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"The Red Layer" whiskey infusion from WSKY Lounge

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Papier-mache bowl, $425 “This bowl is truly a piece of art. Each is individual and uniquely done. They come in different shapes and designs. No need to even put anything in them!”

Hand-knitted Merino chunky throws, $250 “Who wouldn’t love this throw? Warm, cozy, and looks amazing thrown over a sofa or chair.”

Wooden rosary, $75 “These are great to casually drape over a mirror, a frame or a vase. They are so fun and unusual.”

Gilded heart bowl, $15 “These are so cute just to set around anywhere, and make great gifts. Perfect for a nightstand, to hold jewelry, or on a coffee table.”

Blue jar with Greek key lid, $340 “I love, love the color of these amazing jars. Perfect to add a splash of color to a buffet or fireplace mantel. And the Greek key lid is a beautiful added touch.”



Custom Comforts Grow your home’s beauty with The Wood Garden I T ’S NOT A GR EE N HOUSE filled with flowers, but The Wood Garden is lush nonetheless. Filled with gorgeous furniture, you have to stop yourself, breathe deeply and take it all in – and there is a lot to take in. Considering its mix of traditional, French and transitional furniture and accessories, it’s not a surprise that store owners and mother-daughter team Janice Carty and Amie Cook like to mix things up. Amie says, “I think throwing something in that is unexpected makes the room special. We firmly believe that your house can be both comfortable and beautiful at the same time.” That philosophy has proved true since 2000, when they opened a small space at Wilshire Village that has since grown via three expansions. They specialize in custom designing and “hands-on” decorating that’s inspired by their clients. When asked how they would describe their beautiful store, the word “comfortable” is at the forefront – no surprise there, since giving their customers that feeling is exactly what they do. - SARA GAE WATERS

Swivel/glider chair, $2,200 “Love this amazing glider; it’s a beautiful chair that exceeds your expectations in the comfortable department! The gliding motion of this chair is relaxing and the style is timeless. The spring down cushion, the intricate nailheads and the light herringbone fabric make this the perfect chair.”


Gold lamp on marble base, $750 “This lamp is a classic. It is perfect for a narrow space, such as an entryway or a nightstand. I love its design because it offers a transitional look, but mixes well with any style.”

Euro pillows, $150-250 “The best way to spruce up your space is to add new throw pillows; they’re a perfect way to add a splash of color or change the look of your room. We always have many to choose from in all different styles and colors.”

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in the 405 TRENDS

(clockwise from left) From Blue Seven, OKC: Obey “Madison” beanie, $24.97; Coal headwear “Scotty” hat, $24.97; Yellow 108 “Mystery” beanie, $32.97; Poler workman beanie, $26.97; David and Young black-and-white stripe cap, $19.97

Beanies, Baby! Warmth to cap off your winter look

“BA BY, I T ’S COL D OU TSIDE” should be running on a loop in this neck of the woods. It is most definitely the time of year to bundle up, and that includes the tiptop of you. The beanie is definitely in – even people in L.A. are wearing them, and their version of winter is 70 degrees, so here in Oklahoma it’s a perfect time to embrace the trend. Grab your jacket and gloves, pull one of these stylish beanies down over your ears and stay warm! - SAR A GAE WATERS

(l to r) From Plenty, OKC: Brick willow hat, $88; Brick “Chama” hat, $88; Cate & Levi crown hat (for kids), $34




(clockwise from top left) From Shop Good, OKC: The Panda (for kids), $26; The Hoot (for kids), $30; The Harrison by KK Intl., $32; The Betty by KK Intl., $28

in the 405


Crying Wolf Social oversights that require domestication L A ST Y E A R , I spent a day with Lizzie


Post. If you don’t recognize the name, she’s a refreshingly hip, contemporary version of her great-great-grandmother Emily Post, the iconic authority on etiquette. The younger Post has successfully followed in her family’s footsteps by writing and speaking on the ageless topics of basic niceties, such as, say, chewing food with a closed mouth and using a napkin. Our conversation began with my question about whether people are ruder now than they’ve ever been. “And when I say ‘ruder,’” I explained, “what I’m really saying is ‘raised by wolves’ – although I hate to offend the wolves, who at least tend to their young.’” I think that in 1922, when Emily wrote the canon of etiquette (Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage), readers must have been living in a gentler era, a time when people might have given a rat’s behind about their social obligations to the rest of humanity. “I don’t think so,” Lizzie replied. WHAAAAAT?!? Had she flown in on the corporate jet? However our paths had intersected, it was clear that Lizzie Post doesn’t travel among the wolf packs who accompany me on every outing. Or she might just have better headphones. Either way, I could see that my answer, and the reassurance that might have come with it, would not come from Ms. Post. I must take it upon myself to address the wolves, one pack at a time. The Uncovered Coughing Pack Whether you venture out as a lone wolf or within your pack, you affect us all in public with your uncovered cough – or worse, with your uncovered sneeze – leaving airborne reminders of your presence for other oxygen breathers. You occasionally feign concern by sneezing into your open

hand, which you’ll use to touch everything and everyone in the vicinity. YOU are the reason flu vaccines are necessary. Ask any human alive what a “cough pocket” is, and then use one. The “Absent on Parenting Day” Pack Your pack is strong. Legions of your fellow wolves join you in your can’t-be-bothered approach to parenthood – although you felt the need to have children, you’ve never agreed to the implied social contract of raising them. While your cubs wreak havoc on those around them, you enjoy solitude in the comfort of your smartphone, oblivious to the perils that await your offspring. You neither see them, nor hear them. Your comfort comes from knowing that the rest of us do. You are the reason birth control and nannies were invented. The 4 Million Decibel Pack With your not-suitable-for-humans volume, you make your presence known in any setting, often on your cell phone or as you yell at your equally noisy cubs to “straighten up and act right.” Your voice can be heard across the five-county metro and you delight in sharing, right out loud, every detail of your personal issues. You are the reason the “off” switch was invented. Find it.

The “Lunch for 30” Pack We usually encounter you in the drive-thru during our tight lunch hour. You travel as a lone wolf, yet you are determined to feed the other 29 in your pack. You steadfastly believe that you can negotiate special orders for 29 of the 30 right there in the drive-thru in the car ahead of me, where you slipped in after cutting me off at the entrance. You will not be intimidated by the growing line of cars behind you as you and the person on the other side of the speaker – the same one who’s making change and fetching condiments for the three customers ahead of you – get it worked out. Take as much time as you need to double-check that order. We’ll wait. What choice do we have? The Made for a Maid Pack For wolves like you, the world is your den. While you can carry enormous amounts of paper and plastic containers, bottles, utensils and food to your table, you refuse to lift a paw to take the used remnants to a trashcan or recycling bin. Your mind has invented two fictitious maids who, you imagine, follow behind and ahead of you and your like-minded cubs, tidying and cleaning on your behalf. Your karmic destiny awaits you in a back-alley dumpster. Tread lightly. - LAUREN HAMMACK FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE


in the 405 ON THE SCENE





Cowboy Christmas Ball With music provided by troubadour Michael Martin Murphey, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum celebrates the holiday in fine frontier style.



JRB New Year’s Brunch Hello, 2017! Friends, patrons and artists visit Paseo gallery JRB Art at the Elms to ring in the new year artfully. 1. Connie Ellison, Joy Reed Belt 2. Tanner Coburn, Jared McManus, Sara Sharp 3.Dr. Alan Atkinson, Marion Paden, Donna Vogel 4. Janie and Bill Deupree, Suzanne Leggett, Anabelle Givens, Behnaz Sohrabian, Nance Diamond 5. Carol Kabelitz, John Allen

For more On the Scene events, visit



4 5




1. Sarah and Kym Wilson 2. Ryan and Christa Spears 3. Lorie and Steve Chipera 4. Mona Davis, Stephen Rishor, Annie Davis 5. Heather Snyder, Katie Imhoff, Gina Snyder

in the 405


Round and Round

Circling the story of Arcadia’s famous barn I T ’S MOR E T H A N 100 years old, 60 feet in diameter and the

star of innumerable photographs – the Round Barn of Arcadia was built in 1898 as William “Big Bill” Odor’s pet project, and became a community meeting place and then a Route 66 landmark. The site has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977, and was the subject of a massive, and award-winning, volunteer restoration effort in 1988 when the original roof collapsed; today it remains a one-of-a-kind wonder. Or does it? THE CLAIM: The Round Barn of Arcadia is “the only truly ‘round’ barn” in America. THE SOURCE: The Round Barn of Arcadia website: FACT CHECK: Although the circular structure in question is a famous Route 66 sight and a striking example of design, the Arcadia landmark is distinctive but not unique: dozens of other “true round” barns dot the countryside from coast to coast.

