The fried pies have been saved.
Back in August, I told you about the sad fate of Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies, the little roadside shop that had been set up for several years in a solitary former Stuckey’s building just off exit 211 in Tonkawa, Okla.
If you drove between Wichita and Oklahoma City on I-35, you wouldn’t be able to miss the frequent, tantalizing billboards, printed in giant red type, that advertised the sweetness available just off the exit.
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But the shop’s owners, Kurtis and Casey Stoll, were relocating so Kurtis could take a job as a pastor with a church in Calvin, Okla. He had permission to sell the franchise and all of his equipment to a new buyer if he could find one.
He did, and now, the Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies – which are old fashioned fried hand pies – will be available much closer to Wichita.
Herb Callender, who has owned Valley Liquor in Valley Center for 15 years, has taken over the franchise and will reopen the pie shop in Park City sometime next month.
The shop will be in a strip center at 1542 E. 61st St. Park City, in a space that most recently was home to Eye Candy Photography.
Most important, Callender said, the billboards with big red type advertising “FRIED PIES” to passing highway travelers on I-135 will go up in a couple of weeks.
“There will be one facing north and one facing south,” he said.
Callender said he’d frequently noticed the fried pie shop when driving to and from Oklahoma but had never stopped to try it. Then, in August, he read the Dining with Denise story about the Stoll’s search for a new operator.
Callender, who recently married his wife, Amber, talked to her about it, and the two decided they could run the shop together.
Amber will use her decorating skills to make the new shop warm and inviting, Callender said. The two will use the same recipes that were available in Tonkawa but will add some special dips and sauces. They’ll also serve coffee drinks and possibly ice cream to be served on the side.
“People know of them. People like them,” Callender said of the pies. “The store’s going to be a little more inviting, a little more cozy. You’ll want to stay.”