Public hearing set for new downtown Sapulpa marijuana processing facility

The Old Randall's Route 66 Diner that closed will now be a marijuana processing facility in downtown Sapulpa; Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 (KTUL)

What was once a diner, in fact, the only diner in downtown Sapulpa is going in a new direction.

Posted in yellow on a public notice, the Randall's Route 66 Diner will now be used as a marijuana processing facility. It's already causing a buzz in the downtown area.

"I'll be concerned with safety and people walking by," said downtown Sapulpa business owner Pamela Manuel.

A business owner of nearly 20 years, Manuel is not concerned about the marijuana part but would rather see another restaurant or more retail in this spot.

"If we get businesses that's not small-town retail, then we're going to lose at some point," said Manuel. "I would really like to see this as a restaurant because that what it was before."

Since you won't be able to buy anything at this new facility, some folks would agree they don't think this commercial cooking fits in this district, but the city doesn't have strict areas of where a business like this could be.

"Our downtown area does not have industrial designations, which is really where we'd prefer to see those kinds of processing facilities," said Director of Urban Development Nikki Howard.

The new owner moving in didn't want to go on camera Monday until the Sapulpa Planning Commission host their upcoming meeting on the new business.

"They'll recommend approval or denial to the city council," said Howard.

The Planning Commission will also take into account the public's opinion, but overall, with all the proper paperwork filed, the city council could still approve the whole idea.

Despite some of the resistance, some say the processing facility is a major improvement over vacant, dead space.

"For the landlord, I'm sure they'd rather have it rented than just sitting there empty," said Manuel. "That way it doesn't turn into an eyesore."

The public hearing on this new marijuana processing facility will be Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Sapulpa City Hall.