FOOD: Lucille's Restaurant

Written by Laura Beam in the April 2013 Issue

Lucille's RestaurantSpring weather has an intoxicating lure, beckoning us out of our fuzzy slippers and man caves to explore adventurous places and soak up the vibrant culture around us. A short, scenic road trip to the landmark territory of Mulhall, Oklahoma, satisfies those wanderlust weekend cravings.

Whether you cruise into town on a Harley or in the family SUV, you can almost feel time roll back with every rotation of your tires on these hallowed Oklahoma roads. At the renowned intersection of Highway 77 and Main Street in Mulhall, Lucille’s Restaurant—a celebrated place to eat, reflect and reconnect—stands as a tribute to the simpler times and pioneering spirit that characterize our great state. Delicious home-style foods like chicken fried steak, catfish, steaks and show-stopping homemade pies have long made this local hot spot a legend in destination dining. Sunday brunch is another highlight, complete with favorites like homemade biscuits, waffles and all the trimmings.

Although Lucille’s Restaurant closed after a devastating fire in 2009 and an F4 tornado prior to that, it proudly reopened in 2011. Today, it flourishes with all the tenacity, charm and character of its namesake, Lucille Mulhall. Dubbed America’s ‘first cowgirl’ by Will Rogers during the land rush and early days of her father’s traveling Wild West show, the petite, 14 year-old Lucille mesmerized crowds with her amazing wrestling and wrangling stunts. Competing against men in some of the roughest events, she broke the stereotypical women’s roles of her day and became a beloved attraction.

Thanks to Mulhall natives and brothers, Don and Chris Harman, who purchased the restaurant and undertook its extensive renovations after the fire, a colorful slice of Americana has been preserved. Restoring the restaurant’s authentic western flair has been of utmost importance. “The 1894 sandstone bank building across the street was the only thing to survive the fire,” Don recalls. “Its teller window is now part of the bar at Lucille’s.”

Oklahoma’s ‘Wild West’ persona comes to life in the unique artifacts, furnishings and décor at Lucille’s. Ranch-style furniture, an old gas pump aquarium, Wurlitzer and Rock-ola jukeboxes, lariats, chaps and even a covered wagon across the street all lace together a rustic, by-gone era that grows even more appealing as our society advances. “Everything on the walls tells a story,” Don remarks. “It’s a place to have a great meal and enjoy history.”

Topping the line-up at the lively roadhouse are events like classic car shows, biker buffets, tailgating and live music and entertainment on Friday nights by Buck Goucher and Cowboy Jim Garling. Most notably, Lucille’s was a celebrated stop during the latest Feed the Children charity motorcycle ride. Complete with Native American costumes, dances and an 1890 chuckwagon like that used on cattle drives, the memorable event was full of western color and pageantry…and approximately 350 bikers circling the scene in a rumbling salute.

Lucille’s Restaurant is located at Highway 77 and Main Street in Mulhall, Oklahoma, just west of Stillwater and north of Guthrie. Open Thurs. 4-8pm, Fri. & Sat. 11am-9pm and Sun. 7am-7pm (Sun. brunch 7am-11am). Call (405) 649-2229 or visit lucillesok.com.

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