Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Monumental Meals: Taste of Our Town to Raise Money for Oklahoma Strong Project

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Monumental Meals: Taste of Our Town to Raise Money for Oklahoma Strong Project

Article excerpt

On May 20, 2013, the staff at Hollie's Flatiron Steakhouse watched the weather during the afternoon. Then General Manager David Callaway said he saw the storm take its turn for the worse.

"We were opened until (the tornado) went a mile wide," he said. "I called it and said, 'Lock the doors.' We had a couple of servers, a manager, and a table (of customers)."

Everyone in the store went into the walk-in freezer and waited as the EF5 tornado passed the restaurant in front of the Moore Warren Theatre, yet hit the nearby hospital.

When staff members and customers emerged from the freezer and saw the building's proximity to destruction, they were shocked, Callaway said. The staff and even guests later returned to clean up debris and help get the place opened once the streets were accessible.

"Our community around here is pretty awesome," he said.

The restaurant will give back to its community on Tuesday during the inaugural Taste of Our Town event at the Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Blvd., on the second floor in the former Montgomery Ward space. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., people can sample food from 30 different restaurants from south Oklahoma City and Moore, with all the proceeds benefiting the Oklahoma Strong monument.

The monument is being built at the Veterans Park in Moore. A 5k race was held on Saturday to raise funds, as well. Becky Boyd Wood with the Oklahoma Strong Monument project said the monument is not about Moore. It's about the whole state.

"It's not about the tornado," Wood said. "It's about celebrating the strength of Oklahoma. When we come together, that's where our strength comes from."

Callaway said Hollie's wanted to participate because the event will be good for the community in two ways: as a celebration and to help rebuild. He said since his staff and their customers will one day see the monument, they wanted to be a part of that lasting legacy.

South Oklahoma City had a similar event in the past called Taste of the South, hosted by the Moore Norman Technology Center. …

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