Jim Cowan

I think if I asked most people what the oldest restaurant in Chickasha, most would quickly guess J&W Grill. Chickasha is blessed to have several iconic restaurants that people drive from all over to come eat at, but J&W has been doing that the longest.

 The restaurant business is statistically one of the most difficult to be successful, in fact 9 out of 10 that open will close in the first two years. It can be extremely competitive and it seems like someone new opens up all the time that may be more modern, have better technology or the trendy food item. Then there are some that become part of the fabric of the community. People from all over come to enjoy their favorite menu item that hasn’t changed in years, possibly decades. They have management that knows everyone’s name. These restaurants give back to the community, not necessarily for advertising, but just because that’s the right thing to do. Often they help kids or schools and don’t even want anyone to know they are helping. 

At the recent City Council meeting, Mayor Mosely declared Monday, December 7th as J&W Grill day to honor long-time owner Daren Cook who passed away unexpectedly this summer. This date is the anniversary of when they opened back in 1957. They have started a foundation to help kids in the Chickasha area and this year will help Santa’s Workshop. Other local restaurants will also be participating by donating to help. Chicken Express, A&E Grill, Crazy 8, Alexander Eats, Interurban and Jake’s Rib will all be showing their community support by donating a portion of their proceeds from sales on December 7th.

Strong communities need all kinds of leaders. Some run for office, others get involved in civic groups or school board, and others just try to do the right thing, sometimes behind the scenes. Daren Cook helped a lot of people, especially a lot of kids. Brandi and Daren’s family are making sure that his generosity lives in our community. I hope you will get out on December 7th and enjoy J&W Grill and the other restaurants that are participating. That’s what we do in a strong town, we support each other! 

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