By Tyler Butler
Before the burgers were legendary, and the onion rings a source of pavlovian desire, Billy Bayouth was jumping on an opportunity.
“I had a friend that managed the Sinclair building, and he said, ‘Boy, I’ve got a great spot for you down there, and I think you’d really do good,'” said Bayouth.
Thirty-six years of business later, his friend’s suggestion was right on. But all good things must come to an end.
“Our lease is up on May 31st, and what’s going on for possibly the next six months to eight months, or whatever it’s going to be, it just seemed like it all fell into place, that this is the right time,” he said.
The restaurant will remain open for lunch through the end of the month, giving customers one last shot at a charburger.
“We’ve got social distancing seating, and there would be nothing better than to see everyone come by and say goodbye to some of our loyals,” said Bayouth.
Billy says over the course of the 36 years they’ve been here, they’ve been through a lot of tough times, but he says that nothing in his lifetime compares with this pandemic.
“We went right through 9/11, that slowed down the world a little bit; we’ve had the demolition of the main mall, that was an ordeal of itself,” he said.
While the pandemic may have been a factor in his business closing down now, he still believes, on the whole, that Oklahoma’s businesses will survive this.
“I guarantee you that we’re gonna get by this,” said Bayouth. “We’ll all stick together, and we’ll all get through this, and things will be a little different, but in general, I think everything is going to turn out fine.”
Billy’s on the Square will still maintain their location at the BOK Center, and Bayouth did leave room for a comeback if his kids decide to take up the family business.