Among the best-preserved true round barns on the National Historic Register: the Fitzgerald Round Barn in Teton County, Montana; the Shelbourne Round Barn in Shelbourne, Vermont; the Annala Round Barn in Iron County, Wisconsin; the C.A. Rownd Round Barn in Black Hawk County, Iowa; the Starke Round Barn near Red Cloud, Nebraska; the Strauther Pleak Round Barn in Decatur Country, Indiana; the Lewis Round Barn in Mendon, Illinois; DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Clara, California; and the Round Stone Barn in Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Arcadia does not even have the only true round barn in Oklahoma. Marvin Bules, a retired builder who was tired of having winds damage his traditional wooden barns, built a true round barn out of double rows of brick in 2004. The structure stands on his land north of Pond Creek in Grant County. - M.J. ALEX ANDER

Editor’s note: Oklahoma is rich with history, lore and fun facts, but some of them aren’t quite factual. In this series, M.J. Alexander hunts for the accuracy – or lack thereof – behind some of our state’s stories.



territory ahead


The big idea for Little Sahara BY M.J. ALEX ANDER

GR ACE WA R D SMI T H had a vision for northwestern Oklahoma. It involved camels, a pageant, some sheiks … and a harem. Raised on the old Cherokee Strip by a family steeped in showmanship, Smith knew how to sell an idea. Her father, Harry C. Ward, was one of five pioneering brothers who staked farms in Woods County, north of Freedom. In the early 1900s, after planting crops, the Ward Brothers would travel the show circuit, offering “lantern-lighted literaries” in entertainment-starved towns of the High Plains. Ohio-born Harry was billed as an Irish comedian, guitarist and fiddler, and later found his niche as an Alva auctioneer. Baby Grace joined the family of showmen-farmers on Jan. 8, 1911. Sixteen years later, at the height of the Roaring Twenties, she signed to tour with her brother Johnny’s spin-off show. She soon wed Ray “Flapjacks” Smith, who performed with her uncle George’s tour.



The newlyweds went on to found Keen-O-Tone, a medicine show offering free entertainment and bargain cures for ailments from colds to cancer. In its heyday, Keen-O-Tone toured with a cast of 32, including an orchestra. Smith mostly worked the business side, arranging for permits, advertising and publicity as the show rolled into town. Changing tastes and times ended the business in 1951, and the Smiths returned home. On April 14, 1953, she was hired for a six-month trial to head the Chamber of Commerce in Alva. Grace Ward Smith offered her hometown a bold plan: Instead of bringing a show to an audience, as her family had done for years, why not bring the audience directly to the show? The attraction to promote: the people and places of Woods County, Oklahoma. She was specific about her goal: “New dollars are what we need, and I believe our biggest untapped source [is] tourists.” To those who doubted that anyone would travel to the sparsely populated region so far off the beaten path, she invoked Proverbs 29:18, saying, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” She had vision enough for the entire county. With fresh eyes, she envisioned Alva as the gateway to the region’s Wild West history: outlaw hideouts, a dude ranch, Alabaster Caverns and the Great Salt Plains. She gave speeches and knocked on doors to increase membership in the Chamber of Commerce, organized civic groups to help entertain bus tours and attended conferences throughout the state to extol the virtues of Woods County.

But what she really wanted was another big attraction. Her imagination was sparked by the dunes south of Waynoka, a sandy patch that had been ignored for decades, save for school field trips and adventurous picnickers. The fine quartz sand had been deposited by the Cimarron River over centuries, stretching uninterrupted for more than two square miles. The dunes were an annoyance to most, creeping north and east as much as a foot every year in grainy drifts encroaching on Highway 281, causing the road to be rerouted time and again. Grace Ward Smith, however, saw the sand as an answered prayer, and a sure bet to gain more traction in promoting Woods County. First, the dunes field needed an inspiring name. Something evocative, yet familiar. Something she could sell. Her idea: “Little Sahara.” Not everyone was impressed. Longtime Waynoka resident Rosalie Walker recalls, “We don’t want to be ‘little’ anything. I favored ‘Golden Sands.’” Decades later, she admits that Little Sahara was the best choice. Smith recruited riders from the Waynoka Saddle Club to guide visitors through the new city-owned park of Little Sahara. She lined up townsfolk to dress as outlaws and stop incoming buses, presenting surprise gifts to the tourists. She orchestrated Indian smoke signals to be sent from hill to hill, and organized square dances, cave tours and chuckwagon feeds. A 1956 report in The Daily Oklahoman noted Smith was “‘on stage’ practically 24 hours a day promoting Alva in a ‘show,’ which may equal the long run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma … Alva’s first woman chamber of commerce secretary-manager may give business-like reports on projects to the board of directors at a night meeting, serve them pie and coffee, then show up at the office early the next morning to sweep out and wash the coffee cups before first callers appear.” By 1958, she upped the ante, spearheading the purchase of two camels from the Al G. Kelly-Miller Brother Circus, which was wintering in Hugo, for $2,300. “Once Grace has those camels, there’ll be no stopping her,” a contemporary said, in awe. Local ranchers donated feed as the camels were kept in the Little Sahara’s “Oasis Pasture,” ready for photos. Tours by train and bus continued, including nearly 1,000 students from Oklahoma City and Tulsa in a single weekend. Picnic tables were added around the park, and 20 students from Northwestern State College were paid $5 per performance to cavort in “colored pajamas, bathrobes, sheets and towels for the sheiks” and “sheer pajamas over shorts for the harem girls.” Plans were tossed about for a luxury hotel near the dunes with a desert theme, turquoise pool and a courtyard open to the night sky for star-viewing parties. The camels – Susie and Nellie – continued to draw crowds, and garnered even more excitement when Nellie was about to give birth. A zoo veterinarian was flown in from Oklahoma City, and contests were held to guess the baby’s birthdate and time. The tiny camel arrived safely; she was named Gracie, in honor of Smith.

Alva proposed having some of the dunes designated a state park, and state lawmakers Lute Morrow of Dacoma and Ben Easterly of Alva promised to help. The Oklahoma Legislature earmarked $12,500 to purchase a parcel from the state Land Commission and develop the park, acquiring the 339-acre Little Sahara in September 1960. Restrooms were installed, along with 21 picnic tables and a water system. The camels were exhibited at Little Sahara and were the star attraction in Waynoka’s first Christmas pageant in the dunes, held on Dec. 22, 1960, before a crowd of more than 4,000. In 1961, an estimated 50,000 visitors made the trek to Waynoka to see the wonders of Little Sahara State Park. By then, the extraordinary Smith had pulled up her tent stakes and moved on to head the Elk City Chamber of Commerce. The story goes that she ran for mayor of Alva and lost by six votes. By November 1961, The Daily Oklahoman noted “credit for the plan to transform the Woods County dunes into a state park belongs to the county Chamber of Commerce, with individual laurels going to Ralph Sharp and Ike Ashpaugh, Waynoka businessmen.” Any mention of Smith and her inspired campaign had been erased as quickly as the shifting sands.



territory territoryahead ahead

The park had momentum now, and could not be stopped. An observation tower was built, and adjoining acreage was added, bringing the total to more than 1,600 acres. In the spring of 1963, Waynoka auto dealer Phil Middleton showed up in the dunes wearing goggles and an old aviator helmet, driving a makeshift steampunk vehicle with wide rims and balloon tires, topped by hay-rake wheels serving as roll bars. By the end of the year, dozens of Mad Max-style vehicles took to the sand, tackling dunes reported at the time to rise more

than 100 feet. Riders and spectators arrived from across Oklahoma, and from neighboring states. Local businesses popped up to offer rentals, repairs and rides. The camels were eventually sold to a place in Arkansas, far from the whine and hum of the machines that are allowed to run the dunes 24/7. Although the population of Woods County has declined – from 17,500 residents in 1910 to 9,304 in 2015 – Little Sahara State Park’s crowds continue to rise. On a good weekend, the numbers of those camping near the dunes and staying in nearby motels surpasses Waynoka’s population of 944. The park’s Buttercup, Cowboy and Golden Sands campgrounds now offer 86 RV sites with water and electricity, 143 tent sites, pay showers, picnic areas and a colony of roadrunners. Little Sahara took in more than $1.28 million in admission in 2015, when 128,397 riders paid $10 each for entry to the dunes. Their patronage boosted local businesses through sales of food and fuel, equipment rentals and lodging. Sixty-five years after Smith vowed to inspire travelers to set their sights for the wonders of Woods County, visitors outnumber county residents 14-to-1. In the end, the hometown girl who learned her craft in a traveling medicine show – and who insisted where there is no vision, the people perish – successfully sold Little Sahara as a cure for what ailed.

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all we’ll be saying about the Canadians. To be fair, Cole did recommend one Canadian Rye: Crown Royal Northern Harvest. To prove he isn’t biased toward Canada, he also recommended Rittenhouse and Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition-Style Rye.

