Few dive bars are as synonymous with a single drink as Edna’s in Oklahoma City, founder Edna Scott the originator of The Lunchbox, a combination of Coors Light, orange juice and amaretto. The drink is so-named because it contains a little bit of everything and was stumbled upon by accident during the mid-1990s when Scott attempted to make a Flaming Dr. Pepper one night and messed up the ingredients. After trying and enjoying the accidental combination, the drink was served to regulars for a period of years before taking off in popularity.
Lunchbox sales eventually warranted a designated button on the bar’s point of sale system, enabling a tally to be kept. As of 2022, over 2 million Lunchboxes have been sold at Edna’s, a total still growing at a considerable rate. The Edna’s menu now includes 12 different variations on the Lunchbox theme, each with substitutions to some components like swapping out the orange juice for a different fruit. Three freezers behind the bar are dedicated to creating the frosted mugs that serve as the secret component to the Edna’s Lunchbox, regulars getting to the bar early to make sure the frozen mugs are still available before sales velocity makes restocking them a challenging during busy periods.
But Edna’s is the story of Edna Scott more than its signature drink, the matriarch presiding over the bar from its inception in 1980 until a hip injury forced her off of her regular shifts in 2010. Scott died of lung cancer in 2014, passing ownership to daughter Tammy Lucas. Remembered fondly, Scott’s signature moment seemed to be the playing of Great Balls of Fire on the bar’s jukebox, an occasion that would prompt Edna to jump up on the bar and dance wildly. The song would sometimes be played dozens of times a night, always sparking a frenzied response from the crowd. Today, dollar bills paper over nearly every corner of the bar, many drooping precariously as new bills are added to old.