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July 3, 2013

Paw Paw's celebrates 45 years, restaurant passed down a third generation

CHICKASHA — In spite of several trips to Dunn's Food Center to restock, Paw Paw's Hamburgers in Chickasha had to turn their "open" sign off around at 3:30 in the afternoon.

That's what happens when you offer 1968 prices in 2013.

Yesterday may be the only day this year that patrons could buy an old fashioned hamburger for $0.50, but Dustin Payne, the third generation owner of Paw Paw's plans to keep everything else the same.

Paw Paw's Hamburgers opened in 1968 under Wayne and Juanita Payne.

Juanita, who is turning 89 next month, was at Paw Paw's for the big event. She and her husband Wayne created the hamburger recipe in 1968 and have kept it the same ever since.

In 1992, their son, Rex Payne bought the business from his parents. On July 2, 2013 the business was handed down to Dustin.

Dustin said he wanted to thank everyone for coming out. He added that the turnout was a little overwhelming and hoped there weren't too many long waits. Dustin said they wanted to try and make it until 5 p.m., but they just ran out of product, despite trying to replenish their supplies.

The restaurant was as busy at 3 p.m. as it was during the lunch rush at noon. In addition to the hamburgers being offered at a special price, there was a bounce castle for the kids. The parking lot remained full until the restaurant's closing.

"Today has been wild," Juanita said.

Rex said he has faith in his succesor.

"I'm excited for him and I hope it turns out well," Rex said. He added that Dustin has children in the Chickasha school system, and he hopes that one of them will be able to continue to uphold the burger values that Paw Paw's is famous for.

According to Rex, only excellence in burger building will cut the mustard.

"We've got a lot of people who say it's the best burger they've ever had," Rex said.

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