Arby’s demolishes vintage neon “Cowboy Hat” sign!

Last week, Arby’s acquisition of Oklahoma City’s own Sonic became official when shareholders approved the $2.3-billion deal. You can view some of the new Arby’s-Sonic inspired menu items here.

To celebrate the news – and show they fit right in with the local business community when it comes to valuing local landmarks and architecture that gives our city style, substance and character –Arby’s promptly removed the vintage neon cowboy hat sign that stood in front of the chain’s “Route 66” 39th Street location since at least the 1970s.

Here’s a post about the demolition from the Remember When in OKC Facebook group:

Sad stuff, huh? I guess Charcoal Oven and Split T will have a new friend in the OKC Cool Sign Graveyard.

This is what the sign looked like at night as it seduced weary travelers and stoned teenagers with the promises of delicious roast beef sandwiches, roast burgers and impending gastric disturbances. I grabbed it from JenX67:

I called the location this morning to confirm the sign is gone, and not just being repaired or something like that. I had the following melancholic conversation with the employee who answered the phone:

“I got a weird question for you. Did you take down that cool neon sign.”

After a quick, sad sigh…

“Yeah, they took it down and replaced it with a new sign for the remodel. I’m not sure why.”

“Oh no! Is it gone for good?”

After another quick, sad sigh…

“Yeah. They originally planned on keeping it, but I don’t know why they decided not to.”

Our conversation then ended, and the employee went back to prepping roast beef.

Anyway, it may seem kind of silly to freak over a sign being taken down that is commonly found throughout North America, but…

A) Destroying charming buildings and structures that were built in the 1960s and 1970s seems to be an all too common norm in OKC. I don’t want to turn this site into a strange version Steve Lackmeyer’s forbidden old building erotica, but it’s time to try and preserve some of this stuff.

B) That was about the only thing to look forward to when driving down 39th. The Western Motel is all we have left…