Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 1, 2011

Restaurant to add spark to downtown

Noteworthy Neighbor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Establishing a long term foothold is one of the most important goals for any business owner, but there are times when such impacts can mean something the whole community can feed on.

Community wide benefit was part of the plans from the beginning when three business partners from the Tecumseh area decided to open their sixth Boom-a-rang Diner together, this time in Pauls Valley.

Paul Fitzke, his son Chris Seale and Jack Beckham not only fill a void where one can eat all meals of the day in the downtown area at 115 S. Chickasaw St.; they hope to follow suit of other staples like the Toy & Action Figure Museum or the Royal Twin Theater by making the area a destination.

“A lot of downtowns are dead, we’re working to help change that,” said Seale, adding how the food will focus on traditional foods like hamburgers. “We hope we’re going to be a draw.”

It was a little over four years ago when Fitzke, Seale and Beckham opened their first of the 15-year-old franchise in Blanchard and saw similar potential in Garvin County earlier this year.

Fitzke was contacted by another area business owner, noting how the location of the former Corner Market was up for sale and it wasn’t long before he saw the potential of the historic building.

Out of the group, Fitzke brings the most restaurant experience to the partnership, having managed several Sonic Drive-ins for 15 years before joining an insurance firm in 1996.

He still works for the company, RBC Insurance, though said working in eateries was too much in his blood to stay away.

However, Fitzke’s son Seale certainly got his appetite wetted growing up as the family was moved around the country with Sonic and has enjoyed managing and now is ready to be in on the ownership side.

He actually earned his undergrad in biology as well as a masters in environmental science, before changing his mind and joining the family passion.

In the end, the potential Pauls Valley presents allows father and son to experience being owners who are involved from construction to working in the kitchen. The end goal is to have doors open sometime in early November, though they are already looking to hire people for two shifts.

“There’s a lot more here than I realized,” said Fitzke, who said got hooked on the current franchise  as a hobby after eating at one which opened several years ago in Shawnee. “It’s just the right sized town for a Boom-A-Rang.”

For Beckham, it’s more of a retirement opportunity after being in the military where he gets to work with his hands, pay the bills and just being around people in general.

He hasn’t spent quite as long around restaurant customers, but welcomes it as a something which will always be a learning experience.

There are quite a few changes to the inside of the building to make sure it meets proper code enforcement from new tiled floors to bringing in more modern equipment, but the style should compliment the classic architecture, said Fitzke.

One regret owners have is not being able to save the old countertop from what was once a drug store, though they did make sure to keep the original barstools and old dimensions as well as similar style when rebuilding it.

Residents and community leaders certainly aren’t complaining about the addition and the impacts are only limited to how involved they end up being in the community, said Fitzke.

They are already looking at cross promotional deals with the other nearby businesses and plan on being an active member of the PV Chamber of Commerce.

“A lot of people are really excited about us moving in,” said Jack Beckham. “Everybody’s been positive so far.”

When the store opens the hours will be from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. throughout the week, will at least seat around 45-48 and can be reached at 405-238-2905. http://www.boomarangdiner.com