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Pawhuska braces for Pioneer Woman's newest project

Food Network Star Ree Drummond has renovated the former Osage Mercantile building in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided]

Food Network Star Ree Drummond has renovated the former Osage Mercantile building in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided]

PAWHUSKA — Businesses in this Osage County town of about 3,600 are expecting a boost in tourism when Food Network star Ree Drummond opens her new store and restaurant in a restored, 113-year old mercantile building here next week.

A local historic landmark on Main Street in Pawhuska, the Mercantile building has been drawing Pioneer Woman fans for the past several years. Drummond has continuously posted photographs and written about progress on the building's restoration on her popular blog.

"It's put Pawhuska in the limelight in a lot of ways," said Joni Nash, executive director for the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce. "The business owners are all putting their best foot forward in anticipation of all of our new guests we will get."

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, which includes a bakery, deli and general store is set to open Monday on Main Street in Pawhuska, drawing big crowds to the town, which has many historic buildings dating back to the Indian Territory era.

Ree and her husband, cattle rancher Ladd Drummond, purchased the historic Osage Mercantile Building in 2012, as well as the former Pawhuska Alco building down the street. The former Alco building is now a warehouse for the Mercantile business and The Pioneer Woman's online products.

The new Mercantile business has brought 175 new jobs to the area, including 13 new, out-of-state hires, Nash said.

Western clothing retailer Osage Outfitters expects a bump in traffic when the Mercantile opens Monday. The Pioneer Woman's new store is just a few hundred feet from Osage Outfitters in downtown Pawhuska.

Joey Lee, who opened Osage Outfitters with wife Callie Lee three years ago, said The Pioneer Woman brand has long been a draw to the area for tourists.

Drummond has filmed at Osage Outfitters for her Food Network show in the past, which has also good for business, Lee said.

"We are already seeing a lot of out-of-town traffic with people coming to see the shop and really just see the area," Lee said. "It's already started and I know it's just going to get better."

Drummond announced a Halloween grand opening date for the Mercantile project earlier this month on her blog.

"I'm excited, nervous, tired, happy, thrilled, exhausted, scared … and excited. And very excited." Drummond wrote.

Related Photos
<p>The neon sign for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building is shown in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided]</p>

The neon sign for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building is shown in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3b7e19a630dfdb5ba5423c7948b47901.jpg" alt="Photo - The neon sign for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building is shown in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] " title=" The neon sign for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building is shown in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> The neon sign for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building is shown in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-30c40b74806b05d95370c06dfec02d15.jpg" alt="Photo - Ree Drummond has helped draw tourists, and now jobs, to Pawhuska with The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. [Photo provided] " title=" Ree Drummond has helped draw tourists, and now jobs, to Pawhuska with The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> Ree Drummond has helped draw tourists, and now jobs, to Pawhuska with The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-43d1daaf549e0be3cfa405fd26c0452c.jpg" alt="Photo - Food Network Star Ree Drummond has renovated the former Osage Mercantile building in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] " title=" Food Network Star Ree Drummond has renovated the former Osage Mercantile building in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] "><figcaption> Food Network Star Ree Drummond has renovated the former Osage Mercantile building in downtown Pawhuska. [Photo provided] </figcaption></figure>
Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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