Wednesday, July 21, 2010

North on Lincoln: Chicken-In-The-Rough

This post was originally written July 20, 2006, and was one of my first blog articles at Doug Dawgz Blog. It has been updated since then a few times, the most recent before this being in April and the most recent being today, July 21, 2010. Thanks to all of you who have commented on this post ... which is probably the most visited article in my blog ... it has certainly generated the greatest number of comments (70 as this is written). This update substantially updates the artifacts section at the end of the article. A menu is also added there.


First, a show of hands: How many of you remember that, driving south on Lincoln Boulevard toward the Oklahoma Capitol, it ran smack into NE 23rd just north of the capitol? I don’t know when the change occurred, but in days gone by Lincoln Boulevard and NE 23rd intersected with a plain ol’ stop light (at least, that’s my recollection).

As a high-school kid traveling from to Okc Lawton High for debate trips (I was born here but I mainly grew up in Lawton), the two places that stand out in my mind just north of the capitol are Beverly’s Chicken-In-The-Rough and the Park-O-Tell – both being a part of the US Highway 66 nostalgia. They are part of mine, too!

First, Beverly’s!

According to http://chickenintherough.com/History.html,

History of the “meal that created food service and fried chicken franchising”

In 1936 Beverly and Rubye Osborne were driving west from Oklahoma to California. They had no reason to be joyful. They were middle aged and the Depression had wiped out their savings. [Ed. Note: another version of this story places Beverly's restaurant business as starting in 1921 and the trip was mentioned as a vacation, not an exodus, as this article implies. See The Vanished Splendor II, Edwards and Ottaway (Abalache Book Shop Publishing Co. 1983)].

On this particular afternoon it seemed that everyone in the state was attempting to scape the famine of the Oklahoma dust bowl. With not much more than their meager belongings and a basket of fried chicken, Beverly Osborne coaxed his Ford pickup across the barren prairie.

Suddenly, a bump in the rutted road scattered the chicken and basket. Picking it up, Rubye complained “this is really Chicken in the Rough.”

With that chance remark, a fortune was born. Beverly turned his truck around and headed back home. A man who, on instinct, had made a modest fortune and lost it - Beverly reasoned that “fingers were made before forks” and that chicken could be a cheap source of food at a time when incomes were sparse. Beverly learned from his previous business experience and failures that every business must provide customer satisfaction by identifying customers' needs and how to satisfy those needs better than anyone else. Soon, with the money he had received from the sale of his wife's wedding ring, he had an operation serving fried chicken with shoestring potatoes, hot biscuits and honey. That was the delectable meal that started “Fast Food - Fried Chicken Franchising” - long before McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

By 1950, when Time magazine ran a feature article on the Chicken in the Rough operation, Beverly and Rubye Osborne were grossing almost two million dollars per year, had sold 335 million orders of Chicken in the Rough and had created 250 franchised outlets including some as far as Johannesburg, South Africa.

Now, how much of the above is fanciful, I don’t know. But, I do know that I just loved the chances to venture into this spacious restaurant just north of the capitol:

Click on any image in this article for a larger view


(credit: www.route66roadfood.com)


(credit: Vanished Splendor II, Edwards and Ottaway, above)

Apparently, the restaurant on Lincoln was called a “drive-in” early on, though this old postcard says that it seated 1,000! Some drive-in!


(credit: www.route66roadfood.com)

A prize was even offered for sending postcards to Beverly’s main office in Okc which were postmarked from enough cities (though the terms of the offer varied – according to postcards on the web – from $100 to $250 – and either “all” or “25” cities).

Here are a few more pics - the 1st shows the "drive-in" as well as 2 other Beverly's in Oklahoma City, Beverly's Grill (downtown, 209 W. Grand ... now Sheridan, the original Beverly's) and Beverly's Gridiron, 1207 N. Walker, which has now become the 1492 Restaurant:


(credit: Vanished Splendor II, Edwards and Ottaway, above)

The "Gridiron" on North Walker, Today the 1492





From my Photo Collection
A Real Pic of the Downtown Beverly's Grill in 1957

Cropped View Just Showing the Grill



Showing Context Next to the Warner Theater


A postcard from Charles G. Hill's Dustbury shows that the corporate office was once located downtown at 209 W. Grand.


In one of the comments at the end of this article, Dustbury's Charles G. Hill recalled that another Beverly's may have been located on North May, near the old May Theater which is now an antique shop, and that the current occupant of the old building may be Jimmie's Egg ... Doug Dawg doesn't know, but here's a pic I took on 2/21/2008 of that location ...


Another Oklahoma City Beverly's was located one block west of Classen Boulevard on NW 23rd. It became another restaurant several years back but was later demolished when the Walgreens Pharmacy was built at that location.

Beverlys were spread throughout the nation ... and one or a few in Europe, even. The early image below shows some of the locations.


