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MACKIE MCNEAR, RESTAURANT PRODIGY
 
Webster’s defines a prodigy as, “a highly talented child or youth”. Nothing could better describe central Oklahoma Western Sizzlin and Mackie’s founder and owner, Mackie W. McNear. At age twelve, when most of us are only contemplating the move from grade six to grade seven, Mackie was a full-time employee of Joe’s Shake ‘n’ Burger in Savannah, Georgia, his birthplace.
 
“I was all about flipping burgers and jerking sodas”, Mackie recalls today, “and I learned one thing that’s carried me ever since. If you work hard and do what’s right, things will work out.” By the time he was 16, he was a partner in another Savannah restaurant, then another, and he hasn’t slowed down since.
 
WESTERN SIZZLIN, A “NATURAL” FOR OKLAHOMA CITY
 
Mackie was originally drawn to the Western Sizzlin franchise because of its simple and attractive menu: steak, baked potato and French bread, at a very reasonable price. He “thought it was a natural for Oklahoma City.” He opened his first Western Sizzlin Steakhouse, with the help of his loyal and loving wife, Joyce, at NW 23rd and MacArthur Blvd, on October 16, 1975. More followed in Oklahoma City, then Edmond, Moore and nearby Chickasha. The core of the highly successful business: choice steaks cut fresh on the premises, never frozen, grilled by experts to the exact doneness the customer prefers, then basted and seasoned to perfection. But on the horizon there was something new, something big, something nobody saw coming.
 
BUFFETS! EVEN BAKERIES!
 
Mackie recalls, “It started with a simple salad bar in one location. Lettuce, tomatoes, dressings. And we thought that was enough. But our customers told us it wasn’t nearly enough. They wanted more. And the more we gave them, the more they wanted. So we listened and gave them what they love. It’s a surefire recipe for success.”
 
Today, his restaurants feature not only Oklahoma’s best-selling steaks, but the most popular buffets around. Salad bars with lettuce, romaine, a world of fresh toppings and dressings, plus home-cooked hot meats and fish dishes, casseroles and veggies. Add to that fresh fruits, an array of desserts with a sundae bar and, yes, a full-service bakery at every location.
 
THEN THERE WAS MACKIE’SCeCe
 

After being one of the nation’s top Western Sizzlin franchisees for many years, Mackie wanted his name on the door. So several Western Sizzlins became Mackies. Same steaks, same buffets, same great service, same highly-motivated management, including two of his sons: Chad, at I-240 and south Penn in Oklahoma City, and Ryan, at I-35 and 12th in Moore.
 
Mackie takes a brief look back. “Eleven U.S. Presidents have come along since I started in this business. The world has changed. But one thing remains. Each and every customer deserves our very BEST. That’s what we deliver, every day.