By Macy Conley
Johnnie’s Grill was opened in 1946 by Johnnie Siler. Since its founding, Johnnie’s core menu has remained the same by selling onion burgers and coneys but has since extended its menu to include breakfast and sandwiches. The original location for Johnnie’s Grill was located at 311 S Rock Island but moved into its current building in 1989 after construction of the building was complete. The new building at the time included bar seating and three booths. In 2005, Johnnie was extended over into its neighboring unit. The renovation only took a three-day closure and three months of construction to be extended to fit 100 guests. In its 73 years of operation, Johnnie’s Grill has had 5 owners. Johnnie Siler was the first owner and sold it to Otis Bruce in March of 1967. Steve Galloway purchased Johnnie’s from Otis Bruce in January 1995.When Steve Galloway was ready to retire in 2015, Lacey Brickey became the new owner.
I met with Lacey Brickey, the current owner of Johnnie’s Grill, in the building where it has been housed for almost 30 years. Lacey Brickey is the current owner for Johnnie’s Grill and has been for 3 years. Before she took over management, Lacey had worked for Johnnie’s for 17 years. Lacey had worked as a waitress, cook, dishwasher and was well aware about what it took to run the business that was deeply embedded into our community. She took it over from Steve Galloway when he retired in 2015. Brickey didn’t think twice about it. She had put so much hard work into her time at Johnnie’s, so when it was her time to take it over she knew what it would take to keep this historic gathering place up and running. When asked what she enjoyed the most about inheriting Johnnie’s Grill, Lacey smiled and said the customers. She has enjoyed the conversations and connections she has made with some and friendships she has made with others. Come on down and experience this special bit of history uniquely El Reno’s own. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can experience the magic of Johnnie’s Grill for yourself.