In 1947 Wayne Abshere began his restaurant venture in Arvin, CA after serving in World War II. He and his wife, Mary, and his best friend, Charley Barrett, decided to travel to California to start a new life. They just packed up one day and hit the road on their new adventure in Charley’s car because Wayne did not have one at the time. They chose to open a hamburger stand which was a seven foot by fourteen foot trailer. Then in April of 1950 Wayne and Mary decided to return to Lawton, Ok and open a sit-down hamburger restaurant called Wayne’s Burger Bar located at 201 ½ B Avenue. The burger bar was located behind Harry Poston’s Service Station in the alley and was employed by Wayne and Mary.
Wayne expanded the business with a location at 1011 Lee Blvd and also at 7 South Sheridan Road. He decided to sell his B Avenue location and his Lee Blvd location. The Lee location was sold to his lifelong friend, Charley Barrett, which was known as Charley’s Drive Inn.
Wayne concentrated on his Sheridan Road location to make it the success it is today. In the early 60’s he decided to build a new building and extend the parking lot so to better serve his customers. The inside counter seating was removed and curb service by carhops was created. The carhops took orders on a pad and calculated the total in their heads. Then in 1974 an electric ordering system was installed to increase quality of service. The Sheridan Road location is still going strong to this day.
In 2006 the family tradition continued when Wayne’s grandson, Joe, and his dad opened a second location at 6810 NW Cache Road. Joe manages this drive and has made it a great success.
Wayne’s Drive Inn has been “the place” to go for many years. It has been the place to drag on Friday nights, a place to meet your wife and a place to show off your cars. Many generations of Lawtonians have frequented Wayne’s Drive Inn. “Let’s Go to Wayne’s” can still be heard in Lawton, OK.