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Though many restaurants have begun using catfish from Asia, BG’s Catch has remained loyal to American catfish farmers.
Photo by ASHLEY HUDSON
BG’s Catch in Kingston is one Oklahoman’s dream come true and a major draw for food lovers near Lake Texoma.
By Kerri Shadid
Published July/August 2012
Few people can say they have accomplished their life’s goal; fewer still do so by the age of twenty-four. Bruce Greene, owner of BG’s Catch in Kingston, is the exception.
“I worked for two years right out of college, saved some money, and then started this,” Greene says of his restaurant. “I always wanted to have something of my own.”
Greene has worked hard to transform BG’s from an uncertain endeavor into a much-loved landmark.
For a place that draws diners from a hundred-mile radius, BG’s confounds expectations. The restaurant is in an unassuming metal building set off the street in a small town. Stuffed fish line the wood-planked walls around tables covered in green plastic tablecloths. The trappings notwithstanding, the food—hush puppies, corn nuggets, shrimp, homemade dessert, and 1,200 pounds of catfish weekly—is of the highest quality.
The fact that each filet also is hand-cut and breaded with a secret recipe makes this fish hard to forget. But as big a draw as the catfish is the dessert: peach cobbler—Greene’s grandmother’s recipe—and homemade vanilla ice cream. Greene had no idea it would be such a hit with his customers. The six-quart ice cream makers he started with didn’t last long.
“I was burning the motors out because we were making so much of it,” he says. “We go through sixty gallons a night.”
BG’s verges on chaotic as diners line up to grab Styrofoam plates and plastic utensils and serve themselves from the long buffet, which includes a salad bar in addition to chicken tenders and hand-cut french fries. In the three days a week the restaurant is open, it feeds as many as 2,500 people—almost twice the population of Kingston. Customers line up well before the doors open at four o’clock in the afternoon.
Though BG’s Catch only serves food fifteen hours each week, Greene puts in eighty hours of work. On Sundays, he is so exhausted from three days of an 8 a.m. to midnight schedule that he rarely leaves his house in Kingston.
Greene is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and signed photographs of the Chickasaw governor and lieutenant governor hang by the entrance. Lieutenant governor Jefferson Keel eats at BG’s several times a month.
“They have excellent service, the food is good, and I always have an enjoyable time,” he says. “Bruce works hard to make sure everything is done right.”
Diners come to BG’s from as far away as Oklahoma City and Dallas, and 80 percent are repeat customers. BG’s reputation has traveled far.
“A man came in and said he was in New York City and mentioned to someone that he lived in Oklahoma,” he says. “That person said, ‘Have you ever eaten at BG’s Catch?’”
Get There: BG’s Catch is open Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. It is located four miles from Lake Texoma at 605 1/2 U.S. Highway 70 East in Kingston. (580) 564-4320 or bgscatch.com.