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Arnold's Old Fashioned Burgers celebrates 35 years

The owners of Arnold's
Posted at 11:17 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 19:25:38-05

TULSA, Okla. — "35 years ago, we had an idea that used our name and the Happy Day's TV show (that was) popular back in 1986," Frank and Vicki Arnold said.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a cuter couple than Frank and Vicki Arnold, owners of Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers.

"It's been quite a journey," Frank said. "We're just blessed and just thankful for the business we've got."

Frank's been a restauranteur since he was 16 years old and a student at Webster High School. He bought his own Coney Island at the age of 21 and then managed another restaurant before getting a big idea. All he needed was a name.

"We had some good names," Frank said. "I was in the Coney business, so I thought we'd sell coneys and burgers so 'Franken Burger.'"

"We also thought Bigger Better Burger," Vicki said.

But in the end, Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers won out.

"Business has been great," Vicki said. "We can't complain. Blessed!"

The restaurant is a treasure trove of memorabilia. There are old lunchboxes, classic cars and of course a jukebox.

But life also threw them some curveballs. They lost their lease at the original location.

"I'm not a spring chicken anymore," Frank said. "So (the landlords) wanted to get a big corporation to sign a 50-year lease. Yeah, I couldn't do that."

So, they packed up and moved to a new location at Crystal City Shopping Center.

"We seat about twice as many people here," Vicki said.

Things couldn't have turned out better.

"It was a blessing in disguise," Frank said. "We've done more business here than we've ever done over there."

So, what's the secret to their success?

"Hard work, a clean atmosphere, taking care of the customer, good food, and putting out a quality product at a reasonable price," Frank said.

The couple says people drive from near and far for some of their favorite foods.

"They drive across town just for the onion rings and our malts," Frank said.

"That's right, and the hamburgers! It's all good," Vicki said. "It's all good!"

So good that the Arnolds say they're considering adding a second location, but they want this place to remain special.

And with three sons and eight grandchildren, they're hoping someone steps up to continue the tradition of good food and good fun.

"We're excited about it and just trying to look forward to the next 35 years," Frank said. "That's good! I'll be 100!"

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