Tennessee Whiskey There are

only two of these available in the state as far as any of the whiskey nerds know: Jack Daniels and Dickel. In truth, you can just take all you’ve learned about Bourbon so far and add one additional step – a charcoal filtering process called the Lincoln Country Process – and you have Tennessee whiskey. If you have never tried Jack Daniels, you did not grow up in Oklahoma or drink at night on dirt roads.


Jeff Cole




EFF COLE is the corpo-

rate beverage director for Coury Hospitality, the group that owns The Ambassador Hotel and O Bar. He is also the president of the local chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild. Before he became a director over multiple concepts, Cole spent years behind the bar as one of the city’s best bartenders – so we asked him to walk us through the different styles of whiskey (or whisky, as we discovered).

Bourbon “There is no such thing as

bad Bourbon,” Cole says. The legal parameters nearly guarantee drinkable product, so absent a painfully drunk or incompetent distiller, this full-bodied and slightly sweet liquor is going to be a solid product. To use the name Bourbon, it must be made in the

United States, and it has to be made from 51 percent corn, but beyond that most distillers use a combination of rye and barley or wheat and barley to make a house style. For newbies, Cole recommends Four Roses or Wild Turkey 101.

Rye The best analogy Cole offered in the

whole discussion was the one comparing rye bread (Rye whiskey) to cornbread (Bourbon whiskey). Suddenly, whiskey made sense. Rye has to be made from 51 percent minimum rye in the U.S., but the grain is notoriously difficult to distill properly, so distillers typically blend rye with another grain such as malted barley. Rye whiskey distilling was pioneered in Canada, a country that is both too friendly and too cold, and they only require there be “some rye” in the mash (the crushed grain). That’s

Single malt whiskey can be made anywhere in the world, but Scotch whisky (note the spelling difference) is only made legally in Scotland. The distinct flavor of most Scotch comes from the use of peat in drying the barley. Scotch has to be distilled from 100 percent malted barley, and that barley is dried with the smoke from burning peat (really nasty mud and decaying botanicals). The mélange of decaying and dead things in peat gives some Scotch whiskies their famous notes of iodine and smoke (and sadness). A few are made without peat, including The Macallan 12 Double Cask and The Dalmore. For the timid, Cole recommended Glenmorangie 10, which he laughingly called “breakfast whisky.” If you are far more intrepid in your taste adventures, try Lagavulin or Oban, but be prepared for the dark peatiness.

Blended Scotch Whisky It

exists. You can find it. No Scotch drinker we talked to understood why you would look for it, but it does exist.

Irish Whiskey Cole said these are

made with techniques similar to Bourbon, and they had the great good sense to spell it properly. Aside from the type of still in which it must be produced, the grain blend is unrestricted. The two best-known brands are Jameson and Bushmills. If you’ve never had either, you’ve never been drinking with a chef or kitchen staff after close. FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



Plaza Antigua

From Michael Harper at WSKY Lounge, a modification of the Vieux Carre (old square) 1 oz Corsair Quinoa Whiskey 1 oz Torres 10-year Brandy 1 oz Hidalgo Alameda Cream Sherry Dash Winship Orange Bitters Dash Winship Old Fashioned Bitters Dash of Bittercube Cherry Vanilla Bitters

Hi-Yo Silver! From Karli Koinzan at Rockford Cocktail Den 2 oz High West O.M.G. Silver Rye 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 1/2 oz simple syrup 1/4 oz Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram 2 dashes Bar Keep Apple Bitters Shaken and poured in a Collins glass Top with 4 oz soda water and garnish with lemon twist

Full Monte

From Kyle Zimmerman at The Hutch on Avondale

2 oz Medley Brothers Bourbon 3/4 oz Amara Montenegro 1/4 oz Cappelletti 2 dashes rhubarb bitters Stir and serve on the rocks; garnish with orange peel

EMERGING REGIONS Colorado Most likely it’s a combination of creative distillers and the water. Like Scotch distillers, the Colorado distilleries have access to snow melt. The water has already gone through a natural filtration process. (It also partly explains the goodness of Colorado beer.) Much of the product is American Straight Whiskey, which means the grain options are pretty open. For a nice flight of these whiskeys, head to WSKY Lounge, which is nonsmoking now, too. Try the Breckenridge, Stranahan’s and Tincup.




Cocktail as Art WSKY Lounge is making 45-minute infusions as of November 2016, and they are both delicious and beautiful. The idea came from the infusions at Aviary in Chicago. At the famous restaurant, they are served as part of a coursed meal, so controlling the timing and delivery is easy. Michael Harper, a bartender at WSKY, said they are still tweaking the process. “People can obviously call ahead and order them, or they can have cocktail or dinner first while the drink infuses.” The whiskey infusion, called The Red Layer (see this issue’s cover), is made with Old Overholt Rye, Licor 43 (a quaffable liqueur in its own right), dill, celery bitters and oak chips. Each infusion is equivalent to about three and a half cocktails, so the $40 price tag makes sense. Also, Harper said the cocktail evolves over time, as the infusing continues as long as the beverage is in the infuser. In other words, the first drink will be much different than the last.

Japan The distilleries simply can’t keep up with the demand for single malt whiskey from Japan. The prices are starting to reflect that, so try some while you can. WSKY has two styles, and O Bar has two. Fans of Scotch will love the Nikka. India Seriously, India. The trend is growing so rapidly that the Wall Street Journal made mention of it in July of this year. Amrut is available in the market, and they have been making whisky – yes, that spelling again – since 1948. The Fusion is probably the best introduction to this line. Paul John makes a couple, as well, with the Brilliance being the most balanced and most accessible.


WSKY Lounge This one is not even close. The best whiskey (whisky) selection in Central Oklahoma is at WSKY Lounge. The beautiful back bar is home to more than 300 bottles, and every region and style is represented. The staff is made up exclusively of whiskey geeks, it seems, so feel free to ask questions. You will get an amazing education. Whiskey Cake Probably the second largest. They keep a diverse list with all the main styles and most regions represented.

O Bar Jeff Cole maximizes space better than any other beverage director in town. His list is impressive, and while it’s thin in some areas due to space constraints, you will regularly find great whiskey in a variety of styles, as well as knowledgeable bartenders.

Ludivine Colby Poulin and Chris Barrett oversee five shelves of whiskey, and they are simply two of the best bartenders in the state. They excel at both knowledge of the products and the ability to blend flavors. The Scotch selection is surprisingly large given the size constraints. Martini Lounge The best selection in Edmond without doubt. Pete Holloway keeps an excellent selection of Bourbon and Scotch on hand. The Hutch on Avondale Managing partner Kyle Fleischfresser is obsessed with Bourbon, and it shows. The bar is well-stocked, and thanks in part to his bartending background, Fleischfresser keeps one of the most up-to-date, creative liquor selections in the city.


Brady Sexton’s joint boasts 90 different selections. There may be a larger selection in Norman, but combined with Kristin Weddendorf’s bartending wizardry, it’s the best whiskey bar in Norman.

kristin weddendorf and brady sexton FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



Colby Poulin, bartender at Ludivine and raconteur extraordinaire, created a “bar starter kit” for us so that you’ll not be forced to drink your whiskey straight … even though there’s nothing wrong with that. All the hardware can be ordered online at Cocktail Kingdom or locally at Parks Distributing Company. The whole kit can be had for less than $50.

Shaker tins They come in a set of two, and

Poulin said the seal for shaking is better with two tins rather than the tin and pint glass some bartenders use. Also, if the small tin gets stuck, it won’t break when you attempt to get it unstuck.

Strainer The shaker tins may come with the standard lid/strainer, but you might want to add a fine strainer if you want to keep the ice shards out. As a rule, you shake citrus and stir non-citrus cocktails. James Bond apparently liked ice shards in his martini.

Mixing glass

Optional, really, but some of them make your bar look prettier. Any stirring you need to do can be done in the shaker tins.

Stir spoon There is a training model with a spiral design that is easier to stir. Let your friends call it booze training wheels if they must; it really is easier to use.

Bitters Not hardware, but you’ll need a couple for cocktails. Start with angostura and orange.

Jigger They come

in various sizes, but if you get the 2oz/1oz style with fractional markings on the inside, it’s all you need.

Peeler For citrus peels, skip the knife and the frustration; a quality peeler makes zesty garnishes with ease.

Wine key To quote Poulin, “Sometimes

you’re popping bottles.” Indeed. Do yourself a favor and get a dual-stage key. Many have a beer bottle opener built in.

Church key Optional. The wine key can cover this, but the church key is easier to use on beer bottles.



