By LARISSA COPELAND
Downtown Yukon’s newest eatery has been in the planning stages for years – and its owners are excited to be part of a thriving community.
Earl’s Rib Palace does not have an official opening date yet, but according to general manager Joel Lyon, he hopes the restaurant is up and running in about two weeks.
Established in 1996, Earl’s Rib Palace is owned and operated by friends who grew up in Oklahoma City. The Yukon restaurant will be the company’s sixth in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Lyon, who has worked for Earl’s Rib Palace for 18 years, said the restaurant’s location at 10 West Main was specially chosen so Earl’s could integrate into the community.
“We’ve wanted to open in Yukon for about 10 years, and the last nine months we’ve been aggressively pursuing it,” he said. “We were waiting on the right situation.”
That means participating in charity events and fundraisers and other Yukon-oriented functions.
“There’s outreach we want to do, through charitable donations, working with the chamber and hiring locally,” Lyon said. “This is Yukon’s Earl’s, and it will be mainly staffed by Yukon people.”
As work continues on the building, Lyon said the restaurant is still hiring kitchen and service staff. About 50 employees are expected to be staffed upon opening.
What makes Earl’s unique, Lyon said, is not only its freshly prepared food or original recipes. The restaurant, he said, emphasizes a balance between life and work for employees.
“I have a lot of friends within the company,” he said. “These are people I’ve known for more than half my life.”
And the food’s not bad either, Lyon said. Earl’s has been named the metro area’s best barbecue by area publications.
“We’re happy to be bringing that here,” he said. “We’re very committed to Yukon.”