Choctaw business owner says turnpike protesters went too far

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OKLAHOMA - Mike Turek’s family has owned and operated Old Germany Restaurant in Choctaw for 40 years.

He’s ready for more development in eastern Oklahoma County.

“We need growth out here," Turek said. "People want shopping. They want parks. They want recreation."

He wants the new proposed turnpike that would connect I-40 with the Turner Turnpike out there.

And, he said so in a recent opinion editorial in the Journal Record.

The backlash was immediate and could affect the bottom line of his family business.

“For them to call a boycott on my restaurant, our livelihood, is awful," Turek said. "They shouldn’t do that."

“I won’t be eating there any more. That’s just kind of the way I feel about it," said Phillip Arnold. "I’m not going to support any businesses that support the destruction of our small town."

Many turnpike protesters gathered at the State Capitol on Wednesday morning for a rally.

Several said the same thing about eating at Old Germany, and some even accused Turek of influencing the turnpike.

“I do know there were some secret meetings held at that restaurant that the public weren’t allowed to attend,” said Terry Morton.

Turek said the only meetings held were the monthly Choctaw Economic Development Authority ones.

And, he said they have nothing to do with the turnpike.

“Don’t openly on social media tell everybody to stop going here when we’ve supported this very community,” Turek said.

Turek said, if profits are affected by a boycott, donations to the community would be the first thing to go.

“If I can’t afford to give out gift certificates and donations, who’s going to be hurt by this? All of these teams, all of these schools,” Turek said.

Turnpike officials said they will take all of the comments from last Thursday’s meeting and come up with a final route for the turnpike that will be revealed in mid April.