Laveryl Lower

The Wine Standard


aVeryl Lower has been making wine the focus of The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro since the day she opened. “I just believed that to be a wine bar, you have to offer a lot of good wines by the glass,” Lower says. “There is a point of overkill, obviously, where there are too many choices.” Lower has avoided finding the overkill point by setting a limit that is manageable but allows for diversity. From the beginning, The Metro has offered 10 red and 10 white by the glass. Three sparkling wines are on the list, too, because she loves bubbles, and because bubbles are delicious. For several years, she had three dessert wines, but she has reduced that to one, and it’s pretty specific for now: Tintero Moscato d’Asti, a sweet Italian sparkling wine that is certainly the best of its style available in the state. The composition of the other 23 wines on the list is what sets Lower apart from her competition. Julie Nguyen – a private chef and catering specialist who has worked

with Lower for more than a decade – says, “LaVeryl has one of the most knowledgeable and discerning wine palates in the city. Hers is the best list in OKC: thoughtfully chosen, interesting and always reasonably priced for the caliber of the wine.” The price point is a big deal. She prices for volume as opposed to markup, so she can offer wines other restaurants won’t. Still, she’s not afraid to put a $25 glass on the list … because her clientele will buy it, mainly because they trust her. Alex Kroblin, founder and managing partner of Thirst Wine Merchants, says, “Even though the word ‘curated’ has been bastardized by every wannabe mixologist, barista and vinyl aficionado, it truly applies to the wine list that LaVeryl has put together. You’d be hard pressed to find a more thoughtful, well-rounded and – perhaps most importantly – constantly evolving wine program anywhere in Oklahoma.” When she first started, Lower updated the list every month, but that proved time-consuming for her and frustrating to

staff and guests, insofar as constantly learning the new list was difficult. She backed off to every two months, and everyone was happy. In 2016, she moved the glass list off the large menu and onto its own card, which means she can reprint it as often as she wants. It’s only a matter of erasing a wine from the chalkboard and printing new by-the-glass sheets, meaning the list is now even more dynamic than ever. Trying to identify precisely what makes Lower so good at picking great wines proved futile. There is no heuristic that can be converted to a checklist. She tastes the wine, and she experiences it as an event, not as a list of criteria to be scored. She seems to resonate with wines she likes, and even as she admits balance is very important, she can name no other key factor in her choice. It’s an intuitive approach, and that so many people agree with her taste is either serendipity or an inexplicable gift. Kroblin sums it up best: “As a ‘wine professional,’ people ask me all the time to name my favorite wine. My typical response is, ‘whatever’s by the glass at The Metro.’” FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE


Grape of the Year


Grenache trended throughout 2016, and it’s not likely to level out in early 2017. The French would read that, exhale smoke and try not to look bored, as Grenache has been a star in the Rhone Valley since before the U.S. was a country. In Spain, where it’s called Garnacha, the grape has been the core of outstanding wines for centuries, too, especially in Priorat. Why the sudden surge in American interest? The domestic market is always trying to catch or create the next trend (Remember Shiraz? Or cheap Pinot Noir?) but Grenache also does really well in warm to hot climates. That means areas of California that are murderous to Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet handle Grenache well. If you’re new to the grape, it can be light to medium bodied, and there is typically plenty of fruit on the palate. The French have used it as a blending grape because it can be too thin to hold up from first taste to finish, but the fruit never needs help. The prices for Grenache are all over the place, too, which means it’s accessible to any budget. Spain

It’s rare that something is so easy, but this is totally true: If you see Jorge Ordonez on the back of the bottle or a Thirst tag hanging below the bottle, buy the Garnacha. You’ll pay between $8 and $20, and you’ll be glad you did.


Start with the Telegramme Chateauneuf du Pape. It’s 90 percent Grenache, and its affordability makes it a great introduction to a French classic.


Last Summer. From young, gifted winemaker Jennifer Bartz, this is one of the juiciest, freshest Grenaches available in the state. Bartz was the assistant winemaker at superhot Field Recordings, and she did Last Summer as a side project. All side projects should be this damn good. Oklahoma got fewer than 10 cases, so ask your favorite wine shop to order a bottle or 12 for you – quickly. Villa Creek. They call theirs Garnacha. This is one of the best wineries no one has heard of yet available in the state. Everything they do is delicious. Birichino “Old Vines.” For a taste of how big Grenache can get, try this Central Coast offering from two guys who used to work for Bonny Doon winery.



Spirit Shop This Norman store boasts probably the best wine selection in the metro area. Matt and Joe Sterr have nearly everything that’s good available in their store, and their staff is remarkably well trained. Broadway Wine Merchants David Lack tastes everything that hits his shelves, and he likes good wine. If he recommends something, you should trust him.

Edmond Wine Shop Vance Gregory should be in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. He had the first specialty wine shop in the metro. He opened in 1973, and has helped shape the market with class, kindness and a great palate. Freemans Liquor Mart Appearances can be deceiving; the selection here is unbelievable, with probably more critically acclaimed wines than anywhere else in Oklahoma City. Byron’s Liquor Warehouse The prices are excellent. The selection is huge, which means you won’t necessarily like everything you find, but there are some gems here, too.

Wine Lists In addition to The Metro, these area restaurants take wine seriously and build great lists, both by the glass and by the bottle. Pete Holloway Packard’s New American Kitchen Fun. Affordable. Flexible. Check the board for features.

Ranch Steakhouse Serious.

Impressive. Deep and wide in focus.

Opus Prime Steakhouse For sheer numbers, this one is hard to beat. You’ll find more off-thebeaten-path bottles here than most places. The Drake Interesting and

focused. At times quirky – in a good way.

Vast The name of the restaurant works to describe its wine selection, too.


Boulevard Steakhouse Big reds abound, but Pete Holloway’s list is not just about Napa. He likes wine, and it shows.

The Mantel The best reason to go to Bricktown. Randy Meyer was serious about wine before most of the businesses in Bricktown existed. Mahogany Mainly the bottle list here. The wine storage downtown is beautiful, too. Mary Eddy’s at 21C Its glass list is pretty unique in the city. Sometimes we need input from fresh viewpoints to help us avoid the obvious choices. O Bar Small but excellent. Jeff

Cole builds a diverse, creative list that focuses on excellence, not merely name recognition.

The Pritchard The new kid on the block. Diverse and approachable, and it’s paired with Chef Shelby Sieg’s excellent food. FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



ELSEW HERE LAST-MINUTE SPRING BREAK IDEAS Just when the bleak, dull drudgery of Oklahoma weather in January and February threatens to become too much to bear, that beautiful mid-March respite known as spring break pops up on the horizon, beckoning with promises of adventure and indulgence. Though most spring break vacations are booked several months in advance, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of options out there now, waiting for you to take advantage. From salty seas to mountain lakes, the slopes to the vineyards, we’ve talked to the travel experts and gathered some terrific last-minute spring break ideas sure to blow your mind … no matter what type of recharge your batteries require.





uring spring break, there are few places in the country more popular than the ski slopes of Colorado. Whether you’re talking Aspen or Breckenridge, Vail or Steamboat, for the month of March, the state’s slopes are packed. One way to make the most of the mountains’ fresh powder and incorporate more of the Rockies’ breathtaking scenery, while avoiding the crowds, is to consider staying in the town of Grand Lake. This charming, sleepy mountain town, situated on the lake of the same name, is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Grand Lake itself is known as the “Snowmobile Capital of Colorado” and consistently ranks in the top 10 snowmobile destinations in the United States. There are 300 miles of trails (150 of which are groomed) and hundreds of snowy playgrounds for riders of all abilities. In addition to snowmobiling, it is in close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, where by way of cross-country skis or snowshoes, visitors have access to some of the Rockies’ most spectacular terrain and wildlife. Neighboring Winter Park offers not just skiing but fat biking, dog sledding and sleigh rides, to name a few.

arguably the best breakfast buffet in Grand County, and no trip to these parts is complete without tossing a few peanut shells on the floor, sipping a local brew and tearing into a steak and lamb fries at the Sagebrush Barbeque and Grill. The Western Riviera, with courtyard cabins, lakeside cabins and a motel and housing options located right on the shore of Grand Lake, is an ideal place to set base camp for your winter adventure.




WHERE TO EAT The Fat Cat offers

SOUTH CAROLINA WILDERNESS GETAWAY or a wilderness-oriented and fishing-centric spring break adventure, one of the country’s greatest untapped gems is the Mountain Lakes region of South Carolina. This verdant, mountainous region nestled into Oconee County is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails and more than 150 waterfalls, and boasts a variety of world-class fishing opportunities in local lakes and from streams and rivers. The remote and undeveloped 9,000-acre Lake Jocassee – the area’s most beautiful – holds five state fishing records and is home to smallmouth, redeye, white and spotted bass, as well as catfish, carp and rainbow, brook and brown trout. Rent a charter with Fishski Business for a day on Jocassee and follow it up with a day at the nearby Lake Hartwell, where 15-pound stripers and hybrids are in abundance. After two days on water, trade in your boat for waders and head to the Chauga or the Chattooga River to wade into pristine streams and fly fish for beautiful browns and rainbows.