(credit: www.route66roadfood.com)

The remaining remnant of Chicken-In-The-Rough was Beverly’s Pancake Corner at the northwest corner of Northwest Expressway & Pennsylvania, but the building was razed a few months ago and is no longer standing. However, the owner moved the restaurant to a "modern" building located immediately north of Integris Baptist Hospital at the northwest corner of Northwest Expressway and Independence. The old sign is gone, but you can still go there and eat some Chicken-in-the-Rough or a Big Bev Burger, as well as to see lots of old pics.


(credit: www.route66roadfood.com)

Remnant of the Old Location 2/21/2008



New Location




According to http://chickenintherough.com/History.html, members of the Carroll family purchased the Chicken in the Rough rights from Beverly Osborne when he was 84. Maybe so. But, not today, according to http://www.wileypost.com/links/cir.html, Renaee Khosravani is the present enthusiastic owner (now at the "new" location at NW Expressway & Independence, shown above).

Updated Note: On March 20, 2008, I was nearby and decided to have a Big Bev Burger in the new digs ... while there, I asked Ms. Khosravani whether the "old" sign would be used for the new restaurant ... she said, "The round part will be," but I didn't then remember what the "round part" was ... and, I asked, "What about the chicken?"

Well, of course, the "round part" IS the chicken!


So, expect to see the round-part-chicken out front before too long.

The Big Bev & Fries were just as good as always. Here are a few inside pics ...






As you can see, though, it's a bit more "modern" than one might expect a Beverly's to be, but ... there was a decent crowd there around 2:30 p.m., so it must be O.K.

Beverly Osborne was one of Wiley Post’s sponsors in his 1st round-the-world trip – a Beverly’s logo is even on the Winnie Mae!

(credit: www.wileypost.com)
(the pic from the other-website no longer exists -- I'll leave a light on in case I find a duplicate somewhere else)

Now, how this, and the post about Wiley Post (above) come together is that Ms. Khosravani may come to be operating a NEW Chicken-In-The-Rough in the diner at the new Wiley Post Heritage of Flight Center!

(credit: www.wileypost.com)
(the pic from the other-website no longer exists -- I'll leave a light on in case I find a duplicate somewhere else)

ARTIFACTS. According to a May 24, 2006, Journal Record article, the Oklahoma Historical Society includes a Beverly's collection of memorabilia which are also easily found on the internet. When this section was added a few months ago, I'd only gotten one of them -- the finger cup shown below -- but since then I've fared better.

      FINGER CUPS. Some call 'em "finger bowls" but they look like "cups" to me. Yep, that's the only physical artifact that I had when this article was modified in April 2010 and it's probably not even an original piece but is more likely a replica ... you probably wouldn't find any DNA on it save for what my own grubby fingerprints might have left behind. That's OK, you take 'em as you find 'em and then you say thank you very much. I picked this item up at an antique shop on North Western about four-six months ago (from April 2010). The cup below is 3 ½" high, 4" diameter at the top and 2 ¾" diameter at the bottom. Click on each of the small pics below to open a much larger view.

But what were they for, some youngsters reasonably inquire? [At this point in the conversation, we older guys and gals have an unusual opportunity to be creative, but I'll not go further with that right now.] Remember ... there was no silverware, you picked up the chicken with your fingers and chowed down ... and then you cleaned up your fingers at the end of the meal in a water-filled finger bowl (today we'd probably want to add a lemon slice) instead of wiping your hands on your trousers or your shirt. See ... we Okies know what we need to do ... we spread that knowledge across the nation ... Miss Manners knows that we use the finger bowl and a napkin, and there you have it.

      MENU. From the great new Oklahoma City history venue, Retro Metro OKC, the following Beverly's 1937 menu is provided, courtesy the Oklahoma Historical Society (click on the menu for a readable view):


      MIKE ANDERSON COLLECTION. A new good friend that I formed during the MAPS 3 wars last year, Mike Anderson, former president of the local firefighters union ... and even though we were, quite respectfully, on different sides of some issues during that time ... has graciously shared with me his and his mother's collection of Beverly's artifacts. He also said that he would write a sub-article right here which describes his family's connection with Beverly's ... but I don't have that article yet so I'm going ahead with the posting of photos taken in May 2010 of that collection.

Mike relates that one of his grandparents, I can't recall which, worked at the Beverly's warehouse or some such name which was located a block or so south of the Biltmore Hotel, probably on Harvey. Mike will hopefully fill in the details about that. As I understand it from him, Beverly's would store and ship its hardware (e.g., plates, glasses, etc.) to the various Beverly's restaurants in the country from that location and, probably, the items shown below were originally located in that warehouse which accounts for their pristine condition.

Enjoy the photos. Click on any image for a 1024px wide view.

Mike Anderson's Collection
From this collection, Mike made a wonderfully
generous gift to me of the items shown below:



Yeah! Life is good! Eat more chicken!

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93 comments:

writerranger said...

