It might be hard to believe, with so many locations scattered across the metro area, that Johnnie's Charcoal Broiler is a mom-and-pop business.
Well, maybe it's only a pop business, since brothers Rick and David Haynes inherited the Oklahoma burger empire (and its name) from their father, Johnnie.
"It all started in 1971, when my dad opened up the first Johnnie,s Charcoal Broiler at Military and Britton Road," Rick Haynes said.
That location lasted eight years, until the elder Haynes moved down the road to 2652 W Britton — now their flagship location.
Nearly 40 years after it began, Johnnie's now has seven locations serving lunch and dinner, including three Johnnie's Express stores that serve breakfast. But at the heart of the operation, the old ways are still the best.
Haynes said they use fresh ground beef to make their burgers, which are cooked over a gas-fueled charcoal grill to give even heat and a rich, smoky flavor. Workers cut up potatoes for fresh French fries and chips and slice and bread onions every day for onion rings.
It's the quality that keeps customers coming back in, Rick Haynes said.
"If you walk into one of our stores at lunch, you'll see businessmen in suits and ties next to families with little kids and construction workers taking a break," he said. "We're open to anybody and everybody so nobody feels uncomfortable."
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