Anna Maude Cafeteria Reopening Set in June/in Windsor Hills Center

Article excerpt

The wait for Anna Maude Cafeteria to reopen is over.

At least it will be in June, when the Oklahoma City landmark eating establishment swings open its doors in Windsor Hills Shopping Center.

Owner Cooper Lyon, saying he's tired of being unemployed, announced Tuesday the cafeteria's reopening in part of the space formerly occupied by a TG&Y Family Center in the shopping center at NW 23rd St. and N. Meridian Ave.

Expenses involved in reopening the cafeteria were not disclosed.

This will be the third location for the cafeteria since it was opened downtown by Anna Maud Smith in 1928. Both of its moves were caused by expansion and remodeling of its building.

Anna Maud Cafeteria moved to Penn Square Mall in June 1983 after it was announced that the Cravens Building would be remodeled.

On Oct. 17, 1986, the cafeteria closed again when expansion of the mall eliminated most of its parking and reduced the size of nearby businesses.

Now the cafeteria, along with the tables and chairs it has owned for 35 years, will relocate to Windsor Hills.

Not only will the decor of the original cafeteria be transplanted to the new home, he said, but a dozen employees each with more than 20 years service to the cafeteria will also be on hand for the opening.

"The only one (with more than 20 years with the company) who isn't returning is Edna Boyett, who baked cakes for us for 39 years," Lyon said.

"I shouldn't say that," he added, "she's in the hospital right now and if at all possible, I expect she'll be with us."

Without Edna to bake the cakes, Lyon said his son Charlie will take on that chore initially.

"He's just as good as she was, almost," he said. "He'll start out doing it and train someone to take over."

Lyon said he'll have 65 employees on hand when the cafeteria opens, and he is anticipating hiring more.

"It depends on the business," he said. "We expect to do really well out there."

Among the long-time employees returning will be Arthur Crump, who started working for Anna Maude Smith in 1939.

His career was interrupted by World War II, but resumed almost from the time he returned from the war.

Lyon plans to operate the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week when it opens.

"We may change that," he said. …