That last postcard looks exactly like the Beverly's I went to as a kid in downtown Oklahoma City. I remember reaching into the chest for a toy after my Beverly's "Clean-Your-Plate-Club" card was fully punched. Fun memories. Great article, Doug!

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, writerrager,

If you have an acutal pic of the downtown Bevely's, let me know and I'll certainly post it.

From what I've read, in it's prime, Beverly's had 6 locations in Okc, but I'm not able to locate them all. All I know of is (1) Lincoln Blvd, (2) NW 23rd west of Classen, and (3)downtown which you mentioned, though I don't have a specific address for that. The other 3 are beyond my knowledge. Help is appreciaed!

Doug Dawg said...

Corrected: the location on NW Expressway & Penn, is also a "known" location, though that may have come later than when some other web post identified the other Beverly's in Okc as "6". I don't know.

writerranger said...

Doug,

The Beverly's Downtown Diner's address was 209 West Grand. It was across the street and down just a bit from the old Sheraton (Biltmore) Hotel and a few doors down from the Warner Theater.

writerranger

writerranger said...

Oh, Beverly's also had a "Gridiron" location at 12th and Walker.

CGHill said...

The Pancake Corner on Northwest Distressway at Penn was the last of the OKC Beverly's to be constructed; I remember seeing a place mat with drawings of six locations, and that one wasn't on it.

As I understand things, Khosravani owns the Beverly's trademark; that particular recipe is indeed licensed from the Carrolls. (The Big Bevburger and other menu items were never part of the franchise deal.)

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, CG! Good input. I only know what I've read elsewhere ... in this case, the data I'd read was from the http://www.wileypost.com/links/cir.html ... have you got any additional info?

CGHill said...

I'm still trying to find those other locations. I'm reasonably certain there was a Westside Beverly's, in the general vicinity of the May Theater (which would be south of NW 16th and May); it would seem logical to assume that there was a southside location, though I have no idea where it might have been.

Doug Dawg said...

Hmmm ... about the May Theater proximate possibility, I have the vague recollection that a Beverlys may have been across the street (east side of May) from the May Theater ... where some other restaurant eventually took over, a breakfast type restaurant. Or, am I just bouncing off the wall in a dark room once again!?

CGHill said...

Which, last I looked, was a Jimmy's Egg.

Doug Dawg said...

Does the above tie-down a Bervely's location? I think that it does. Are there others in Okc?

Anonymous said...

I found a bag of Chicken in the Rough marbles, any idea on the age of this?

Doug Dawg said...

No, but I'll look around and if I find anything, I'll reply again.

Thanks for posting!

Lisa said...

I have a menu from Beverly's copyrighted 1937 by Beverly Osborne. At that time it was called Beverly's Drive-in on 2429 Lincoln Blvd. The fried chicken plate "in the rough" was .50. This menu is in a scrapbook I found that chronicles a trip out Route 66 in January 1938.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Lisa. As far as I know, that "drive in" was always named that ... even though it seated 1,000 (according to the postcards and other info). It was located a block north of the Oklahoma Capital building on the west side of Lincoln Blvd., and is the 1st of the Beverly's shown in the original post.

That sounds like a very nice artifact that you have! Hang on to it!

Another postcard showing that and 2 other small Beverly's in Oklahoma City is here ... I've not yet stuck it into my original blog post ... later this afternoon I probably will.

Anonymous said...

Beverly was a great guy, I knoew him personally when I was a child, and I belive I still have the first Timex watch her purchased for me. I was saddened on my last trip to OKC that the estate of 5401 Beverly Drive no longer exist, his brother Roy was also in the food business odly enough he never did a framchise of his bothers own chicken!

Anonymous said...

Hey,I love your site! I have always researching OKC past history. The Beverlys Building that was at 12&Walker is still there..it is next to the old Reese Eyeglasses store. Both buildings are currently for lease.

Harmless Jones said...

Jeez, I just got off the phone w/ my dad who said today he went to lunch at Beverly's with my brother. He caught himself quickly and said, "Oh, I meant Golden Corral, Beverly's was years ago". I hadn't thought of Beverly's in 30 or more years. He used to take us there on special occastions. He lives in Duncan now. Hey, my bro used to go to Lawton and debate too. Love your blog

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Harmless Jones! I had a lunch at the NW Expressway Beverly's a month or so ago and spoke with the owner, wondering how/if the plans for a Beverly's at the planned Wiley Post museum/etc. were coming along ... she still planned to do it, if the general project ever got done.

About your bro, small world!

Dianna said...

I recently visited my Mom in Midwest City, Ok and she gave me some Beverly's items that she has had since 1958. I have a menu, a "Tiny-Tot Menu" and some postcards. I was very happy to take the items, as they were treasures my Mom had kept from her teen years when she would travel from Tulsa to Oklahoma City for FHA conventions. She said she even has a picture, somewhere in her boxes of belongings, of her and Beverly and his wife.

Alan Morrison said...

Doug,

Another great post--thanks for all the dedicated research. We started going to the Pancake Corner (Andy Anderson's was next door then, a wonderful sporting goods place) back in the '60s. I loved the jukebox song selection machines at each table.

