OKEENE, Okla. (KFOR) – Some say the Galvanized Palace is a rural, Western Oklahoma staple. But ownership says business has fallen due to flooding, and they believe the city is to blame.
The Palace, otherwise known as the “Gal Pal”, has long attracted folks in Blaine County and beyond.
It was featured by KFOR’s Galen Culver as part of our “Is This a Great State or What” franchise series.
Now, it’s the lone bar left in Okeene, and owner Amy Reames is dealing with an issue no previous owner had.
“I don’t know what else to do at this point,” Amy explained.
She says the issue started around three years back with city construction in their alleyway.
“The city contracted a company to re-asphalt the alley. Actually, it was great at first. We all thought this is awesome, we don’t have any more potholes; the alley needed some work,” said Amy. “A few months later we started experiencing major flooding in the bar.”
Bar ownership believes the alley asphalt job incidentally changed the waterflow.
As a result, with every moderate rain comes a river of runoff through the bar’s doors and walls.
Amy says requests for help from City Hall started in 2019, which ultimately led to a small berm building built in the alleyway next to the building.
That fix, though, seems to have fallen flat.
“We didn’t see any difference,” said Amy. “I actually think over time it’s gotten worse.”
But Amy says city leaders at the time were willing to do no more.
“That’s all they were willing to do. They were done,” she explained. “[City leaders said] either file a tort claim or raise your building.”
But city leadership has changed hands a handful of times since.
The current town administrator, Richard Raupe, claims in his 13 months with Okeene, he’s heard little of the Gal Pal’s struggles.
He tells our team, though, he recognizes the bar’s importance.
“It’s a bad deal for the town,” said Richard. “We’re so reliant on sales tax we hate to lose any business.”
Amy, however, says her calls to City Hall this year had gone unanswered, and recent rains have led to tough decisions. The Galvanized Palace is now closed.
But she’s leaving the old bar intact, hoping she and city leaders can find a fix.
“We decided to close the doors. I was feeling hopeless, pretty stressed out. Just feeling like there really wasn’t an end in sight,” Amy explained. “I’m hopeful we can eventually come to some type of resolution and get open.”
Amy has hired an attorney, but says legal action against Okeene would only be considered as a last result.
Following our meeting, she says she has spoken with the town administrator, who says he will be looking into the situation.
We’ll check back.