Choctaw’s Old Germany Restaurant closed its doors on April 16 after 42 years of business.
Less than two months later the beloved dining establishment is now set to reopen.
The eastern Oklahoma County community along with patrons from around the country were stunned to hear of the sudden restaurant closure and festival cancelation.
Following the news, many reached out to the Turek family to offer condolences and well wishes, while one Choctaw couple reached out offering something more, a solution.
Tylar Colton and his wife Kristin have agreed to step in as investors to allow for a June 14 reopening.
“They saw the outpouring on social media after we closed down, and they came to us and said ‘We can’t let that happen. What do we need to do to reopen Old Germany?'” said Mike Turek. “I explained what we needed and the changes we needed to make. They stepped up, and we shook hands last Sunday.”
Turek’s Tavern is set to reopen to the public at 10 a.m. June 14.
Making the event easily memorable, the reopening will coincide with the opening round of the 2018 World Cup.
While the tavern reopens, the attached Old Germany Restaurant will be blocked off for renovations.
“We should have construction complete and all the changes done for a grand reopening August 1,” said Turek.
Among changes slated is the removal of the wall separating Old Germany and Turek’s Tavern.
Turek believes a more bright, open and overall inviting floor plan combined with a new menu, that will appeal to new and loyal patrons alike, will allow the local favorite to rebound and possibly surpass its former glory.
“Our hybrid menu will be simplified and more price conscious. It really just needed an update. The concept of the old world German cuisine just got stale, and it wasn’t being embraced by the younger crowd. So we needed to change that, but I need to keep enough of the old menu to keep our regulars, that have supported us over the years, happy and coming back,” explained Turek.
The same menu will now be served throughout the entire establishment. Food will be prepared in the main kitchen throughout the day, and after 9 p.m. the small tavern kitchen will continue to serve a light menu.
“I’m just elated these two people, Tylar and Kristin, came in as guardian angels and are now going to be part of the family. It’s just neat to see that they stepped up to the plate and said they’re not letting it go away after 42 years,” said Turek. “There were people interested in buying the land for other purposes, but these two really wanted to keep this tradition going. It’s still going to be a family business, and they’re just next in line as family.”
The authentic cuisine and family atmosphere have been a tradition at the Choctaw business since 1976.
Turek says the reopening of the tavern should be smooth, and guests can expect the same quality of service they’ve come to expect as renovations are completed.
“A core group of our staff will be coming back so there’ll be some familiar faces and we won’t miss much of a beat,” said Turek. “This is a family business, and the staff that have been here the longest are a part of that and they’ll be back. It’s good to see our tradition here continue as well as the things we do with the community.”
Oktoberfest 2018 scheduled
Choctaw Oktoberfest will continue for a 28th straight year as the event has been slated for Thursday, August 30 to Sept. 2.
“We’re just going to do four days this year, because we’re already in crunch time to get enough stuff ordered from Germany. Now we just have to get with Ashley Bower, our volunteer coordinator, to get the troops rallied so we don’t lose this great event,” said Turek. “It will just be four days this year, but should make for a great event.”