I remember another Beverly's at what I think was 23rd between Penn and Classen in the '70s....

Restaurants I miss that are long gone in OKC--Dolores (23rd, near Lincoln?), the Patio grill (50th and NW Expressway), Split-T (on Western), J&R Chicken Ranch (10th St.), Uncle John's Pancake House (on Lincoln) and Ouy Lin's (on Classen near 12th).

Dolores restaurant had quite a history tied to the Capitol. Both Dolores and Split-T had fried Suzy-Q potatoes. We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and the Making of Americana by Donna R. Gabaccia asserts that the owner of Dolores Restaurant, pioneered these and invented the machine to cut potatoes that way. I remember Dolores as a fancy sit-down restaurant, but The Big Book of Car Culture: The Armchair Guide to Automotive Americana by Jon G. Robinson cites Dolores as one of first drive-ins! Both of these books are searchable on Google Books. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4182/is_19960617/ai_n10089069 cites Dolores as well.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks for the good post, Alan!

"Restaurants I miss that are long gone in OKC--Dolores (23rd, near Lincoln?), the Patio grill (50th and NW Expressway), Split-T (on Western), J&R Chicken Ranch (10th St.), Uncle John's Pancake House (on Lincoln) and Ouy Lin's (on Classen near 12th)."

If I can find enough images, my intention is to put together an article on restaurants such as these ... I have one not so good pic of Dolores ... none of the Patio, Oui Lin, or the others. Split-T shouldn't be too hard to find.

Help wanted!!!

Alan Morrison said...

Doug,

Last time I was in OKC, the Ouy Lin sign and building was still there. Might be an interesting photo depicting the arrested decay that's occurring in that area.

Alan Morrison said...

Correction: Ouy Lin was at 12th and Penn, not Classen. http://radio51.blogspot.com/2006/04/ouy-lin.html has a picture of the sign from 2006.

Alan Morrison said...

BTW, the Lebanese angle for the restaurants is another historical and interesting one--the Lebanese being for decades a prominent part of the merchant class in OKC. Jamil's and Eddy's steakhouses were always too expensive for us to go to when I was growing up, so I didn't know what they were like, really. As a substitute, we went to Sleepy Hollow or J&R...

Jamil's is mentioned here--http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2738599-jamil_s_steakhouse_of_oklahoma_city_oklahoma_city-i

Grace said...

Hello! Just found your site/blog. OKC was my home and I look forward to spending some time reading your blog entries. I do have some photos of some OKC restaurants and other places of note. I'll try to get them off to you before too long.
Have you got a recipe for Beverly's donuts anywhere????
:)

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Grace. I'd love to have copies of your restaurants, etc., pics! Send when ready!

Now that the Beverly's at NW Highway and Penn has moved, it's time to update this post, and also to add a pic of the downtown Beverly's next to the Warner Theater.

Donuts? No, no clue here. I don't remember them, either!

After the March 4 Ford Center vote, I'll get back to doing more "history" pieces, I promise!

Doug Dawg said...

Just took a look at your blog, Grace ... very nice! You wouldn't actually be Holly Hunter as in Saving Grace would you? [grin]

Jason said...

Thanks for the update, Doug. I'd never seen a photo of the one next to the Warner. Also, I'd love to see the photo of Dolores, when you get the restaurant article up. (nudge, nudge)

In reference to Alan's comment, the Ouy Lin sign is gone now.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Jason! You want a Dolores pic, you get one ... click here

When taking the pics on 2/21/08, I drove by the old Ouy Lin location and I'm pretty sure I saw the remnant of an Ouy Lin sign on top of the building ... when I'm out this morning, I'll take my camera and click it if that's so. I'll stick it in my Photobucket Restaurants folder if it's really there!

Jason said...

Cool, thanks!

Doug Dawg said...

Here are a couple of Ouy Lin pics I took yesterday, 2/23/08 ... Here and here.

y_h said...

Someone needs to get a definitive answer on the N. May location as it will then establish most clearly that the chicken came before the Egg.

Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

Do you know anything about what is happening to the sign on NW Expswy? Where is it going? I had contacted the Muscle Car Ranch several months ago and from emails I got from them they are asleep at the switch as far as obtaining this sign.
Is it going to the OK History Museum?

Doug Dawg said...

I don't know, Dwayne ... wondered the same thing myself.

Jason said...

Well, it is gone today, but don't know where it went. I'm pretty sure the Historical Society didn't get it though.

Ron Kiser said...

Great article. Any record of Beverly's Hideaway? I went to a school function there about 1959.
Also is anything known about "Osborne's Waffle Shops? Would like to have a location.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Ron! The items you mention are "new" to me ... I'll see if I can find anything ... and if others who read this might know, please chime in!

Anonymous said...

