Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Toby Keith Lights Up Bricktown: Country Star's New Restaurant Draws Attention to Downtown OKC

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Toby Keith Lights Up Bricktown: Country Star's New Restaurant Draws Attention to Downtown OKC

Article excerpt

Toby Keith came to Bricktown Tuesday afternoon a day before the opening of his new business at 310 Johnny Bench Dr., nestled between Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Harkins Bricktown 16 Theatre.

Keith was joined by Gov. Brad Henry, restaurateur Hal Smith, proprietor Ross Crain and Fred Hall, chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber for a press conference to signal the opening of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.

In describing the 12,000-square-foot, 450-seat restaurant and entertainment venue, it was Keith who went into a lyric mode.

It opens up, walks and talks and dresses like a steak house, he told the media. And then at night it turns into the best bar in Oklahoma City.

The venue's name came from one of Keith's greatest hits, I Love This Bar.

Henry said it is a great day for Oklahoma. Really it's because of the vision of one person; one person who is such a tremendous success story. Despite the fact he's produced, I don't know, 13 or so albums in the last 12 years, 10 platinum albums, and 19 No. 1 hits, he remains committed and loyal to the state that gave him so much. We are so pleased that Toby Keith, who could've put this particular honky-tonk anywhere in the United States, decided to put it right here in Oklahoma.

Keith partnered with Hal Smith Restaurant Group in the venture. It's the first of five restaurants Keith will open in what he refers to as phase one.

To show you how important a concept this is, this is No. 1; in a month from today we'll be opening a second one in Las Vegas, at Harrah's, he said. We've got one scheduled for Shreveport, La., one in Kansas City is already under way, then Council Bluffs, Iowa. We've had about four or five of these (events) with food tasting, which was key to me, because I told them if they were going to hang my name on food it was going to have to be good. And they delivered. …

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