March 6, 2013

Local burger joint serves more than 40 years of food

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Four decades of business. That's a time period usually reserved for large corporations that produce billions of dollars worth of revenue and have hundreds of employees.

Once in a while a locally owned operation defies this trend and busts through all expectations. Paw Paw's Hamburgers has done just that.

Since 1968, Paw Paw's has operated right off of Fourth Street, bringing classic American cuisine to more than 40 years of patrons.

"We put out a really good burger," Rex Payne, current owner of Paw Paw's said. "That's the main thing and it just goes with the territory. If you put out a good burger, you're going to have repeat business."

Payne inherited the restaurant from his father, who brought the it in 1968. Originally, the location was owned by a man and his wife that wanted to start a business. That business shifted into a restaurant after the husband, who contracted cancer, wanted to come up with a way for his wife to continue making money.

"He never saw it completed," Payne said.

The location was sold to Payne's father shortly after the husband's death and the rest is flame broiled history.

Payne took it over in 1992 and said despite Chickasha going through a multitude of changes, his business hasn't changed too much.

Paw Paw's looks like it will remain family owned for the next 40 years as well.

"My kids are all grown, but we have one daughter who is 15 and I don't know if she'll want to take it over, but maybe," Payne said.

Paw Paw's is located at 1028 S. Fourth St.