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Braum’s moves forward with plans to destroy Oklahoma City culture

10:10 AM EDT on September 19, 2017

Back in July, Braum's announced they would hold a "Community Meeting" to provide more information about their dumb, stupid, PR-ignorant plan to destroy the Donnay Building – a venerable, culturally significant part of North Oklahoma City culture – to make way for a new fly infested, ketchup-stained Braum's.

That meeting was yesterday. Run-Down Local Building Preservationist Steve Lackmeyer covered it and filed this long, meandering report on

Here are some highlights:

Several protesters questioned why Braum's hasn't sought to buy the former Horn's Seed property across the street, which has been empty for several years.

Paul Swales, who oversees Braum's real estate operations, said the company looked at sites throughout the area around Classen Circle.

Swales said the Horn Seed property, though it has an “available” sign out front, is not for sale.

“If you call that number on the sign, you will talk to an individual who says it's for lease,” Swales said. “We love this area; we want to be in this area.”

What's that you say, Mr. Swales? You love the area and want to be in it? Well I have some great news for you! As we noted back in August, there are seven prime locations within 5-minutes of Classen Circle that would make great homes for a new Braum's. I guess then there is no need to tear down a beloved cultural landmark for a dated fast food chain that, once its geriatric customer base dies off, will likely go out of business in 10 years.

Braum's representatives responded they were asked by the Braum's family to attend the meeting and to listen to the crowd's concerns and report back to the owners. In response to an inquiry by the area's Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid, the Braum's representatives said they would take back ideas to incorporate the restaurant and market into the existing building.

“That is thinking outside the box,” Braum's engineer Harris Wilson said. “This is a standard restaurant.”

LOL. Braum's has an engineer? That seems like a depressing job. I wonder if he was the company's old webmaster, too.

Councilman Shadid also had the most realistic response to the situation:

Shadid, who was quick to join the protest, told the crowd he doesn't believe Braum's has any intention to back away from its plans for the Donnay Building. He told the crowd they were wasting their time sharing their memories and connections to the Donnay Building and its tenants.

“It appears we are checking boxes; Braum's is holding their community meeting and then will proceed,” Shadid said. “If you want to fight, you want to win. At the end of the day this is a legal issue and it has nothing to do with the history of the HiLo Club.”

Ed brings up a great point. The whole meeting was nothing but a legal ruse to make it appear Braum's gives a fuck about what the community thinks. If you can't see through that, then I got a Braum's 1/3-lb burger I'd like to sell you.

I also agree with Ed in that you fight to win. Unfortunately in this case, a legal fight appears to be a losing one. I think it's time we go Tate Publishing on these assholes...

A month or two ago, I received several emails from a former Braum's insider containing gossip and details about Drew Braum, his business associates, and other members of the company's executive team. The emails painted a picture of a frat house corporate culture that would make even the most experienced Oklahoma lawmaker blush.

At the time, I wasn't sure if the tabloid accusations were worth covering or vetting, but for some reason, I now think it's in our city's best interests to pursue them. If you have any tips or details about Braum's, their corporate culture, or the playboy lifestyle of Drew Braum, send them our way. We will pursue each lead, and if something comes from our investigation, the details will be released at a special "Community Meeting" at the Hilo. If Braum's is going to destroy our community's culture, we might as well go after theirs, too.

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