Reading all of the above was food for my memory (also made me hungry). Do you recall on the back of Menus were Poems; and the little white "Table tent" cards on all the tables with three short prayers,(for three major faiths)
They were written by Mrs. Beverly Osborne. I have her book "From My Heart...to Yours!" (47 pages)& covering span of about 40 years, published in 1966. Is "Dedicated to my husband, Beverly for more Reasons than I can name!" The Chicken in the Rough logo is underneath.

Judge Gary J Dean, Pryor said...

As a 10 year old in 1950 I lived in the Huckins Hotel for a year, and often visited the Beverly's by the Warner theater by myself for a meal. A 10 year old could safely visit the movies and anywhere downtown in those days.
I can remember visiting a cafe in Northern British Columbia East of Prince George in 1950 with the Beverly's Chicken in the Rough with logo on the menu. Amazing then even to a 10 year old. Thanks Doug for all of the great memories you are bringing back.

don said...

Does anyone know the name of the restaurant, back in the early 70s, that was on the northwest corner of nw 23rd and Western across from the gold, round bank? I grew up in OKC and for the life of me can't remember what is was called. Later, it was a Chinese restaurant, I think. It was primarily a burger place....right down the street to the east there was an Alfie's fish and chips restaurant. Please let me know at misty2492@msn.com. Thanks. And I would give anything if Springlake still existed, loved that place.

Doug Dawg said...

Don, I'm drawing total blanks.

VJ said...

Doug, great site! I began as a legal secretary in downtown OKC in 1965 and well remember the Beverly's there. Lived at the YWCA for two years; great memories. Wondering if you have any pictures or info regarding the Draughon's Business College on Broadway

Kristopher said...

The Beverly's you mention on 23rd just west of Classen was last known as Jim's Country Cafe' - it moved up Classen after Walgreen's came along and help obliterate more of that corner. In either one of "The Vanished Splendor" books or in Bob Blackburn's "Oklahoma County - Heart of the Promised Land" there is a section about Beverly's and it mentions that the name lives on in both the NW Expressway & Penn location, but also a "new" location in the Exchange Building at the Stockyards. Both books were published in the early-mid 1980's, so I have no idea how long that location lasted, if even the book is correct - it is the only reference I have seen to it.

I won't repeat the words that came out of my mouth when I returned from Chicago to visit and saw that sign gone by Penn Square. Glad to here at least part of it will like on!

Mark Alfred said...

A few comments on all the above:

1) The restaurant that moved into the 23rd & Classen Beverly's building was JEFF's Country Cafe, not "Jim's" as mentioned above. when it left the Beverly's location, it moved north on Classen, taking over the building that in the 1970s was Sambo's!

2) The question about donuts was referring to donuts served at the NW 23rd & Classen location. Maybe elsewhere, but this was the only place where we OCU students encountered them. Around 1974, you could order a 30-cent donut. It was a glazed donut slathered in butter. Big deal, you say -- but the thing was 6 or 7 inches across and about 2 inches thick!

3) I was at the auction of the old Pancake Corner location at Penn & NW Expressway. I heard folks talking to the effect that the big pole sign at the street was already spoken for, or had already been sold. Anyway, it was NOT part of the auction. In case you wondered, I bought a Texas-Toast-type toaster, the steel candy-gum rack that sat on the counter next to the register, and a ticket spinner (the wheel that the orders were clipped to and rotated to face the cooks).

I have several OKC memories and scans in older (2006-2007) posts on my blog, Mark's Super Blog,markssuperblog.blogspot.com/

Robert Conner said...

A couple of notes about Beverly's.
The Jimmy's Egg at NW 16th & May avenue was indeed a Beverly's.
The Beverly's at NW 23rd & Classen was designed by my father, R. Duane Conner, and was based on our house at the corner of Greystone & Drakestone in Nichols Hills. The house still remains as of mid-2006. FYI, My father also designed the First Christian Church at NW 36th & Walker.

Robert Conner
Pryor, OK
(And homesick for OKC!)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the recipe for the Beverly's salad dressing?

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, anon, but no, I don't. I'll see if I can find one on the web and if I do I'll post a link in another comment here.

Kathleen said...

I am restaurant china collector. I have 2 pieces of "Osborne's Waffle Shops" china in my collection. I would be interested in knowing anything about this restaurant. One piece was purchased from a collector in Oklahoma.I also have quite a few pieces of "Chicken In the Rough". Thanks

Lynne said...

After reading this blog, I decided to look around on the Oklahoman archives to see what I could find out. In an article from 2/55, I found out that Beverly Osborne was planning to build 15 new restaurants (for a total of $800,000!), all of them in OK. The first one to be built was at NW 16th and May, so I think that mystery is solved. Also, in the article, it said that the architectural firm of Coston-Frankfort-Short designed the master plan for all of these restaurants.

Lynne said...

After reading this blog, I decided to look around on the Oklahoman archives to see what I could find out. In an article from 2/55, I found out that Beverly Osborne was planning to build 15 new restaurants (for a total of $800,000!), all of them in OK. The first one to be built was at NW 16th and May, so I think that mystery is solved. Also, in the article, it said that the architectural firm of Coston-Frankfort-Short designed the master plan for all of these restaurants.

