Braum’s looking to expand in Pittsburg, but it’s unclear when or where

Jonathan Riley
Morning Sun
A customer pulls into the parking lot at Braum's on South Broadway in Pittsburg. Braum's is located just north of a vacant building (in background) that the City of Pittsburg, which owns the property, has approved for demolition.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — After the topic came up at a recent city commission meeting, Braum’s confirmed this week that it is looking to expand to a larger location in Pittsburg, although that may not involve acquiring a city-owned lot near its current store on South Broadway, and it could take a while for it to happen. 

Amanda Beuchaw, public relations director for Braum’s, said Tuesday that the company hopes to eventually have an “XL” Braum’s location in Pittsburg, similar to one that it is beginning to build in Joplin. That location is planned to be well over 5,000 square feet with double drive-thru windows and a dining room capacity of around 75 to 80 people. 

Braum’s is still working on finding the right location in Pittsburg, however, and there is “not a sense of urgency” for the company when it comes to expanding locally, Beuchaw said. She acknowledged that it is a problem if traffic is backing up into the street at the Braum’s drive-thru, though, and said the traffic issue is “probably one of the reasons we started looking for a bigger store.” 

Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall has noted that cars backing up into the street at the Braum’s drive-thru is a problem, saying at last week’s city commission meeting that “the traffic is into the street and it’s dangerous.” 

Local resident Joella Skyles also spoke at last week’s meeting, suggesting the city government should work with Braum’s to expand, and use the city-owned property at 525 S. Broadway to “entice” the company. 

Beuchaw said this week, though, that when it comes to any deal involving the 525 S. Broadway property, she is “not sure where that stands.” That lot, which is located just south of Braum’s on the other side of Ramsay Street, currently has a building on it that will likely have to be demolished. Beuchaw said Braum’s would also have to buy additional surrounding lots to make the location work as the site of a bigger Braum’s. 

Braum’s, which has a menu featuring ice cream, burgers and many other items, was founded in 1968 in Oklahoma, and today has nearly 300 locations throughout the four-state area as well as in Texas.