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OCU to sell land previously planned for restaurant

Officials are backing off of a plan that would have put a restaurant on university-owned land near campus. The board of trustees voted to sell a piece of land where OCU officials planned to open a restaurant that would have served beer and wine.
by Silas Allen Modified: April 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm •  Published: April 18, 2013

Selling the land is a good compromise, Hayes said, because it prevents the university from being connected with the sale of alcohol while still allowing the land to be developed.

Mariah Robinson, a sophomore from Midwest City, said she didn't think the university's connection to the restaurant would have presented a problem. Most of the students don't think of the land as a part of the main campus, she said.

OCU Trustees Chairman Ron Norick said he isn't opposed to the sale of beer and wine, but he didn't think the restaurant was a good fit.

Whether the university had profited from sales of beer and wine at Rehearsals or not, revenue from the restaurant would have accounted for an almost inconsequential piece of the university's budget, Norick said.

Norick, the former mayor of Oklahoma City, said it makes more practical sense for the university to sell the building and avoid questions about the sale of alcohol.

Although the property is near campus, a few privately-owned lots sit between the site and the western edge of campus. The only way the university could expect to make good use of the property is if officials bought the entire block along NW 23. “That's pretty far-fetched,” Norick said. “I don't see how we would ever use that piece of property.”