By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — If you’ve been down Main Street lately, you may have noticed that Coach’s has been replaced by S&B’s Burger Joint.
A soft opening of the burger joint was held earlier this month in which all proceeds were donated to Norman’s Food and Shelter. Customers were only asked to donate $5 per table to try anything on the menu.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony also took place Thursday at the Norman location — which has had a major facelift since the owners purchased the building.
“The decor has changed totally,” said Shannon Roper, an owner of S&B’s. “Other than decor and the quality of food and service increase, we’re also involved in the community pretty substantially, especially in all of our other stores and we’re bringing that to Norman as well.”
There are three other S&B’s Burger Joints in Oklahoma located at 59th Street and N. May Ave., 9th Street in midtown Oklahoma City and I-240 and S. Walker Ave. The burger joint also has a burger truck they book for events.
Each location also donates 10 percent of all sales one day a week to go towards a local organization or an individual that’s in need.
“We do ‘pay it forward’ charity events every Tuesday,” Roper said. “Every single week of the year.”
Roper said last year, between all of their locations, they gave more than $50,000, and this year they plan to give a lot more. In order to continue the tradition in Norman, the burger joint is currently searching for local Norman charities to donate to.
“We try to stay extremely involved in the community and give back,” he said.
Organizations in Norman interested in signing up for the “pay it forward” program are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What customers can expect: S&B’s like their restaurants to look and feel like a record store, making music a key aspect of the dining experience. The music is specifically selected and visually expressed throughout the restaurant.
“It’s basically just all about beer, rock ‘n’ roll and burgers,” Roper said.
Having a brewhouse at the location, the restaurant has a really extensive beer menu, he said. The burger joint also makes the best out of being located next to the train tracks.
Every time a train goes by and blows the whistle, you can get a 50 cent 12 oz. draft of Railyard Amber Ale which is brewed in the brewhouse connected to S&B’s.
“It’s a great place to come and hang out on the patio, drink some good beers, watch games, get 50 cent draws every time a train goes by,” Roper said.
The restaurant is apparently pretty well-known for their bloody marys as well.
“We infuse our own vodka, they’re pretty fantastic,” the owner said.
While Roper takes on the food part of business, the other owner, Bryan Neel is in charge of the bar.
“I think our atmosphere sets us apart for one thing,” Roper said. “We have a really extensive beer menu, very well thought out, and then our cooking process is much different than any burger place you will ever find in the city, or pretty much anywhere.”
Roper said they “don’t just top burgers.”
A side from their buns, the restaurant makes everything in-house and fresh, including sauces and other toppings.
“We use all-natural black angus beef, so we use high quality products. It’s what we’re proud of, that it’s fresh and it’s high quality,” he said.
Roper said great burgers have two main characteristics: a good crust and a moist center. Everything else is self-expression, he said, and the menu is proof of that.
With menu items like “The Theta” which includes a burger with mayo, smoked pecan theta sauce, pickles and sharp Cheddar, or “The Colombian” which includes a burger with sea salt and coffee crusted with smoked Cheddar, lettuce, red onion, avocado and cilantro lime salsa, it’s easy to see how the burgers would be a form of self-expression for the restaurant.
“Burgers are an art to us,” he said. “We just like food.”
The menu also includes items such as smothered fries, salads and tacos. Customers can also replace any regular burger patty with a turkey burger patty at no additional cost.
History: Before S&B’s Burger Joint came about, the two owners started out with a little bar in Oklahoma City.
“We were just two guys. We started in Oklahoma City just three-and-a-half years ago with a little bar that we owned with 12 tables in it, we turned a kitchen into it and we just kind of blew up and became S&B’s. The bar no longer exists,” Roper said.
S&B’s got its name by using the first letters of the owner’s first names — Shannon and Bryan.
Norman marks their fourth store opening.
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.