Miami, Oklahoma: Ku-Ku Burgers


After spending half your day in Kansas, Miami Oklahoma feels like a pretty big place, even though the population lingers around 13,500.

Out of Kansas and into Oklahoma, Route 66 follows US Hwy. Alt-69, then regular US 69 through Miami.

This isn’t Florida, so don’t go around saying my-AM-ee.  ‘Round these parts, it’s my-AM-uh.

As you arrive into town, one of the first vestiges of the old road you’ll see is Waylan’s Ku-Ku Hamburgers…

… complete with a great, oversized old neon sign…

… and a giant ku-ku clock bird popping out of the front of the restaurant.  Waylan’s Ku-Ku Restaurant is a former chain, but all the other outlets have closed, and this is the last one.  Fortunately, it’s popular, and has become an Oklahoma Route 66 landmark, so hopefully it’s safe for now.

Downtown Miami is just a few blocks away from the Ku-Ku.  It looked interesting enough, that I spent a few minutes walking around.

Downtown’s most beautiful building is the Coleman Theatre Beautiful, built in 1929.  The theatre is ornate on the outside, and luxurious on the inside.  Restoration has been underway since 1989, when the Coleman family donated the building to the city.

For photos of the inside of the Coleman Theatre, check out this website.

It seemed there was quite a bit of restoration going on in downtown Miami, and construction slowed traffic considerably.

One other curiosity I noticed downtown: take a look at the traffic lights in the two pictures above.  At every intersection downtown, there’s just one light, in the middle of the intersection–a rare 4-sided stoplight.  Not only is a single light unusual, it’s also easier to overlook, so pay attention. 

April Cox of Miami, OK writes: You should see the restoration downtown now, the sidewalks are finished and look night, and the big building in the last picture is beautiful and has a restaurant in it. No more street lights anymore they are 4 stop signs on a pole.

If you’re spending the night in Miami, consider going on a hunt for the “Tri-state” or “Hornet” Spooklight — a bouncing ball of light that some folks say they’ve seen at night.  This website provides directions to the area where the light sometimes appears.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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