More on the menu in Chickasha: Interurban franchisees to open restaurant
By Molly M. Fleming
The Journal Record
Posted: 04:19 PM Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A rendering of an Interurban restaurant proposed for Chickasha.
CHICKASHA – It’s not often that a need arises in a community and someone promptly steps up to fulfill it, especially when it comes to creating a new business.
But Josh Woods and his business partner Zach Grayson were just the men Paul Lewis was looking for while seeking a new restaurant in the city.
Lewis, a business development officer for First National Bank and Trust, had previously spoken to the Oklahoma Restaurant Association about what kind of restaurants could be brought to Chickasha. The association recommended Interurban.
As it turns out, Woods was already working for Interurban and had always thought about opening his own location. Grayson had previous experience with Interurban, as well.
Woods found his opportunity.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for Chickasha and Interurban,” Woods said. “I love these guys and I love this restaurant.”
Woods and Grayson will be franchisees for Interurban, owning and operating the restaurant themselves.
Woods convinced the restaurant company to open a business in the city of less than 20,000.
“We probably wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for Josh,” said Robert Ross, owner and co-founder of Interurban. “We have a lot of confidence in Josh. We looked at the market and studied the market. It will be a smaller footprint for an Interurban than our metro store. Given that Josh is a native, he basically sold us on the opportunity in Chickasha. It’s a pretty vibrant community and still growing.”
It’s that growth that Woods and Grayson plan to capitalize on.
“If Chickasha has as much oil underneath it as we think it does and as they think it does, then Chickasha could triple in size in the next five years,” Woods said. If the population does increase, Lewis said, he hopes restaurants like Interurban will keep people from leaving the city on Friday and Saturday to eat in Oklahoma City or Norman.
“The more amenities we have, the more people we’re going to attract to live in Chickasha,” Lewis said. “Every time a person moves their (medical) practice to Chickasha, they live in Norman or Oklahoma City. The more amenities we have to offer, the more people we’ll be able to attract and keep here.”
The Interurban will enter a market that is full of family-owned restaurants and fast-food chains. That’s why Lewis said the restaurant would be a good fit for the area and even help improve the food possibilities.
“We needed a restaurant with a well-rounded menu,” Lewis said. “I know what happens is when you have better restaurants, all of them get better. The competition will dictate better service, better food and better quality.”
The restaurant will be a little smaller than the typical Interurban. It will measure 5,000 square feet, whereas the average Interurban size is 6,500 square feet. Ground has been broken on the Chickasha restaurant, with an estimated opening date in September, if not sooner.
It will feature the regular Interurban menu with a few tweaks to better suit the Chickasha crowd. The restaurant will also include a bar that serves mixed beverages, wine and beer.
Woods said he plans to hire 50 to 60 people to fill his staff.