The County Line Barbeque, a legendary OKC restaurant, closes after 29 years
The County Line Barbeque in the city's Adventure District served its final meal Sunday. Customers are in disbelief, a manager said.
BY JENNIFER PALMER Oklahoman
Published: November 10, 2010
Customers can't believe The County Line Barbeque restaurant is closed.
The restaurant at 1226 NE 63 dates to the 1930s when it was the legendary Kentucky Club. In 1981, it became the Oklahoma Line, which evolved into The County Line Barbeque.
Racy rumors of gambling raids, shady ladies and state politicians added to the restaurant's unique history.
"It was a fun place to take visitors from out of town," said customer Shannon Warren. "It was Oklahoma through and through, from the food to the atmosphere."
Harper said news that the restaurant had closed "spread like wildfire" on Monday. "I had customers crying on the phone," she said.
Many dined there on special occasions or were one of many regular customers.
She notified employees Monday. One waiter had worked there for 25 years; a host spent 15 years there and nearly all of the morning kitchen crew members were employees for more than a decade.
"This is a place where you were family," Harper said.
Why did it close?
In a statement, the owner said he decided to close based on the struggling economy, uncertainty of impending health care expenses and other rising costs of running a restaurant.
Harper elaborated and said he recently had spent thousands on building upkeep, including a new roof, air system and interior paint. Yet business slowed as people cut back on dining out and businesses started canceling their yearly Christmas parties.
"That time of year carries you through the slow times in the winter," she said. "We were up the last five weeks but it was a little too late."
A franchise of the Austin, Texas-based chain, The County Line Barbeque was one of the few places to eat in Oklahoma City's Adventure District on the east side of the city.
Lacey Lett, coordinator for the Adventure District, said it's sad to see the eatery go, but there are other dining options, including a new Henry Hudson's Pub at Remington Park.
"The County Line Barbeque has been a staple in Oklahoma City for a long time, and they had really good food," she said. "But we still have tons to offer."