OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) — The first time David Egan walked into Cattlemen’s Cafe, he was 10 years old.
“My dad brought me to the city for a business trip,” he recalls. “I didn’t even remember it until I walked in here to take over the restaurant.”
Walking among the tables of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse on a busy, lunch rush, he still pays close attention to the recipes for success that made this place the iconic eatery it’s become.
“We look at everything as a recipe,” Egan states. “We look at staff training as a recipe. We look at our marketing as a recipe. We look at steak as a recipe.”
There aren’t many steak houses that still cut their own meat, but if the recipe calls for a quality ribeye or filet mignon, they stick to what works. Aging, marbling, texture—only the best cuts make the table.
Egan continues, “Because if you follow A,B,C,D, you’re guaranteed a certain outcome.”
Cattlemen’s started out as a cage in Packingtown in 1910. It was well placed then and still is. Cowboys still eat here.
“We have authenticity here,” David insists.
When Gene Wade won ownership in a dice game in 1945, it was a going concern.
He added on more dining space and kept the place going through the oil bust in the late 80’s.
When his ownership group had a chance to buy in though, Egan thought there might be too much history.
“We look smart today,” he smiles, “But at that time it was a huge gamble because the property was in really poor shape.”
But they stuck to the ‘recipes’. Hot food out hot, cold food out cold. Consistency and quality every time.
Egan’s business partner of 49 years, Dick Stubbs, likes to check in here often too.
“Do you have things running like a finely tuned watch?” we ask.
“It’s never finely tuned,” smiles Stubbs, “but it’s close.”
Running a place like this takes work. Cattleman’s is one of those places that survived because it was well placed, lucky and because a good steak still makes for the tastiest of celebrations.
Egan says, “Every guest that leaves, we want their departing phrase to tell us ‘Is This a Great Steak or What!”
For more information on Cattleman’s Steakhouse go to their website here.
Great State is sponsored by Oklahoma Proton Center