Food Briefs: Right-A-Way Burger, Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes, Republic Gastropub and more 

The Right-A-Way at Right-A-Way Burger in Edmond, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • The Right-A-Way at Right-A-Way Burger in Edmond, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016.

Wrong way

An impromptu Facebook notification of an equipment sale alerted fans that Right-A-Way Burger, 2917 E. Waterloo Road, had gone out of business.

The sale was Nov. 13, and owner Jimmy Johnson said it was a heartbreaker. It started with a busted hood fan and just got worse.

“The hood fan that was preexisting when we moved into the building went out and we were closed for two days,” he said.

Closing on his busiest days, Friday and Saturday, drained his capital. When he went to reopen the business on Tuesday, he found that the thermostat had gone out in his cold station, ruining much of his product.

“That was a blow that drained all of what I had left,” he said. “We lost around $6,000-$7,500 in repairs, product and loss of business. [It] makes me sick that it has nothing to do with the food or the quality.”

Murphy’s Law was in full effect, Johnson said, and his options were exhausted.

“I have never been one to give up, especially on something I love so much, but I am not rich and I have to get [money] flowing back into my house for my family,” he said.

It’s not the end of his culinary career. Johnson is doing customized meal preparation plans for customers.

“I will try very hard to get something else going because I think it’s my calling,” Johnson said.

Visit facebook.com/chefjimmysweeklymeals.

Republic remix

It wasn’t supposed to be such a busy winter, said A Good Egg Dining Group co-owner Keith Paul. In just over a month, the restaurant group will open three new eateries. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes, 1000 N. Hudson Ave., opened Oct. 31, and a second location of its popular sports bar Republic Gastropub opened at 13230 Pawnee Drive, Suite 115 Nov. 16. A fourth location of Tucker’s Onion Burgers will open Dec. 4 at 2166 NW 24th Ave. in Norman.

“We didn’t plan on that,” Paul said.

Had the timeline gone according to schedule, Tucker’s would have opened a year ago, Republic would have opened in May and Barrios would have started in August.

The frenetic pace doesn’t mean that Keith and co-owner Heather Paul will be slowing down. Keith said there are no new restaurant openings planned, but there’s a lot of work left to do to get the new stores running smoothly.

One nice thing about opening new locations of existing concepts is the menu is already figured out; Keith said he just has to make sure the new staff is cooking it the same way.

Though the menu crossed over from the original Republic, 5830 N. Classen Blvd., finding cooks and servers was a different issue. The new restaurant seats 260 guests — about 100 more than the original — over three stories, necessitating a staff of more than 90 people.

The new Republic location is part of the massive Chisholm Creek mixed-use business development, which includes Yokozuna, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Jerky.com and entertainment destinations iFly and Topgolf.

Local love

Keep It Local OK is back for a seventh year selling cards that give shoppers discounts at metro stores, service providers and restaurants.

The 2017 card was designed by Oklahoma City artist and former professional basketball player Desmond Mason.

“We were thinking who could do it, and we just thought it would be fun,” said co- Keep It Local OK founder Bryce Bandy. “It might also help us reach another demographic that may not know about us yet.”

The cards go on sale Friday. At $15, the card offers discounts to more than 320 shops in Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Tulsa and Stillwater.

Visit keepitlocalok.com.

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