Tuesday, June 28, 2011


go by 7200 south western in oklahoma city and you’ll see the current home of southwest monuments, a company apparently dedicated to entirely obliterating and ignoring the iconic status of their building in the history of oklahoma city music and restaurants, bad poetry and even bankruptcy law. the building was built in 1969 or 70 as the center piece of what the late conway twitty envisaged as a chain of restaurant celebrating his personal creation, the twitty burger.

we used to go there in my baby lawyer years and the place had genuinely good food - the first place I ever knew that served the now ubiquitous ham or other meat biscuit. at the time it entranced me as an almost illegal mixing of the biscuit and meat. the twitty burger itself was distinguished by inclusion of a breaded deep fried pineapple slice. maybe it would have done well ion the new era of bread and fry everything but it didn’t do much for me at the time.

the building itself was - and is - actually well done. an oklahoma city history blogger, who managed to publish before me, described it as: ‘western décor with rough hewn beams on a cathedral ceiling, natural stone and leather.”*
Steve Lackmeyer - The Famous Twitty Burger. the building was shaped like a ‘t’ and parking was under a ‘c’ shaped covered canopy - in other words, conway twitty’s initials were incorporated. part of the ‘c’ has since been removed. one of my most enduring memories was driving behind the c and t in the back and almost getting run down by conway himself in a cadillac convertible - he was there sometimes as I remember . this slideshow includes memorabilia of the restaurant and a goodby sign on another of conway’s enterprises:

early this year i ventured into the building in hopes of confirming my memories and discovered the interior still looked good. unfortunately this is where and when I got to deal with present property owners. actually i only got to deal with the owner’s daughter who worked there but i was denied an ‘interview’ with management and refused the right to take pictures. maybe i should organize a boycott of their business by avid conway fans, most of whom are probably perfect for their company demographics. but for now i propose to tell you two more stories in separate editions: the story of conway in his rock and roll years; and the postscript to the demise of the twitty burger chain which is a story in itself. stay tuned

p.s. when i do my blogs, i usually do a bunch of research which creates a word perfect file with copies of all my internet sources. i am happy to send them to anyone who wants to check further.

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