The OKC Vintage Restaurant Collection Photos

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  1. I can remember eating at El Charrito’s with my grandmother and always ordering the “Pony Plate”. I can still see the pink building at one of the locations. It always stuck with me but being so young, Robinson and Paseo both sounded familiar as an address. And since I couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant, only that it served Mexican food, I never searched for it. Well, now I know, there was one at both locations. I wasn’t crazy after all!! Thank you.

    • YES–The Pony Plate! It was a small oval plate, a mini version of a grown-up’s plate. And it was SO hot. The refried beans steaming. Man, that was the best Mexican restaurant ever.

      So glad I found this site!

      I came here looking for a photo of The Patio but so far haven’t found one.

    • I remember throwing a fit in El Charrito’s when I was little because I wanted egg noodles & they didn’t have any!!

    • Randy Harrington

      I remember the radio jingle for El Charritos and it was a great restaurant . I was with my 6th grade class having been on a field trip and we all ate at El Charritos . what great food and memories

  2. Glad to fill in the blanks Vickie! And by the way, our upcoming projects will, hopefully, include a lot more items relating to El Charrito’s.

  3. Was this the restaurant that when you ran out of something at your table you ran up a little flag? Loved that place but cannot remember the name of it.

    • Chris Papahronis

      The name of the “Raise the Flag” for more food or service was Pancho’s.

      It was located on N. May Avenue on or about 38th St.

      • There was also a Pancho’s in Casady Square at Penn & Britton; a Chinese restaurant may still be in that location. Mmm, sopapillas!

    • Casa Bonita at 39th and Portland also had the raise-flag-for-refills service model. If that’s the place you remember, I think there’s still a CB in Tulsa should you need to relive the memories!

    • Pancho’s still has a location on I-240 & Penn

    • The restaurant you are thinking of I believe is Casa Bonita. It was located on NW 39th Street and Portland. There was also a location in Tulsa.

      • …and a Casa Bonita in Denver and another in Little Rock. The Denver location had cliff divers, although I’m not sure how that relates to Mexican Food. Casa Bonita was a spin-off of Taco Bueno Corporation out of Abilene, Texas.

        • Crystal’s Pizza at Northwest Highway and Rockwell in Oklahoma City was another spin-off of Taco Bueno Corporation.

  4. I have a Oklahoma city Art museum sign that you could make a pic out of…email me…

  5. Carleen, please email us your contact information at

  6. We need Han’s Bar-B-Q in the mix, also. Best BBQ in OKC. Ever.

    • I worked at Hans in 1964-1965, 10th grade. They made the best BBQ sauce there was. The hot was excellent. They
      also had the biggest baked potatoes in town. great lady to work for Mrs. Abrahamson.

  7. Also, Bishop’s downtown. What a great place that was.

  8. There was a Pancho’s Mexican Buffet on N.W. 39th Expressway , one on NW Expressway, one in Casady Square and one other one I can’t remember, but it was somewhere south and east of Shepherd Mall. The only one left here is just south of I-240 about 74th St.

  9. In looking at the Split-T matchbook, I am reminded that the original matchbook contained the same exact script content, but was red and white in color. It matched the red and white front door of the Split-T. Anyone have one of these matchbooks to add to the collection? Wish I did.

  10. Bill, visit again soon. We are in the midst of assembling additional images to the matchbook collection that number in the hundreds. Maybe the next addition will include the matchbook you recall.

  11. The exhibit on Latinos and Hispanics in OKlahoma at the Oklahoma History Center has a case devoted to Mexican restaurants including a menu and a couple of plates from El Charrito’s. Check it out, it’ll bring back some wonderful memories.

  12. Significant data, do you know where My partner and i could possibly get additional about this report? I have been aiming to find out a little more with regard to it to no avail. Any additional source would definitely be appreciated. You have pretty much resolved the majority of my personal concerns with this and then have done a great job with the piece.

  13. i came across several unused postcards of the El Charrito Restaurant in oklahoma city, oklahoma today. the linen era postcards have a logo with 1937-1957 on them. i was wondering where this restaurant was located in oklahoma city. was it on route 66, or another place?

