Gary Lee Hahn, Waiter at Brownie’s Hamburger Stand

by Michael Mason


People come and go. We are born and then we die. It’s a simple equation. But places are different. And the locally-owned greasy-spoon neighborhood hamburger joint may soon be a thing of the past. Having to fight off the double-edged sword that is the health food movement and the corporatization of America, Tulsa’s legendary burger joints might not be long for this world.

Gary Lee Hahn, the subject of this episode, worked at Brownie’s Hamburger Stand, one of the city’s best examples of longevity and authenticity. Connor Raus, who had his first cheeseburger at Brownie’s many years ago, recalls his experiences with Gary. Always a character, Gary was allowed to let his colorful personality flourish. This is why we love these little places. The food is secondary. It’s the people who make the experience memorable. That is reason enough to make sure that they stay around forever.