The smell of cheeseburgers and gasoline is filling the air at the new Love’s/Carl’s Jr. combo store that opened Thursday morning on the east side of Enid.

The Love’s gas station and convenience store, 4104 E. Randolph, opened at 7 a.m. and the Carl’s Jr. opened at 10:30 a.m, said Lew Radeker, building site superintendent with Christofferson Commercial Builders.

“There’s tons of semi trucks, there’s been a handful of personal vehicles, RVs,” he said Thursday morning.

By lunchtime, the drive-through was backed up by 15-plus cars, and the inside walls were lined with customers.

Justin McKeegan, Carl’s Jr. general manager, said the restaurant had been packed all the way to the doors throughout the day.

“I think they understood, we struggled a little bit. We had one of our (broilers) not work correctly,” he said.

McKeegan said the broiler issue was resolved, and the restaurant was able to make around $4,000 in sales in just a few hours.

Love’s Manager Chris Shaffer said business was good.

“The lunch rush was quite heavy. We had traffic backed up to (U.S.) 412. The lobby was full of people. It’s been very busy,” he said.

Shaffer said Love’s knows how to pick good locations with its stores.

“We’ve picked a very good, high-traffic location,” he said.

Shaffer said he’s happy Love’s could revitalize Carl’s Jr.’s spot in Enid, which previously closed in 2012.

“I think the anticipation of the community, just over the restaurant, was very, very big,” he said.

The store was scheduled to open in January, but was delayed, Shaffer said.

“I think a lot of folks, including ourselves, were just on that edge of ‘can’t wait, can’t wait,’ and it’s a great day to see it finally here,” he said.

Love’s Construction Director Jim Xenos said the building process took around 11 months, and was delayed in the spring by heavy rain.

“We probably lost around 90 days of work during the spring,” Xenos said.

Radeker said everyone was cooperative during the building’s construction.

“This location is anticipated to have a high volume of traffic, and, therefore, certain modifications will have to be made to the intersection, and approaches leading up to the entrance, in order to ensure the safety of motorists,” Radeker said in an interview in March.

Carl’s Jr.’s and Love’s will be open 24 hours, seven days a week.

Story by:  Enid News & Eagle

Written by:  Bryce McElhaney