DeeJay said...

About the 16th and N. May location. Yes, it was a Beverly's. Dad and I ate there about 1956. The chicken was excellent, especially to a 14 year old boy who had never eaten much of anything outside of mom's home cooking, and her's was something to brag about too!

Dana said...

there is a very good pic of the downtown grill online here. you can the whole front of the building with the colcord building right next to it.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Dana, good find!

Imogene said...

I worked for Beverly's 1953 to 1960. My home was the "Grill" which featured Lloyd, as the cook and Roughhouse as the fry cook. However I was loaned out to the other locations. At the time there was seven. Yes, there was one on the S.E. corner of 16th and N. May--Pancake Alley. (pictured as Jimmy's Egg). The Hidaway was my favorite other than the Grill. Because tips were great at the banquets. Mr. Osborne was a wonderful man, gave all a chance They started with just a counter. Little or no money. The story circulated that they would buy what they need for a day...sometimes going back in the afternoon to purchase more food. A lot of the OKC police officers and detectives came for their daily round of coffee. Thanks for the memories your place brings to mind. (I stumbled on this blog by accident) Imogene

Imogene said...

I just posted a comment, But in answer to Southside Location...it was at S.W. 29th and May Ave. Woody Young who was my manager since 1953-1960 at Beverly's, opened that location before 1969. I loved to go there to visit him when I moved back from Ca.
Imogene

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Imogene, for the comments and info.

Gene said...

I seem to remember a Beverly's on SW 29th in the 60's.

Doug Dawg said...

Offhand, Gene, I don't know. I just tried to look in the Oklahoman's archives for an answer but unfortunately its search engine isn't working right now. When it is, I'll see what I can find.

Doug Dawg said...

I wrote before reading. See Imogene's comment above about the southside location -- SW 29th & May.

Cimaron said...

Imogene's entry above - Was Woody Young the same Woody that was the manager of the downtown Beverly's Grill in the early 60's? As a teen I worked at the Midwest & Warner during that time frame and remember a really great Manager named Woody that everyone liked and respected. Thanks for the great history and back ground information. Excellent reading!

Carl said...

In the early sixties I worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. at 405 N. Broadway. I lead an exercise class at the Downtown YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Beverly would come on most of these days and exercise with us. He must of been in his seventies then so he didn't do a whole lot but, he was there. About once a week he would bring a box of his famous honey in the small plastic packs and tell us it would give us energy to exercise. It sure was good and it worked. He would tell me how he put dirt in his swimming pool and was growing bananas right here in OKC. He was really proud that he could grow his own bananas. I still remember the day he was directing some construction work at his home and a piece of equipment backed over him and he was killed. I worked at the Warner theatre in 1955 and Beverlys was next door. Had Chicken in the Rough many, many times. It was great.

Showme1948 said...

I met a Mrs. Osborne in 1983 in OKC. She told me she had owned a restaurant and she gave me some dishes that have the same logo as this. We called her aunt Neva but in this article her name is Rubye. Do you think they are the same person?

Anonymous said...

what a great article! i ate many times at the pancake corner on pennsylvania, and also at the one on 23rd. i fondly remember the "treasure chest" for being a member of the "clean your plate club." i remember that there was a restaurant called randy's in edmond back in the late 70's or early 80's that was supposed to be affiliated with beverly's. for some reason, i thought randy was his son (not sure).

another forgotten classic was the old hollie's drive-in where the mcdonald's now sits on classen. back in the 60's, kids would cruise from hollie's to quick's along classen, until the owners finally got fed up with customers unable to get into the parking lot and had the police run them off. kids also used to cruise 39th street (remember shakey's pizza?), as well as broadway in edmond (remember royce's cafe and the wide-a-wake?). i guess people would rather they go out in the woods and get drunk, high, and pregnant. we wouldn't want them to feel like they were a welcome part of the community, would we? i wonder why they all wanted to move away after school...

sorry to get off topic!

DonJ said...

Anyone remember Bixler's Drive-In hamburger joint on NW 23rd, about where Taco Bueno is now located, just to the east of Pennysvania?

I was part of the crowd that "dragged" the streets between Bixler's and the aforementioned Hollie's. Yep, we "dragged". To "cruise" meant you were going to sail somewhere on water in 1960. Lot's of fond memories of the times had by my buddies and I or some of the dates that were spent "dragging". But the times they were a'changing.

Doug Dawg said...

Great comments, anon & DonJ ... not a problem at all to mention the fine Hollies (or anything else that comes to mind). We're just all having fun remembering ... my personal favorite will always be the on just north of the State Capitol building, though ... I liked the ones on NW 23rd & on NW Highway just fine, but the big ole barn (as I remember it) north of the Capitol is the one in my memories the most.

Anonymous said...

