“We were just one huge family,” Popular Route 66 restaurant closes in Oklahoma

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s the end of an era for one iconic Oklahoma City restaurant. 

Ann’s Chicken Fry House was forced to close its doors permanently due to COVID-19. 

“We were just one huge family, and now it’s over,” said Patty Mitchschke. 

Mitchschke has been a valued member of that huge Ann’s Chicken Fry House family for close to 17 years.  

“When I pulled in the parking lot, I started to cry because I love this place so much,” she said. “I’m crushed … absolutely crushed.” 

Ann’s Chicken Fry House sits right off historic Route 66. 

Photo goes with story
Ann’s Chicken Fry House

It was built as a gas station in 1948. In the 1970’s, Al Burchett and his wife Shirley turned it into Ann’s. 

It’s a place most Oklahomans would recognize, famous for many reasons, but especially one menu item. 

“Oh … chicken fried steak, are you kidding?!” laughed Mitchschke.

The comfort food brought folks from all around the state to the retro spot. 

Metschke remembered one customer in particular. 

“The day that I waited on Vince Gill, and had to pretend like I didn’t know who he was so that everybody, the rest of the customers and everybody, wouldn’t swarm him,” she said. 

However, it’s the regular customers she’ll miss most. 

“The customers are Ann’s, you know? Without them, we were nothing,” she said. 

Customers like Bryan Hooks. 

“I’ve been coming here for almost 50 years. My dad would bring me and my brother here. It was a special treat when we were growing up,” said Hooks. 

He and his family have been coming for years and never left hungry. 

“You come for lunch, you wouldn’t order the lunch chicken fry. We want the big chicken fry, and the double fries and the garlic ranch dressing was amazing. Oh my gosh, to die for!” he said. 

Photo goes with story
The iconic pink Cadillac outside Ann’s Chicken Fry House.

Hooks’ dad passed away in April, so he was here just two weeks ago celebrating what would’ve been his father’s birthday. 

He never guessed it would be his last time. 

“The waitresses were like family too. They all knew us when we came in. It didn’t matter if it’d been a year, or 6 months, or a week, they always knew who we were,” he said. 

Although this eatery has reached the end, one theme remains the same. 

The people who love it will never truly say goodbye. 

“I will be a spokesperson for Ann’s Chicken Fry until the day I drop dead! Because it just means everything to me,” said Mitschke. 

If you have a gift certificate that needs refunded, email Owner Shirley Burchett at Shirleyannchick@yahoo.com.

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