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Ingrid’s Kitchen has closed OKC after 40 years in business

The same week, the 405 diningscape welcomes a new artisan bakery, saying goodbye to one of its most emblematic.

On Monday, Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N Youngs Blvd., announced it was permanently closed with signs to business and social media accounts.

Ingrid’s Kitchen opened in the spring of 1982, initially offering European breads and deli items. The legendary restaurant later became a popular spot for holiday dinners and weekend afternoon dances.

Ingrid’s originated in the early 1980s, but it was designed by Ingrid Quitz from two companies she bought from 1978.

Quitz, a Berlin native who fled to West Germany at age 15, told The Oklahoman in 1983 that she came to the United States in 1962 and “never got to s ‘get used to breads’.

Quitz was still married to Dan Childers in April 1979, when she became the new owner of the Dutch Treat International Delicatessen in the Mayfair shopping centre, records show. Quitz, who had previously worked as a dental hygienist in Kansas City, quickly expanded Dutch Treat to three locations. It featured locally baked breads at Irene’s Bakery.

Ingrid Childers Simon Quitz holds a pan of freshly baked bread at Ingrid's Kitchen in Oklahoma City, circa October 1983.

Irene and Jack Siegel became Quitz’s bread mentors. When they decided to retire, Quitz bought the business and opened the original Ingrid’s Kitchen on N Youngs in 1982. By then she had added a Dutch Treat grocery store to the Regency Tower Apartments. This location and the Mayfair location were turned into Ingrid’s locations in 1984, offering “18 varieties of bread rolls and bagels”.

Ingrid’s emerged from bankruptcy and fire in 1991 and expanded the bakery at the original location on Youngs.

When Quitz was ready to retire, she sold the business to veteran caterer Lee Burrus in 2001. Burrus, who died in May, was the owner of Lee’s Gourmet To Go and had come to Oklahoma City in 1969 from San Francisco. Burrus owned the business when Chef Guy Fieri of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” visited in 2009. The appearance preceded a period of unprecedented growth.

Ingrid's Kitchen, 3701 N Youngs Blvd., closed and on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, the once busy parking lot was empty.

“Business more than doubled,” Burrus told The Oklahoman in 2009. “It was a great experience.”

Burrus purchased Oma’s Pantry and turned it into Ingrid’s Pantry in 2010, then expanded the original location to take on the entire corner for more seating, more storage, and the addition of Ingrid’s Lounge. Burrus opened a second Ingrid’s Kitchen on May Avenue just north of NW 63 Street in 2014.

Food Network's Guy Fieri

Over the past three decades, Ingrid’s has grown from a bakery with a European breakfast and lunch menu to a commercial bakery with a full-service restaurant offering an extensive dinner menu as well as German specialties. . It has been noted for serving at Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Easter.

Burrus put the business up for sale in 2018, citing a desire to retire. A buyer never emerged, and once the pandemic hit, Ingrid’s fortunes waned. Baked goods expanded to grocery stores during the pandemic, but the May Avenue store closed and the original store was closed by the Oklahoma tax commission last year for back taxes. The store reopened a few days later, but only accepted cash for the duration.

Chief Operating Officer Jason Mann did not return calls for comment.