ELGIN — Oklahoma-based Braum's Inc. is set to open an 80-guest, 6,000 square-foot Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store in Elgin in early 2022, a company spokesperson confirmed.
The restaurant and Fresh Market will be the “XL model,” which is the most recent design of all Braum’s and among the largest of all stores. It will also include a larger-than-most dining room, a two-lane drive-thru and a larger-than-normal parking lot for bigger vehicles.
“It just made sense we add a location there (Elgin),” public relations director Amanda Beuchaw said. “It’s in the area where we deliver and there isn’t one in that area. Plus, it offers a little bit more than other locations. We hope it does very well and that people in town take to it very well.”
The opening will depend largely on any weather delays and availability of construction materials, she said.
Construction of Braum’s restaurants and stores hasn’t stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. Company officials made the decision to move forward despite the challenges the presented by the pandemic.
“We wanted to keep going in areas that had a demand for it,” Beuchaw said. “We kept going with our plan and everything is going well. We plan to keep going just like we always have.”
Three stores in the Yukon area and two others in Oklahoma City will open soon. The opening of the Elgin location will put Braum’s well above the 300-store plateau, Beuchaw said.
Although restaurant construction didn’t slow, food sales took a dive during the first year of the pandemic.
“Yes, we had a slowdown. The fountain and grill side was impacted, but the Fresh Market was a good alternative to people going to the larger grocery stores during COVID,” Beuchaw said.
Elgin Mayor JJ Francais praised Braum’s for building a store in the community and providing another place for families to eat out.
“Elgin already has some really great places to dine,” Francais said. “Braum’s will give our residents another local option while enticing more I-44 visitors to take the Elgin exit and stay a while.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: JJ Francais is the associate publisher of The Chronicle, a weekly publication owned and operated by Hilliary Media Group LLC.
WE’LL ALL SCREAM — SOON