Don’t let the oft-humble moniker “state park cabin” fool you. The Cabins at Devil’s Fork State Park offer the only public access to Lake Jocassee, and are more akin to an upscale rental home than lakeside cabin.


not go further than Paesano’s in Seneca for an upscale, locally owned and beautifully executed authentic Italian dining experience. If it is barbeque you crave, Piggaso’s is a home run.





hen one thinks of wine tasting and California, it is typically Napa’s rolling hills, famed tasting rooms and James Beard Award-winning eateries that come to mind. If, however, you still want to enjoy some of California’s finest wine and dining while having access to the state’s most beautiful coastline, redwood forests and quaint art communities, consider, for your spring break wine tasting adventure, a trip to Carmel. Tucked into the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, Carmel Valley is a 20-minute drive from Carmel and features a variety of wines and beautiful tasting rooms sure to fill not just your stomach but your



entire vacation. The 10-mile stretch of Carmel Valley Road is dotted with more than a dozen tasting rooms; among those not to be missed are The Durney-Heller estate, Bernardus, Georis, Joullian Vineyards and Boekenoogen. Once you’ve had your (responsible) fill of wine, take a drive and cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway to check out the parks of Big Sur, which are without a doubt the most beautiful in the world. First is Point Lobos State Reserve. Farther south are the stunning cliffs of Garrapata. Ten miles down the road, you enter the redwoods of Big Sur and Pfeiffer Beach. The often-photographed Pfeiffer Falls is another 20 minutes south down the winding Pacific Coast Highway.

Ask the Experts!

Traveling during peak travel times like spring break can be both costly and chaotic. Whether it is avoiding overpriced hotels, navigating local transportation or dealing with canceled flights, there are great ways to save money and make your experience a better one. We asked two Oklahoma travel agents, Carrie Hendricks with Journey House/American Express Travel and AAA’s travel consultant Julie Mills, about the best ways to save money traveling for spring break – and here’s what they had to say. Find out what clientele your hotel caters to. “Two of the most popular international destinations for spring break travel are Los Cabos, Mexico, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic,” says Hendricks. Hendricks, whose office is located on Campus Corner in downtown Norman, books vacations for families, but also for college kids looking to cut loose. “When booking your trip, make sure to figure out what demographic the hotel caters to. A lot of times, families and couples will book vacations to these beautiful destinations and unknowingly get a room sandwiched between two groups of hard-partying fraternity guys who go to bed at the same time the family is waking up for a day of activities.”


Pebble Beach is most often equated with golf, the eclectic and internationally influenced menu at The Bench, located at The Lodge in Pebble Beach, offers private dining with fire pits and sweeping views of Pebble’s famed 28th hole.


Located just outside the charming Carmel Village, La Playa Hotel is nestled into an ethereal neighborhood just a short walk from Carmel’s primary, powdery beach.

Use Airbnb. “While there is something to be said for staying in a nice hotel, particularly when traveling with families, Airbnbs are almost always cheaper than a hotel,” says Mills. Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace and homestay network enabling people to list or rent shortterm lodging in residential properties, with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner.

Unbelievable beauty along the cliffs of Garrapata


Consider traveling on off days. “If you are wanting to fly, consider changing your travel dates,” suggests Mills. “Leaving on Sunday and returning on Friday, or a Thursday to a Wednesday, is going to be considerably cheaper than flying from a Saturday to a Saturday.” Always use a travel agent. It might sound self-serving, but Mills points out that this is sound advice in the event of unexpected difficulties. “While booking trips online at first seems to be easier, when suddenly you miss a connecting flight and you have three screaming kids in an airport, it is good to know that you have a travel agent to fall back on to help find you a new flight or hotel,” she says. “Using a travel agent to book your trip doesn’t normally cost any more than doing it on the internet.” Use trusted guide services. “There are so many false tour guides online,” Hendricks notes. “Try to use a travel agent or the hotel concierge to book local events. Go through the local visitor’s bureau or convention center, and make sure that the tour company is accredited.” FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE


Best Travel Apps Nothing makes traveling easier than smart phones. There are the obvious apps such as Uber for rides, Airbnb and TripAdvisor for lodging and OpenTable for dining suggestions and recommendations – but there are plenty more apps out there that you can add to your smart phone to enhance your experience.

GOOGLE MAPS According to Vaga- founder Mike Richard, there is no better travel app, though it is obvious, than Google Maps. “Google Maps is great,” says Richard, “specifically for its offline capability. Download the entire map for your destination before you leave. Throw your phone into Airplane Mode on arrival. Since the phone’s GPS works even in Airplane Mode, you always have directions without using any cell data.”


While Waze and Google Maps are good navigational devices, Rome2Rio is the best app to use when trying to navigate unfamiliar cities while saving money and time. With a starting point and a finishing point, this free app tells you how to get from A to B by any possible avenue. It’s a great way to get around a new city.


Hipmunk is an app for inspiration as much as it is for trip planning. This app offers suggestions based on your interests and the areas you want to explore. Whether you are interested in the beach, skiing or urban travel, it will make suggestions for places to go and will also help you find the best deals in the area.

TRIPIT When you are traveling, often

you are left with various emails with confirmation codes, addresses and reservation numbers. With TripIt, you simply create an itinerary and when companies send you the various confirmations, email it to TripIt and it organizes all of the details of your trip, from flight information to hotel addresses, into one place.


If you are considering a National Park, don’t think about going without using the Just Ahead app. It connects to your phone’s GPS and as you make your way through the park, Just Ahead gently lets you know as you approach points of interest. If you stop where it tells you, Just Ahead will share information about the area’s geological and historical significance. It also offers important information such as trailheads, campgrounds and restroom locations.


Lonely Planet draws from locals and former locals, and has been publishing travel guides for decades … this brings their recommendations to your phone, for free. With big, downloadable maps and intuitive searching by categories, it’s great for getting a feel for a new place.

LAST-MINUTE INTERNATIONAL? NO PROBLEM! Just because spring break is a month away doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to pull out the passport. There are numerous international destinations eager to host adventure-seeking Americans any time of year. “Costa Rica is a wonderful international destination to consider for your next vacation,” suggests Carrie Hendricks of Journey House Travel/American Express Travel. “Last-minute, affordable packages are usually available with an easy, fewer-than-four-hour flight from Dallas Ft. Worth. This destination offers a variety of adventurous activities: zip-lining through the rain forests, volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, beaches and all-inclusive resorts.” If you’re feeling more European, Julie Mills, AAA travel consultant, also has a tip to bear in mind: “There are tour companies that offer discounts for traveling to Paris, London and Spain in the winter and early spring. These packages are typically up to one-third less than summer travel. I had clients go anywhere from Ireland to Italy.”






ith its extremely long stretches of powdery sand and ethereal sunsets, a trip to this Alabama beach community is abundantly worthwhile. Gulf Shores is equal parts family fun, relaxation and adventure. There are many ways to explore the beach and beyond. On the water, visitors can kayak, surf, parasail or even scuba dive on a sunken ship. A bike ride along the crashing surf and on into Gulf State Park is a great way to experience some of the area’s inland territory, and you might even spot wildlife such as an alligator in one of the park’s lagoons. Alabama’s Gulf Shore is also home to one of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest fleets of charter fishing boats. Set out onto the Gulf and you can bring your fileted catch back to one of several restaurants – they will prepare it to your liking in what is known as a “Hook and Cook” experience. For the kids, Gulf Shores has countless amusement parks, zip line tours, miniature golf, dolphin cruises, a zoo and more.


85 percent of visitors to Gulf Shores take a vacation rental property, and Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals is among the best and most affordable. For those wanting more of that hotel experience, consider staying at The Shores Best Western Premier – and if it is solace you crave, consider a cabin or cottage rental in Gulf State Park.

WHERE TO EAT The popular Flora-

Bama Yacht Club has long been a staple to the area and is perhaps the most famous of the “Hook and Cook” restaurants. Here at this local high-energy watering hole located on the border of Alabama and Florida, local celebrity chef Chris Sherrill not only delivers a tremendous seafood menu, but prides himself on conservation of local waterways. Sherrill, co-founder of The Nuisance Group, specializes in taking invasive (and historically not-so-tasty) fish like the lionfish, which damage indigenous fish species and disrupt fragile ecosystems, and turning them into world-class dishes. FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



The southern anchor of the metro is the third largest city in Oklahoma, and it’s immediately clear to even casual observers that it’s getting bigger all the time. But even while new development along its borders augments and drives growth, the established heart of the city along downtown Main Street and Campus Corner helps preserve its character and continue its century-plus legacy.


Local shopping, dining, creativity and atmosphere make Norman an ideal place to visit … again and again.






HOUSING Total Number of Housing Units


50.1% Male 49.9% Female

Oklahoma City



Median Value

$154,700 Median Sales Price

$198,393 Median Real Estate Tax




Middle School


High School


Total Students

Annual Median Income per Household


















dining Pro-Antipasti


Though Volare on Normanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Campus Corner is first and foremost a pizzeria, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t focus on that specialty to the exclusion of the rest of the menu. Starters like this fried ravioli with basil tomato sauce (known as the Chef Boy R&D) and the surprisingly sweet Gates of Eden salad make a good case for not filling up on the main course.





