. Eddie’s
    Great article. Thanks for the memories.

  9. Karen Collins on June 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    You just named alot of my favorites…I really miss Applewoods and Steak and Ale the most. Keep dreaming they will return someday

    • John on February 25, 2021 at 10:20 am

      I really miss Sleepy Hollow!! What happened to the Branding Iron?

  10. Mike Miller on June 14, 2020 at 10:41 am

    What was the restaurant on N. Western at about 69th or 70th that served the Cheeseburger in Paradise? Sometime in the ’90’s. Just up the street from where Hideaway Pizza is now.

  11. Curtis Burga on June 14, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Ole’ on Norh May (now Zorba’s). Nino’s on NW Hwy (now Chelino’s).

  12. Paula Langston on June 15, 2020 at 2:03 am

    Great article! Those were great restaurants and I miss them.

  13. Angie Nicewander on June 16, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I miss all of these but Molly Murphy’s and Steak and Ale are the 2 that need to come back. Please.

  14. Tosh on June 21, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Harry Bears! Their fried peaches and dipping sauce were to die for!!

  15. jb on March 4, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    The Haunted House was always a great food and had a scary history (as the name would imply).

    I can’t believe that the place is a boy’s home now.

  16. David Peterson on June 10, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Anyone recall “Zeider Zee?” I may be misspelling it. Casady Square had a nice cafeteria in the 1960’s, which later became a “Hunan’s” Chinese restaurant in the 1980’s. Can’t recall the name of the cafeteria. Lastly, anyone recall The Cornucopia Restaurant down near St. Anthony’s Hospital original building? Wasn’t Nicolosi’s the fan favorite of the original Oklahoma City Blazers fans since it was reasonably close to the Norick Arena (“Fairgrounds Arena”)? Thank you. . .

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