To divert a little more from Bev's,
Prior to a drive in Movie at the North West Highway Drive In, we would go by Hollies and pick up an order to go...We could as teens, always obtain beer along with burgers to go from Hollies...The Car Hops were always generously tipped!...Another favorite for dragging was the Rancher's Daughter on NW 23 in the early 60's..A lot of good clean fun! No Drugs! Just a few teens having a couple of beers at a Drive in Movie..Times did Change!

Linda said...

Oh, mercy! What a great blog you started. Beverly's,Bixler's (my 1st speeding ticket going west on 23rd), Hollie's (the BEST), Carp's, the Criterion, Warner, May theaters, Veazy's on 23rd/Walker, Kathryn Lipes (was an old house on 23rd/Lee across from Wilson School, Humty Dumpty Grocery (stole a Tootsie Pop that my mother made me take back..)Thx 4 the memories.

Joel Genung said...

Man Oh Man, what memories! The family highlight in the early 50's was to do a Beverly's chicken dinner on Saturday night. My fondest recollection are those fantastic hot rolls with honey and the chicken, which I feel, has never been equaled. I also remember my total fascination with the wishing well that, as I recall, was lit from within by colored lights. For a kid that grew up on NE 29th Street and went to Thomas Edison Grade School, Beverly's was a genuine treat and a touch of class. With all those great places now long gone (my old school [so to speak], Springlake, the downtown movie palaces and even my Dad's old armory where the 45th Infantry Museum is now housed), can we really call this progress? Thanks for the great memories!

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Joel. A friend is writing a guest article ... one of his folks worked at the warehouse or something for Beverly's which he tells me was a little south of the old Biltmore hotel. He's got oodles of Beverly's items (plates, glasses, etc.) and I've taken several photos of his and his mom's stuff to include in his article. Maybe I need to give him a bump on the article!

mwbsf said...

I first met Mr. Osborne at the Lincoln & 23rd location when he hired my aunt as manager. Much later I had a summer job as busboy at the 23rd & Classen location, but ended up doing other things including frying the chicken.

Nalini said...

You cannot believe it, but they also had a place in a small little heard of country before the unfortunate Jones town called Guyana! And last year, when my dad was having cancer treatment, we all drove each other nuts talking about the best chicken ever! I am happily sending this around.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Nalini, that is amazing information! I had no idea.

kccompcon said...

I am blessed to have known the man, personally, along with his brother. I actually resided on the estate, then it was 5401 Beverly Drive go figure! He suffered a tragic sad death,

Anonymous said...

Visted the Oklahoma History Center in OKC this passed week which contains numerous historical items related to Oklahoma including some of the Beverly's Restaurant table ware items i.e. coffee cup, plate, finger bowel...All appeared to be like new...Very impressed with the Center. It is located on the North side of NW 23rd street opposite the
Capital Building.

Jimmy Proton said...

My favorite with Beverly's was the plate o grease. Well, it was the Mexican diner. How could a place feature such a wide range of foods? The chicken was also nice. Mama always got the pancakes any time of day. Our last time to eat at the Penn Square location was when mama was still alive. It was us 4 kids and mama. We were headed to that round booth in the back. We all had sat down when the waitress told us we had to move. Then this 100 year old lady walks in and takes the huge 8-person booth by herself. The waitress said, "She has dibs on the booth anytime she shows up, just be glad you hadn't ordered your food yet." I have no idea who that lady was, maybe it was Beverly. We never returned to that location again after that. As for Jeff's County Cafe, yes, it was a Sambo's. I remember the Sambo story was depicted on the walls. It stopped being a Sambos and I think it became a Denny's. Then it was not even a restaurant and became a ACS computer store (I think). Then it was a restaurant again.

Anonymous said...

The Mexican diner mentioned above was one of my favorites as well as the Big Bev Burger..During my High School years I worked at the downtown theaters and ate lunch, diner at the grill next to the Warner Theater quite often..On one of my meal breaks at the grill I was seated at the counter and an older gentleman dressed in a white suit, white wide brim hat, white beard and carried a cane came in and sat that the counter a couple of seats over and order Beverly's Chicken In The Rough..I had never seen anyone like him in my life and had no idea who he was until a year or so later. He finished his Chicken diner and told the waitress that it was good. Everyone in the restaurant was looking at him but, I don't think anyone knew who he was and of course it was at it turned out to be Colnel Sanders. We watched him leave, walked up Grand (Sheridan) and crossed over to go into the Sheraton Hotel and never saw him again until one of his TV commercials and then I recalled seeing him at Beverly's.

Anonymous said...

I just came across an old Chicken in the Rough matchbook cover from Ike's Cafe in Hereford, Texas that I posted on Ebay. Feel free to use the picture if you would like, Gary

Bill said...

Anyone have Beverly's salad dressing recipe - even as a ten year old I loved it! Bill

protech441@yahoo.com

Doug Dawg said...

Bill, I don't have it, but I know someone who might. I'll check with him in the next few days and report back.