FLAVOR IN FLIGHT Faithfulness to Naples elevates Volare


FOR SPE A K ER S OF I TA L I A N , it means to fly or to soar.

To music lovers, the word instantly prompts thoughts of Dean Martin (or Scott Bakula). But thanks to one of Norman’s newest restaurants, pizza lovers might – and should – find themselves getting hungry when they hear the word “Volare.” You can’t miss it; get anywhere near Campus Corner and you’ll see the multi-story building looming large over its neighbors. Besides being extra-visible to folks passing by outside, the building allows for a two-story interior including a mezzanine, and its vast, open feel benefits atmospherically from the extra



height. And even when you shift your focus to smaller elements, the details work just as well. Consider the delicate tracery of the wrought-iron scrollwork around the mezzanine (which looks pretty and diminishes the possibility of accidentally dropping a fork onto diners below); or the thick rug and collection of mismatched but coordinating furniture that make up a cozy, stylish lounge effect on the north side of the mezzanine; or the bar’s comfortable stools made from reclaimed boxcar wood. In fact, co-owner Pete Wilson based the design of the bar area on a watering hole he loves in Paris; it’s a nice spot for relaxing with a zingy Sicilian Mule or the gin-and-limoncello specialty beverage SS 163, named for a road on the Amalfi coast. And speaking of southern Italy, that’s where this restaurant’s heart lies – in Naples, and more specifically, with Neapolitan-style pizza. That doesn’t mean they just throw some sliced tomatoes on top of any old pie and call it a day. “All the meats are from Italy,” explains general manager Kathleen Gallagher. “Everything’s very traditional, we use specific ingredients like sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, to be able to say we make it Neapolitan style. It’s a very serious business.” They also roll with a wood-burning oven imported specially from Italy that generates the characteristic soft, tender crust with small bubbles of char by cooking at 900 degrees. When a pizza hits VOLARE the oven floor, it cooks in 90 seconds. The exterior tile is color variable, which doesn’t Campus Corner 315 White Street have any effect on its food, but makes the Norman oven itself even more of a showpiece. 405.310.3615 To crown these crusts, diners can choose

from among an impressive variety of toppings, in a nice mix of more conventional classics and forays into imagination. If you’re in the mood for an unimpeachable Margherita or Marinara, they can set you up, or you can swerve into the soppressata, Serrano peppers and drizzle of Altus honey of the Bee Sting. I loved the latter, almost as much as the Breakfast of Champions’ blend of ham, egg, fontina and black pepper. “I’ve been really happy to see people being adventurous and falling in love with some of the more unusual ingredients,” Gallagher says. I also want to recommend one more thing that’s not a pizza (well, two if you count the pistachio cannoli). The namesake Volare sandwich is a delicious mass of shredded beef short ribs mingled with two gooey cheeses – it could be a glorious mess, but the thick, buttery slices of perfectly toasted bread make it simply glorious. And, Gallagher told us, the accompanying crack fries are made from the same potatoes used by In-N-Out Burger. It’s a pretty excellent menu, much as you’d expect from chef Anthony Compagni, who also runs the show at Benvenuti’s (see p. 52). Combine it with the cool atmosphere, friendly price point and relative dearth of Norman-specific pizza options and it’s totally worth exploring … even if the song does get stuck in your head for a few days afterward. (Not that we’d know anything about that.) I can’t swear that it’ll make your heart soar, but Volare will give your taste buds wings.

GOING UP I mentioned that the sheer amount of space improves the feel of the interior, but there’s another benefit to occupying a multi-story building: the rooftop patio is a must-see. While an outdoor bar surrounded by comfortable chairs and a perimeter of tables is hardly a new idea, giving it these commanding views in every direction … well, elevates the concept, so to speak. The roof was packed on a cold, wet, altogether nasty day in early December as Bedlam raged nearby – imagine what a genuine pleasure it will be once the mercury starts rising. - SG FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



Italian Infatuation Chef Anthony Compagni’s pursuit of meatball perfection CHEF A N T HON Y COM PAGN I learned to cook from his

father, an Italian man with a knack for meatballs. Compagni’s palate is broad – he was exposed to many different kinds of ethnic foods while growing up in a mining community – but he always comes back to his father’s Italian roots. “My formal training at Cordon Bleu was in French technique,” he smiles, “but I still love cooking Italian food.” As the executive chef and partner at Benvenuti’s Ristorante in Norman, Compagni mixes rustic and modern flavors with elegant presentations while putting some of the city’s best Italian food on plates daily – in fact, many Normanites regularly name Benvenuti’s as their city’s best restaurant. Compagni’s culinary aspirations did not necessarily begin with a ton of promise. He remembers his parents as being very patient with him when he began experimenting with food as a 14-year-old. “I was trying to make chocolate mousse cups, and I was using balloons dipped in chocolate,” he remembers. “I made



the mistake of getting the chocolate too hot, so the balloon popped and chocolate went everywhere. My parents were kind enough to laugh about it.” Ask people what they remember from their childhood in terms of flavor profile, and odd answers regularly emerge. Growing up in a town that was almost evenly divided between Catholic, Orthodox HOW IT’S DONE and Mormon residents Chef Compagni’s Meatballs meant that Compagni was exposed to a remarkable 3 hamburger buns 1.5 cups whole milk variety of foods, both ethnic 3 eggs and Mountain States Amer1 cup Ricotta cheese icana. The dominance of 5 pounds ground beef 1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese coal mining in Price, Utah, 1 tbsp minced garlic also meant that food needed 1.5 tbsp kosher salt 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley to be hearty and portable – lunch boxes are the mobile Break buns up and soak with milk. Add eggs and Ricotta. lunch pantries of the blue Break up the beef and add collar set, after all. Parmesan, garlic and salt. Mix well. With all of these influAdd the remaining ingredients to beef and mix well. ences, Compagni rememScoop beef into 4-ounce balls, roll bers the meatballs, and he and refrigerate. Using two sheet pans, line one remembers cinnamon oil with parchment and bake meatballs toothpicks and glass candy. for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, Maybe it’s a sweet tooth, or place them raw in your favorite simmering sauce. or the early recognition that flavors can be used to enhance even common products. The curiosity about flavors and vehicles for delivering flavor led the budding chef to culinary school. First, though, he worked as a short-order cook from 15 to 18, spent a couple years at Southern Utah University, then decided to go to Scottsdale, Ariz., for cooking school at Scottsdale Culinary Institute-Le Cordon Bleu. “I met Celisse (his future wife) at SUU, and we were looking for something to do together, and we decided on culinary school.” The move made perfect sense for a young man raised as a cook. He translated his success in culinary school to gigs at notable restaurants in Aspen, including the Hotel Jerome and Gusto, where he was executive chef. Along the way, he’s maintained his love for pasta and meatballs. “I love cooking pasta,” he smiles. “The possibilities are nearly endless.” Meatballs might be the perfect food. They are versatile and delicious; many dishes are made better by their addition and they stand alone really well, too. Make them with beef, pork or a blend of the two, or you can use lamb or turkey, as well. Add a little sauce, some mozzarella and toasted baguette slices, and you have a meal. When we asked Compagni what recipe he wanted to share, the answer was pretty easy. - GREG HORTON



m ake your valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day reservation now at

w w w. m a h o g a n y p r i m e s t e a k h o u s e . c o m

D O W N T O W N : 1 4 5 W. S H E R I D A N AV E . | 4 0 5 . 2 0 8 . 8 8 0 0 M E M O R I A L : 3 2 4 1 W. M E M O R I A L R D . | 4 0 5 . 7 4 8 . 5 9 5 9

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$ most entrees under $10 $$ most entrees $10 to $25 $$$ most entrees over $25 outdoor dining reservations accepted valet parking new or updated entry

American ANCHOR DOWN Sip a beer or specialty cocktail and munch on a selection of gourmet corndogs in this fresh Deep Deuce concept housed within repurposed shipping containers. 30 NE 2nd, OKC, 605.8070 $ CAFÉ 501 Rustic stone oven pizzas, fresh salads and specialty sandwiches on house-made artisan breads. Add welcoming atmosphere and enjoy. 501 S Boulevard, Edmond, 359.1501; 5825 NW Grand, OKC, 844.1501 $$ DEEP FORK GRILL Crisply elegant atmosphere complements the menu of superb seafood (wood-grilled cedar plank salmon is a house specialty), steaks and accoutrements. 5418 N Western, OKC, 848.7678 $$ FAT DOG This flavor-filled kitchen and bar dishes up treats from fish and chips to a killer Cobb salad … but if you just want to cool your heels on the patio with burgers, hot dogs and beer, you’re in the right place. 1234 N Western, OKC, 609.3647 $ FLINT Approachably casual style, plus the kitchen’s impeccably serious attention to detail in the outstanding contemporary cuisine, winningly combined in the Colcord Hotel. 15 N Robinson, OKC, 601.4300 $$ HATCH They call it “early mood food,” and if you find yourself in the mood for a sumptuous made-from-scratch breakfast (or lunch), it should be right up your Automobile Alley. 1101 N Broadway, OKC, 232.3949 $$ THE HUTCH ON AVONDALE The all-time classic Coach House receives an update with a more modern menu sprinkled with experimental twists, and a full suite of tempting cocktails, wines and spirits. 6437 Avondale, OKC, 842.1000 $$ HEFNER GRILL Upscale fare of handcut steaks and seafood plus a tempting brunch to boot, enhanced by a live piano and a spectacular view overlooking



scenic Lake Hefner. 9201 Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 748.6113 $$