    • @michael smith – The El Charrito chain started after the war with a restaurant in The Paseo and by the mid-1950s had expanded to four locations: #1 at 2909 Paseo, #2 at 113 N Robinson, #3 at 2300 N Broadway and Cafe Palacio at 3325 S Robinson. They each had their own look, so without seeing yours I couldn’t say which one you have. Feel free to upload a copy to our Facebook page.

    • I worked at the El Charrito #3 for about 2 1/2 years during my college years. I am looking for a story or article about the 1957 celebration that was held there for the 20th Anniversary of the El Charrito chain simultaneous with the 50th Anniversary of the State of Oklahoma. Al Rangel

      • Al, since you worked there, do you know anything about the ingredients for their enchiladas. They were the best I’ve ever had.

    • I don’t have a web page. But I wonder if you would be interested in giving away or selling one of the cards. In 1957 The El Charrito Restaurant chain did a week long celebration of twenty years in business. For the celebration it had coins and cards printed for the event. My guess is you have some of the 20-year mementos. I was a waiter in one of the restaurants for nearly three years while going to college.

      Angel Rangel

  14. How about the old Black Angus Steak House on Memorial Rd.
    in the area of Mercy Hospital. Yummy food.

  15. Glen’s was yummy. Do any of you guys remember Hermanns on 16th and Classen?

    • Earlier this year, Melba’s Swap Shop (in the OKC newspaper) ran the recipe for the vinegar slaw that Hermann’s served. You can still find it online.

  16. I am looking for information on “The Spot” drive in from the 60s and 70s in OKC on Western. I believe the Black’s owned it. I knew their daughter. She would be about 50 now, as I am. They were the greatest, nicest people. Any news of the restaurant or the Blacks is appreciated. It’s been a long time since I left OKC but still have family there. My nephew is a founder of 858 TOGO. Mike Harmon. Anyone know him? or the delivery service for restaurants? Take care and God Bless. Dan Pennington Temple, Texas
    254 229 4968

    • Rita Corona Bornoff

      Looking for the logo for the Spot drive in that was in South OKC. Celebrating my 70th Birthday in December and want to include that logo in my decorations. Anyone have a picture please forward. Thanks

    • Hi Dan Pennington. My name is Darla. You are right. The Black’s owned the spot. Their daughter (my mom) would have turned 50 this year but she passed away at age 38. I was 14years old at the time. What kind of info were u wanting? I’d be happy to help u any way I can.

  17. Dan, I’ve heard of the Spot, but I’ve not seen any other information on it. I am very aware of 858-togo, which is one of the city’s most visible delivery operations.

  18. I have a dim memory I’m hoping someone can flesh out. I recall a fine dining restaurant in the old Penn Square Mall, back when it was an open-air shopping center. This would be early 1970s. Does anyone remember what that was called?
    Thanks all.


  19. Happiness is not a horse; you cannot harness it. – Russian Proverb

  20. Does anyone remember a restaurant in the 70s that had separate bedrooms as their dining areas. I think it burned down.

    • Liz Valentine

      I think it was the The Haunted house off NE expressway and Eastern, or near there. Hard to get to, but worth it.

  21. Hello. I grew up eating at Queen Anne’s cafeteria and would love to purchase a coffee cup and saucer. Do you know of anyone selling these?

  22. Does anyone remember The Patio restaurant on the Classen Curve? We used to eat there once a week in high school. I have tried and tried to recreate their Taco Salads with that great dressing. Can anyone help me???

    • Sure, I remember it. I worked there very briefly when I was in high school. (God, almost four decades ago.) It was an institution!

  23. An anyone tell me when The Patio that was on Classen Circle shut down? Did they happen to relocate?

  24. does anyone remeber Westoaks 10th and Rockwell Bethany ok or 39th expressway okc.I think they may have had them in Edmond and Shawnee too.let me know

  25. does anyone remeber Westoaks 10th and Rockwell Bethany ok or 39th expressway okc.I think they may have had them in Edmond and Shawnee too.let me know

  26. My husband STILL gets rhapsodic (look it up!) about Holloway’s Hamburgers on NW 23rd St near Portland. Holloway’s added slices of oranges to their iced tea. Somehow it tasted better. Holloway’s was one of many places that was sacrificed when the highway went through.

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