Anonymous said...

Great job on this site!
Yes, we used to eat at the Pancake Alley all the time in the 60s and 70s. That was the one on N. May and 16th. I've been back there recently, and the main structure is the same. I miss the big round booths and of course all of the Beverly's decor and food. There was an older couple who worked there. She was a waitress, and he was at the grill, I think. As a kid, he reminded me alot of Gene Kelly.
I loved how each location was given a different 'name.' The one on 23rd and N. Classen was called 'restaurant,' I believe.
By the 70s, I think there were about 5 or 6 listed on the napkins or menus. I'm not sure when the Lincoln, North Walker ("Gridiron") or downtown ("Beverly's Grill") locations closed.

Here's a start of a list..

Beverly's Grill - 209 W Grand
Beverly's Gridiron - 1207 N. Walker
Beverly's Pancake Alley - N. May and 16th
Beverly's Pancake Restaurant - NW 23 and Classen

Anonymous said...

I knew beverly osborne in the 60's he visited me in the hospital for 5yrs coming early a.m. to be with me before surgery. after usually 2weeks in the hospital he would often drive me home to guthrie in his red eldorado converrtable with the chicken in rough logo on the doors. he did not have to do these acts of kindness but he did because he was beverly! i'll never forget him. ron parker age 66 ...........

Anonymous said...

I just came across a fabric patch with the Chicken in the Rough logo. My Dad lived in that area as a boy. Have they always made patches to sell? And if not, does anyone have an idea how old this one might be?

Doug Dawg said...

Anon, I'm not aware of such fabric patches. Sorry.

Clay said...

The rooster logo on the side of Wiley Post's Winne Mae was actually for Pathé news company. (I noticed the logo in an old photo of the plane and thought it was Chicken-In-The-Rough, too).

http://timeandnavigation.si.edu/multimedia-asset/winnie-mae-newsreels

I hope someone can answer what happened to the bottom part of the Pancakes sign. It would be a shame if it was demolished.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Clay. I did go to the link you mentioned but unfortunately could not get the video to load. I also googled for the pathe news logo and, while it was a rooster, it was not the Beverly's rooster. I promise that at one time a photograph taken at Wiley Post airport (or whatever it was then called) definitely had a Beverlys Chicken In the Rough logo on it. Unfortunately, after the old link got broken, I've not found the photo again.

Anonymous said...

Couple years ago I saw a model, replica of the Winne Mae in the Oklahoma History Center Museum in Oklahoma City and it had what appeared to me to be the Beverly's Chicken In the Rough logo...Strange!

Anonymous said...

Found close up photo of the Logo with a Rooster on the Winnie Mae on Google. The photo does identify it as "Winnie Mae Round The World Pathe News" Very interesting resemblance of Beverly's Rooster..Huh, do ya think?

Anonymous said...

Folks might remember Beverly's Flying Service at Downtown Airpark. I learned to fly there and also worked at the airport during high School in the 1948-50 time frame. One of my instructors was famous, Burrell Tibbs, who had also been an instructor for Wiley Post. I am pretty sure Beverly had an estate NE of OKC, large enough to have a landing strip.

I can't get my name to show - Don Williams

Ken Tibbetts said...

As a kid in the 40s, I'd go to Younkers Chicken in the Rough with my older brother and my parents in my dad's '37 Chevy...and later in his '50 Desoto. The restaurant was on Chicago Avenue - on the near west side of Chicago...we lived on the far west side. I loved the chicken, the shoestring potatoes, the biscuits and honey (in little tiny glass bottles). There were small metal buckets with a paper cone that held water at everyone's place. The one time my uncle Bill went with us he drank out of it, not knowing that it was a "finger bowl."

Boy, what memories. Believe it or not I still have a paper place mat listing all the franchises, it's dated: March 1 1951. It's folded but otherwise in great shape...maybe I'll frame it.

Karla said...

Thank you for doing this blog. I am actually one (if not the only) of Beverly's great nieces. My mother was actually named after him. I have so many fond memories of the plexi-glass box at his restaurant for people to donate money that he gave to the poor, getting silver dollars from Uncle Beverly and chasing toads in his empty swimming pool at his estate. And God forbid anyone ever wore their shoes in his house when Aunt Rubye was alive! It wasn't until after she died that anyone dared wear their shoes on the white carpet. I remember the time some of his horses got loose and my uncles (my mom's brothers) had to help chase them all over the highway. And I remember the Howard Johnson's near his home. He was a pretty cool guy. I have never liked fried chicken because I was spoiled with his recipe and was able to get back to OKC about 10 years ago and eat at one of the Beverly's restaurants downtown. It was just as awesome as I remembered as a kid. Thanks for enjoying the memories that are so special to me.

Kellie Fuhrman said...

Neva was his second wife (she was my great aunt)

Karla said...

Kellie Fuhrman - I LOVED Aunt Neva! Actually more than Aunt Rubye. 💕