CHOCTAW, Okla. - When a well-known German restaurant and tavern announced that it was closing its doors, it came as a shock to some patrons.
After 42 years, Old Germany Restaurant in Choctaw announced that it was closing its doors on Monday, April 16.
"Somebody had texted me and said, 'You've gotta watch the news. They’re going to have something about Old Germany tonight about shutting down.' I mean my wife and I were like just shocked,” Tylar Colton said.
The family, who moved to Oklahoma from Germany in the 1970s, said their restaurant was being forced to close after bills started to go up, and less patrons came in.
"I think it awakened a lot of people. People thinking, 'They've been there for 42 years. We can go their next month or whatever.' When all of a sudden, you don't realize something that's been around 42 years can all of a sudden be gone,” Mike Turek, owner of Old Germany/Turek’s Tavern, said.
Patrons soon learned that there would no longer be a Choctaw Oktoberfest and no more bratwursts at this popular stop.
"Our family said, 'Well, we had a 42-year run. That's a pretty good run for an independent restaurant.' Then I get a phone call from Tylar Colton and his wife Kristen who said, 'No, no. We can't let that happen,'" Turek said.
Regular customers said they couldn't sit back and watch their favorite restaurant close.
"This is like Cheers. Everybody knows your name. It's a family friendly place," Richard Martin said.
On Thursday morning Turek's Tavern, the attached restaurant to Old Germany, reopened its doors to cheers from some old friends.
Old Germany is expected to reopen in early August after renovations.
"Bring it up to date a little bit. Change the menu design, lower the prices a little bit, change the portion size. So, there are a lot of things that go into that to reinvigorate people to come back," Turek said.
Turek's Tavern will have the FIFA World Cup playing on all of the televisions with that big Mexico versus Germany game on Sunday.
Oktoberfest is happening August 30 - September 2 at Choctaw Creek Park.