Widgets Magazine
  • Classen Circle sells to new owners; all existing tenants to stay

    Today, the sale closed on the historic Classen Circle properties with the new owners taking control and planning to update and renovate the buildings.

    Classen Circle LLC is headed by local businessmen Josh Thomas and Scott Mueller. The acquisition price was $1.3 million for the 1.4 acres and associated buildings.

    Braum's, which originally planned to purchase the property and raze it for a new store, still owns an adjacent small house.

    The sale seems to signal a new future for the old Classen Circle which had long been neglected by the previous ownership.

    All existing tenants will remain indefinitely, with the iconic HiLo Club receiving a renovation and expansion.

    Other tenants include the venerable Classen Grill, The Drunken Fry and Charlie's Jazz-Rhythm & Blues Records.

    Built in 1948, the Donnay Building houses all but the Classen Grill and was home to the old Sidecar Lounge and The Patio restaurant. HiLo has been a fixture since 1956.

    When OKCTalk.com first broke the story of Braums' intention to demolish all existing structures as part of a pending purchase contract, there was swift and immediate backlash from the community, with an on-site protest, petitions to save the property and vocal opposition at a public meeting led by an attorney representing the local ice cream and dairy company.

    Seemingly in response to the outcry, Braum's ultimately withdrew their application from the planning commission and the existing owner started to receive calls from other interested purchasers.

    As OKCTalk was first to report, Thomas stepped forward to ink a new purchase contract contingent on thorough due diligence and inspection of the property.

    HiLo owner Chris Simon told OKCTalk he is very pleased that he'll be able to stay and looks forward to further investment in his bar, which has been at this site for more than 60 years and has been a beacon for the city's LGBTQ community.

    Watch our news partner KFOR Channel 4 tonight at 6PM for more information and on-camera interviews.

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