KITCHEN NO. 324 A seasonally inspired café and craft bakery serving spectacular rustic American cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, and a thorough treat for breakfast or brunch. 324 N Robinson, OKC, 763.5911 $ LEGACY GRILL The décor is rich with artifacts and imagery honoring Oklahoma’s great leaders and stars, and the menu’s collection includes more than a few greats of its own. 224 Johnny Bench, OKC, 701.3535 $$

around an open kitchen. 9221 E Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 749.1995; 1820 Legacy Park, Norman, 701.5501 $$

SATURN GRILL A star of the lunchtime stage in Nichols Hills Plaza, its rotation of daily specials and tasty twists on pizza, sandwiches and salads keep it crowded on weekdays. Calling ahead is recommended. 6432 Avondale, OKC, 843.7114 $

CHAE This pan-cultural treat puts a delectable influence on embracing traditional Korean cuisine and showcasing its versatility by blending its ingredients with dishes from around the world. Grab your chopsticks and enjoy. 1933 NW 23rd, OKC, 600.9040 $$

MARY EDDY’S Inside the inviting environs of Film Row anchor 21c Museum Hotel, this showplace of a restaurant turns out a seasonally driven menu of expertly tuned flavors and dishes meant to be shared. 900 W Main, OKC, 982.6900 $$

NIC’S PLACE Already justly renowned for his skill at the grill, burger master Justin Nicholas offers breakfast, dinner, drinks and late night treats served in outstanding style at this Midtown diner and lounge. 1116 N Robinson, OKC, 601. 9234 $$ PACKARD’S NEW AMERICAN KITCHEN They’re not kidding about the “new” – the entire lunch and dinner menus are filled with innovative tastes for a distinctive dining experience. 201 NW 10th, OKC, 605.3771 $$ PICASSO CAFÉ Their neighbors in the Paseo are painters, potters and sculptors, so it’s apt that creativity abounds in these zippy sandwiches, salads, pizza and surprises, including plentiful selections for vegetarians. 3009 Paseo, OKC, 602.2002 $ THE R&J LOUNGE AND SUPPER CLUB A sentimental dining experience with vintage recipes and atmosphere. Seating is limited but the patio is a year-round treat, and the drinks menu is a thing of beauty. 320 NW 10th, OKC, 602.5066 $$ REDROCK CANYON GRILL Rotisserie chicken, enchiladas, pork chops and steak by the lake in a casual, energetic, hacienda-style atmosphere of stone walls and mahogany beams

WHISKEY CAKE High-quality locally sourced ingredients, prepared using slow cooking techniques that’s a prime recipe for outstanding dining. Enjoy – and don’t forget the namesake dessert. 1845 NW Expressway, OKC, 582.2253 $$


LEGEND’S A Lindsey Street landmark for over 40 years, this casually upscale restaurant still serves exceptional seafood, steaks and more amid welcoming surroundings. 1313 W Lindsey, Norman, 329.8888 $$

MEATBALL HOUSE The focus in this Campus Corner restaurant is right where the name says, but the variety in salads/sandwiches/pizza/pasta gives a surprising breadth of satisfying dining options. 333 W Boyd, Norman, 701.3800 $$

WAFFLE CHAMPION A food truck that expanded into a brick-and-mortar location in Midtown, its gourmet flavor combinations use waffles as the foundation for sweet and savory sandwich treats. 1212 N Walker, OKC, 525.9235 $


Isn’t that the best place for food to come from? Top-of -the-line ingredients are combined into entrees and sides that are carefully concocted in-house, as are the bevy of wondrous craft cocktails. 132 W Main, Norman, 801.2900 $$

SUNNYSIDE DINER A new day dawns for breakfast and lunch on the west side of downtown as a former service station becomes a no-pretense, made-fromscratch diner. Order up! 916 NW 6th, OKC, 778.8861 $ SYRUP The most important meal of the day is also the most enticing at this unique breakfast boutique serving a heaping helping of signature dishes (the crunchy French toast is something special) and Stumptown coffee. 123 E Main, Norman, 701.1143 $ VAST Keeping your attention on the steaks, seafood and other temptaitons might be difficult; the view from atop the Devon Tower is truly unparalleled in Oklahoma, making this a fantastic date spot. 280 W Sheridan, 49th floor, OKC, 702.7262 $$$ VICEROY GRILLE Opulent décor, comfortable environs and some outstanding cuisine make a strong recommendation for the Ambassador Hotel’s in-house restaurant; don’t overlook the brunch options. 1200 N Walker Ave, OKC, 600.6200 $$

EL TORO CHINO Big, bold flavors from disparate cuisines are blended in this self-described “Latin + Asian Kitchen” - creating results that are as excitingly distinctive as they are delicious. 2801 NW 36th, Norman, 708.9472 $$ GUERNSEY PARK A hidden treasure on an Uptown back street, reflecting traditional Asian flavors expertly fused with a hint of French influence. Try the chicken lollipops and curry salmon. 2418 N Guernsey, OKC, 605.5272 $$ O ASIAN FUSION Sublime quality in a wide span of culinary influences – freshly rolled sushi to fiery curry – in cool, vibrant digs. Call ahead for dinner, because it becomes a packed house in a hurry. 105 SE 12th, Norman, 701.8899 $$ SAII With a dark, rich ambiance that elevates it over its surroundings, the captivating Saii serves expertly done Japanese, Thai and Chinese fare plus an extensive and adventurous sushi menu. 6900 N May, OKC, 702.7244 $$

Bakery BELLE KITCHEN Doughnuts, macarons, pastries and ice cream created from scratch, in small batches – making treats like these with care and passion makes a difference that’s easy, and a pleasure, to taste. 7509 N May, OKC, 430.5484; 30 NE 2nd, OKC, 541.5858 $ CUPPIES & JOE The name is only part of the story: the Uptown nook holds cupcakes and coffee as well as pie, live music, a cozy, trendy vibe and more. Park around back and take a peek. 727 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.2122 $

LA BAGUETTE Comfort and exquisite baking make a tres chic destination for brunch and beyond. They supply pastries throughout the metro, but the source is especially delicious. 1130 Rambling Oaks, Norman, 329.1101; 2100 W Main, Norman, 329.5822 $ PIE JUNKIE A Plaza District haven for serious pie aficionados. Call ahead to order a whole pie or quiche or walk in and choose from what’s on hand; either way the flavors are incredible, and you may never find a better Key lime. 1711 NW 16th, OKC, 605.8767 $

OAK & ORE A Plaza District port of call built with repurposed rustic materials, it offers more than a handful of creative sandwiches that practically require a knife and fork, as well as a tantalizing selection of lovingly chosen craft beers. 1732 NW 16th, OKC, 606.2030 $ O’CONNELL’S IRISH PUB & GRILLE Beloved by students, alumni and townies alike, it’s served up killer burgers, beer and festive atmosphere since 1968. A St. Patrick’s Day must. 769 Asp, Norman, 217.8454 $

SARA SARA CUPCAKES The ambiance and milk bar make great additions to the variety of specialty cupcakes - selections range from traditional chocolate to blueberry honey and even bacon, egg and cheese. 7 NW 9th, OKC, 600.9494 $

PUB W Multiple sections provide a choice of atmosphere, but the menu filled with choice beer and “new classic” fare from barbeque wings to pork chops is a constant pleasure. 3720 W Robinson, Norman, 701.5844; 3121 W Memorial, OKC, 608.2200 $$

Bar & Pub Food

REPUBLIC GASTROPUB Part beer bar and part upscale eatery, this noisy, amply attended Classen Curve locale pairs a vast selection of quality brews with tasty menu items, including a great burger selection. 5830 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 286.4577 $$

THE BARREL The menu is wellstocked with intriguing and delicious twists on pub cuisine like shepherd’s pie and shrimp and chips, but the equally ample bar makes it a great spot to relax over drinks as well. 4308 N Western, OKC, 525.6682 $ BLU FINE WINE & FOOD Just south of Main Street, this sleek bar stands out due to quick, courteous service and a menu with gourmet range from mojitos to barbeque chicken pizza to fresh hummus. 201 S Crawford, Norman, 360.4258 $$ THE MONT While the food should tempt palates inclined toward a Southwestern zing, it’s beverages like the beloved Sooner Swirl and the primo patio (with misters) for which this landmark is justly renowned. 1300 Classen Blvd, Norman, 329.3330 $

