Toward the end of WWI, war hero Bill Blecha was so fascinated by a castle he saw in Europe, he vowed to build himself a similar one in his hometown of Oklahoma City. When Blecha returned home from war, he became a manager at Manhattan Construction Company. His duties included demolition and disposal, which gave him free access to historically significant architectural pieces – pieces that would later prove to be the mainstay of the Blecha castle.
More than two decades passed when Blecha discovered the same European castle featured in an architectural catalog in 1945. So with renewed inspiration and a storehouse of unusual salvaged pieces he acquired from demolition sites including the Colcord, the original downtown OKC airport and Oklahoma County Courthouse; he and his wife worked side-by-side to build Blecha’s Dream Castle. The castle is nestled into the side of a hill with three levels framed by 24” thick walls poured from 55 truckloads of Dolese Concrete. Seventy years later, Dolese would provide the concrete for the Devon Tower and Devon now owns the historic Colcord Hotel. The Blecha’s labor of love took nearly five years to complete, and the couple called it home for nearly 50 years. This castle is a testament to a realized dream, and Bill Blecha enjoyed his dream castle until his death in 1989 at the age of 96. His daughter and son-in-law continued to live on the grounds until 1994 in a cottage constructed by Blecha in 1972.
Hilda Vormann purchased the property from the Blecha family in 1994 transforming The Cellar into the German Restaurant – “Keller in the Kastle.” Offering the property for sale in 2004, current owner Amy Rollins’ long time friend Lou Ann Forman noticed the property was on the market and contacted Amy because she knew of the Amy’s previous interest in the property. Within months, third owners, Amy and Ralph Rollins purchased the property in 2004.
Then Amy, partnering with Lou Ann, began a series of improvements and restoration projects to create an ideal setting for weddings and events. Together, they reopened the restaurant in 2005 and completed construction of The Grande Hall in 2007. Their husbands’ Ralph Rollins and Steve Forman often assist along the journey of enhancing and restoring the property; while Amy and Lou, friends who met at Oklahoma State University in 1982, actively operate the business.
In February 2009, Castle Falls presented two new dining options: The Cellar at Castle Falls and The Primrose at Castle Falls. The Cellar is located on the first level. The Primrose and the Library are located on the second level, and the Master Suite is on the third level. The Cellar offers European cuisine in an old-world, picturesque and informal setting. Seating for The Cellar is on the first level of the Castle and weather permitting outdoor seating in the garden area with seating limited to guests six years of age or older. The Primrose features a menu with five-course meal options. For a romantic evening, semi-private dining is available in the Library, and seating on the Primrose is limited to guests 13 years of age or older stair navigation is needed.
Castle Falls is now celebrating it’s 12th year in business and continues to evolve while maintaining it’s historical integrity, intimate atmosphere and old-world charm.