By Robert Medley
The Johnnie’s restaurants are known for the charbroiled hamburgers, the hand-grated cheese, onion rings and fries.
Not to mention the original Johnnie’s Sauce. It all started in a drive-in along Britton Road in the old Britton District of Oklahoma City, and has now made its mark out west in Canadian County.
Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler has been in Yukon under guidance of Chief Financial Officer David Haynes, 67, who lives near Piedmont on a hobby farm, has been in the burger business since 1971, and his father has history dating back to the Split-T Restaurant in Oklahoma City. Haynes co-owns Johnnie’s today with his brother Rick Haynes.
Business is picking back up for restaurants, but it has been a tough year locally in a pandemic, David Haynes said.
A Johnnie’s location opened in Yukon two years ago.
It was in 1971, at Britton Road and N. Military Avenue, in Oklahoma City where a small drive-in opened with 16 carhop stalls and seated 48 people at booths inside.
“We stayed there quite a few years and then we moved to the original location on Britton Road east of May Avenue at Sunnymeade where it remains today,” David Haynes said.
There are seven Johnnie’s locations in the Oklahoma City area, David Haynes said.
He said his father, David “Johnnie” Haynes Sr. earned his nickname as Johnnie in the military, David Haynes said. He worked as the Split T manager in 1953 until opening his own restaurant, Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler in 1971.
David Haynes is the chairman of the board of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association today.
“It is an organization that helps us learn how to be more healthy, safer, take care of liquor issues, any kind of issues any restaurant or bar owner has to deal with whether it is with government, regulations, mandates, health, credit cards, everything,” David Haynes said.
He has been on the executive board for the last three years and is serving his last year as the chairman of the board. He said the restaurant industry has faced challenges in the pandemic. And many restaurants have not made it through it.
“The restaurant industry locally has taken a hit,” David Haynes said. “Some of us have survived and are doing okay. Some were not able to survive because of a lot of the mandates that came down from city officials and just the virus itself,” David Haynes said.
“You know it has been a real tough year, and we’re hoping to get out of it here coming up, in the next couple of months you know as things begin to change. But you know we’ve had to adjust you know like everybody else in retail and other business. Everyone’s had to adjust really, a lot.”
The Johnnie’s location in Yukon is at 1700 Shedeck Parkway, (405) 494-7971.