About Us

Anchored by Chris Jr. “Hank,” mom Lakecia, and dad Chris Sr., Hank’s is truly a family business, and by “family,” we mean one big happy one, one that loves anyone and everyone. This has been a team effort from the beginning, with everyone working together to share ideas, create new menu items, and deliver some of the best customer service in the city.
Chris in front of Hank's food truck

The History of Hank’s

The journey in the kitchen started early for Hank. As a kid, it wasn’t cartoons when he got home from school—it was Emeril Live and Man vs. Food on The Food Network. Learning from his dad, who is a pro in the kitchen himself, Hank began to experiment, remixing ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and chicken—all the chicken. (Cooking runs in the family; his aunt was creating full-course meals for the family at age 6.)

When an injury kept Hank from his first love in high school—basketball—he discovered Home Economics. That, combined with his kitchen creativity, led him to selling fried chicken and dirty rice plates in 2013, which routinely sold out, and cookies in 2015, which Hank credits with teaching him all about customer service.

Though he never considered himself a chef, those closest to Hank knew he could cook, and when the pandemic shut down the world in 2020, cooking is what Hank turned to, filling the endless hours with a smoker and every cut of meat imaginable. He experimented with seasonings. He tinkered with temperatures. He smoked meat for a month straight.

And then it happened—the turkey leg seen round the world. When Hank’s mom Lakecia posted a video of his turkey leg falling off the bone, the video went viral within an hour.

While Hank was reluctant to be known only for smoked meat, 4 million TikTok views don’t lie—Hank was on to something, and Lakecia knew it, even if Hank didn’t.

They started to take orders for turkey legs right out of their house, selling 50 in the first weekend and selling out every Saturday after that, operating with only the smoker, a table, and a couple of coolers under a pop-up tent. As word got out, the lines got longer and the meat sold faster, so Hank and dad Chris Sr., began searching for a food truck. After months of road trips, lots of learning, and a little family help fixing it up, Hank’s K3wl Cooking hit the streets to take more of Hank’s turkey leg love to more of Oklahoma City.

Hank’s K3wl Cooking early menus included just a few items, like the mac and cheese turkey leg and Hank’s famous wings, but what was there was good, and the truck sold out nearly everywhere it went. Customers would message Hank first thing in the morning wanting to know where he’d be that day, and people would arrive early—and hungry–buying 6, 8 turkey legs at a time. What’s more, they weren’t leaving the minute Hank hand-delivered their order; they were staying to enjoy the community Hank’s was creating, to savor the food and each other’s company.

The turning point for Hank’s K3wl Cooking came in the winter of 2020. Though it was apparent the business had outgrown the food truck early—within the second or third month in operation—mom Lakecia urged caution, suggesting they wait and see what Oklahoma’s fickle seasons would do to their business. When Hank was still selling out in the dead of winter, with people waiting for hours in the freezing cold for a famous turkey leg, the decision to move beyond the food truck became a whole lot easier.

Now, with a brick-and-mortar location in northwest Oklahoma City, Hank’s is coming full circle, back to the comfort of a kitchen and the roots of a community. A bigger kitchen means bigger ideas and a bigger menu, but it also means a bigger opportunity to create an atmosphere people want to be a part of, to belong to. And it doesn’t get much better than that.

Who’s Hank?

When Chris Jr. was 12, he asked his parents for a lawnmower and a printer so he could start his own lawn mowing business, earning him the nickname “Big Bank Hank.” At 14, he decided to get a “real job” and started a t-shirt and clothing line called K3WL. To make his “Kill Everything With Logic” brand even more unique, he threw in a “3” and offered “K3WL Specials of the Week” to differentiate himself from other slogans. Later, when the turkey legs started flying, Hank couldn’t leave his moniker behind, and Hank’s K3wl Cooking was born. 

Now, even though the restaurant name has been shortened to simply “Hank’s,” Hank still has all the heart and all the hustle that got him where he is today and that keeps him connected to his customers.