The Pioneer Woman Mercantile restaurant is sustaining early success in the small town of Pawhuska due to attracting nearly 6,000 visitors each day.
Located just an hour North of Tulsa, the Mercantile is owned by author and television personality, Ree Drummond. Drummond, who is originally from Osage County, purchased the 25,000-square-foot-building in 2012 and opened the diner styled restaurant in Oct. of 2016.
A gift shop and bakery accompany the restaurant which employs more than 230 people, second to only Osage Nation in the town populated by 3,500.
Mercantile General Manager, Kurtess Mortensen, helped supervise construction of the restaurant and says owners hoped to offer something different for visitors and restaurant goers.
"Most businesses are all about, 'let's get as much cash as quickly as we can and move on'. This place really isn't about that, it's about experience," Mortensen said.
By being one of the most people restaurants in Oklahoma, the Pioneer Woman Mercantile is typically filled with hundreds of people at one time. Wait times to sit down and dine can be as long as three hours and lines can extend the length of the entire city block.
Many people who travel to the restaurant spend the entire day in Osage County to shop and visit other sights nearby. Mortensen says the restaurant has helped sparked the economy and many local business owners are pleased.
"I think we've been able to communicate tot people about some of the great sights here, not only in Pawhuska, but in Osage County and some of the things that are worth traveling to see. The feedback that I'm getting from our neighbors is that it's doing wonders for their business," Mortensen said.
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