The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 19, 2012

Broadway building getting a new look

EDMOND — A Cajun restaurant will serve up some gumbo and gator where The Red Dirt Saloon used to stand in Edmond.

Bighead’s will go in at 617 S. Broadway and will bring some spice from two new Oklahoma City area entrepreneurs.

Coung Nguyen, formerly an information technology specialist, said he’s been cooking all his life.

“I’ve been dealing with computers and stuff like that,” he said. “I also have a passion for cooking. I cook a whole lot.”

His business partner, Van Tran, is a 20-year restaurant veteran and chef, Nguyen said. Bighead’s is their first business venture.

The business strip of 601 to 617 S. Broadway has been under construction since about June, said property manager Roger Hembree.

He said the businesses are getting what he calls a “re-skinning” on the outside and added that the parking lot will get new asphalt, and new street lights will also go in.

“We’re trying to update the appearance,” Hembree said.

There are nine office spaces in the shopping center. Six of the buildings have been filled or are leased out and one space is close to a deal with a local company, Hembree said. A Mexican grocery and import store will go in at 615 S. Broadway, he added.

City of Edmond estimates show the project has an estimated total cost of $113,200. Hembree said exterior construction should be finished by the end of this week and said the whole project could be completed late in August.

Business owners said the remodel has had its pains. Currently all of the signs that used to sit above the shops are gone.

Jake Wigley, owner of Jake’s Coney Island, said he moved his restaurant from its location at 613 S. Broadway because of issues he had with the construction. The new location for Coney Island, 1826 E. Second St., opens Thursday.

Dana Altmiller, owner of Dan’s Barber Stop, 611 S. Broadway, said the project got a rough start, but has been better since about July 4.

“We see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Altmiller said. “I just want to get it done. It’s gonna look good at the end.”

He said the project hasn’t had an effect on business, but he did put up a sign out front letting people know they are open.

“It’s getting kind of tedious dealing with the construction,” said Brandy Smith, manager at Cash Express, 609 S. Broadway. “But customers say it’s going to be nice when it’s done.”

Cash Express also has a sign telling people it’s open.

“We feel like we're going to upgrade our property and we certainly hope others on Broadway will continue to do that,” Hembree said. | 341-2121

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