Chain restaurants are everywhere, or almost everywhere; the old-style out-by-Route 23 supper club seems to be in irreversible decline. But they had a lot to recommend them:
The one thing about most supper clubs is they required at least a 30-mile drive to get there because they were built on highways outside of major population areas, which gave them the feel of an upscale roadhouse — the opposite of “your neighborhood Applebee’s.”
In more ways than one, in fact:
Back then and now, a supper club is destination dining. But what is the difference? Consider this: At Applebee’s you get someone in a typical high turnover, low-wage job cooking your meal from a standard corporate recipe using pre-measured, pre-packaged ingredients so your meal looks exactly like the meal in those glitzy national TV ads — well, almost. At a supper club, your meal is prepared by someone who has likely worked there more than 25 years and takes great pride in their work. The food is fresher, the service is excellent and genuine, and your meal is cooked with seasoned cookware and grills that are over 50 years old. And the recipes are tried and true, and have been handed down from previous generations.
And then there’s Junior’s here in OKC, built on Northwest Highway (not yet the Distressway) in the early 1970s, before oil boom turned to oil bust. And they’re modestly modest:
Junior’s offers personalized service and fine dining. Don’t come looking for a gourmet fusion of three beans and art though. We offer the best hand-cut certified Black Angus steaks in town, Australian lobster, our famous Caesar Salad, and much more.
Old school, and proud of it. This is not something you encounter at Ruby Tuesday’s.