Barbeque EARL’S RIB PALACE A popular choice among locals in a genre that’s hardly lacking in options, the local chain pounds out hit ribs and turkey as well as a top-tier burger. 6 metro locations, $ IRON STAR URBAN BARBEQUE Iron Star specializes in “a unique and tasty spin on comfort food.” While its entrees are excellent, the sides here are equal players as well. 3700 N Shartel, OKC, 524.5925 $$ LEO’S BAR-B-Q Dense, rich flavor and tender texture, delivered in genuine unpolished style for commendable value – no wonder its ribs and brisket are favorites among Oklahoma connoisseurs. 3631 N Kelley, OKC 424.5367 $

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL Served Nightly 5-6:30 pm Choice of 12 oz KC Sirloin or Jumbo Fried Shrimp Served with all of Jamil’s Famous Appetizers and Baked Potato, Tabouli, Hummus, Rose’s Cabbage Rolls, Smoked Bologna $



M-F: 11am-2pm Sandwiches Burgers Cabbage Rolls Steaks

Catering and Banquet Rooms Available! Family Owned and Operated Since 1964

4910 North Lincoln | 405.525.8352 One Mile North of the Capital @ 49th Street

OKC’s Premier Intimate Dining Experience

TEXLAHOMA BBQ Family owned and fabulously flavorful, its meats (especially the beef ribs) are eye-rolling good. Don’t forget the espresso barbeque sauce! 121 E Waterloo, Edmond, 513.7631 $$

Burgers & Sandwiches

Slaughter’s Hall

A good-vibe hangout in the heart of Deep Deuce, it’s home to great sandwiches and brunch options, a strong beer selection, a notoriously tasty take on poutine and some of the best mac and cheese in the city. 221 N Central, OKC, 606.6063 $$

COW CALF-HAY This tempting burger spot offers ample flavor combinations, and the delicious neverfrozen patties are mmmmmassive. Don’t forget the onion rings. 3409 Wynn, Edmond, 509.2333; 212 N Harvey, OKC, 601.6180 $ THE FIXX Massive, monstrous burgers and hot dogs, put together with thought and care. Don’t forget to get a shake or something from the full bar. 644 W Edmond, Edmond, 285.2311 $ THE GARAGE BURGERS & BEER It can get noisy in the sports-bar atmosphere, but even so your focus will likely be on savoring the many tempting

International Wine List – Hundreds in Stock We are here to make your dining experience memorable. Come for lunch or dinner.

201 E. SHERIDAN | 405.236.8040 | THEMANTELOKC.COM



flavor possibilities of huge, juicy burgers and fries. 8 metro locations, $ IRMA’S BURGER SHACK Hand-cut fries, hand-breaded onion rings and simply great burgers, especially with No Name Ranch patties - lean and flavorful thanks to a local breed of cattle. 1035 NW 63rd, OKC, 840.4762; 1120 Classen Drive, OKC, 235.4762 $ THE MULE Solid beer and beverage selection plus a delectable array of gourmet grilled cheeses and melts fill the menu at this relaxation destination in the Plaza District. 1630 N Blackwelder, OKC, 601.1400 $ NIC’S GRILL It’s small, it’s crowded … and it’s incredible. It’s only open for lunch and the lines are often long, but the colossal burgers are easily among the metro’s best. Don’t forget some money, since it’s cash-only. 1202 N Penn, OKC, 524.0999 $

Savor From the Sea Taste Mexico at Tarahumara’s

J UST SO U TH O F the Rio Grande in western Mexico, you’ll find the state of Chihuahua, the original home of a native people called the Tarahumara. Travel broadens the mind and is often its own reward, but first you should take a much shorter trip: just south of Moore to the north side of Norman, where you’ll find the Chihuahua-inspired cuisine of Tarahumara’s restaurant. They do tasty renditions (and big portions) of dishes familiar to Tex-Mex diners – chicken enchiladas and shrimp fajitas and such – as well as less ubiquitous options along the lines of the rich, stew-like Carne Guisada and the Siete Mares dinner. It doesn’t take much of a grasp of Spanish to translate that as “Seven Seas,” and the dish makes good on the name by harnessing the goodness of the waves: fish, shrimp, scallops, oysters, squid and even crab legs combined in an enormous bowl of savory soup. It’s made to order, so it takes a little longer but you can specify whether you prefer the broth to be spicy or mild. Accompanied by an ample side of seasoned rice, fresh limes for an optional snap of citrus and an array of avocado slices, the dish offers the possibility of a different seafood surprise in each mouthful. Whatever you get, it’s going to be freshly made and delicious – owner and manager Efrain Romero keeps a close eye on quality and taste as dishes are brought into being – and their approach seems to be working: Tarahumara’s celebrated its 15th anniversary last year (in a market that’s not exactly starved for speedy sitdown Mexican options), and we were told plans are in the works for tearing the current building down to replace it with a new, more spacious version. With flavors like these, there’s plenty to look forward to over another 15 years. - STEVE GILL



RED CUP Comfortably ramshackle surroundings encourage curling up for conversation over great coffee, baked treats, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch specials, and live music. It’s highly recommended. 3122 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 525.3430 $ T, AN URBAN TEAHOUSE Proving that an establishment’s focus can be at once narrow and broad, these retreats offer over 100 varieties and expert counsel to explore a world of possibiliteas. 519 NW 23rd, OKC $

Continental BIN 73 Think of it as a wine bar but don’t overlook the tasting menu - diners can fill up on filet mignon or simply top the evening off with tapas while enjoying the full gamut of libations and chic ambiance. 7312 N Western, OKC, 843.0073 $$

S&B’S BURGER JOINT Good news: these burgers’ exquisite flavors including such ingredients as peanut butter or a coffee crust - come as sliders too, the better to sample more kinds. 5 metro locations, $

BLACKBIRD A Campus Corner gastropub pairing succulently creative dishes like pot roast nachos with a broad beer, wine and whiskey list. There’s little on the menu that won’t tempt palates. 575 S University, Norman, 928.5555 $$

TUCKER’S ONION BURGERS With one burger, one side dish (fries) and one salad, the menu is easy to remember - and the execution makes the meal unforgettable. Add a shake and enjoy. 4 metro locations, $

CHEEVER’S Southwestern-influenced recipes (the chicken-fried steak is a house specialty) and love of seafood drive the contemporary comfort food in one of the city’s finest dining destinations. 2409 N Hudson, OKC, 525.7007 $$

Coffeehouse & Tea Room ALL ABOUT CHA Universal standards and unusual concoctions (the sweet potato latte is a wonder) in a cheerful atmosphere; the food options are worth investigating, as well. 5 metro locations, $ CAFÉ EVOKE Outstanding coffee drinks and other beverages from one of the area’s great caterers; if patrons wish to stick around to sample soup, sandwiches, snacks or sweets, so much the better for their palates. 103 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.1522 $ CLARITY COFFEE The vibe is crisp, clean and cool while remaining welcoming and comfortable – including seating for sipping or getting some work done – and the brewers have their beverages down to a science. As the sign says, “Drink the Coffee.” 431 W Main, OKC, 252.0155 $ COFFEE SLINGERS Rocking a brisk, urban vibe on Automobile Alley, it has become a gathering place for genuine java enthusiasts, especially during its periodic educational sampling seminars. 1015 N Broadway, OKC, 606.2763 $ ELEMENTAL COFFEE Seriously spectacular coffee roasted in-house - the passionate staff is always eager to share knowledge about the process augmented with locally sourced salads, breakfast options and other treats. 815 N Hudson, OKC, 633.1703 $

EN CROUTE A warmly welcoming, comfortable café in Nichols Plaza offers treats all day long, from fresh pastries to select spirits and beer, with special emphasis on artisanal cheese and charcuterie. 6460 Avondale, OKC, 607.6100 $ LUDIVINE The menu adjusts constantly to reflect availability of elite-quality, locally sourced ingredients - but every dish is the result of genuine culinary artistry. 805 N Hudson, OKC, 778.6800 $$$ THE MANTEL Marvelous steaks, seafood and other specialties combine with a refined atmosphere and outstanding service to set the stage for a truly memorable meal, especially if you have a date to impress. 201 E Sheridan, OKC, 236.8040 $$$ THE METRO A perennial favorite that feels comfortably upscale without exerting pressure to impress on its clientele, the far-reaching menu covers culinary high points from vichyssoise to crème brulée. 6418 N Western, OKC, 840.9463 $$ MICHAEL’S GRILL Thoroughly urbane dining in an intimate setting: the steaks, chops, seafood and pastas are all reliably excellent, and the Caesar salad prepared tableside is the stuff of legends. 2824 W Country Club, OKC, 810.9000 $$$ THE MUSEUM CAFÉ A setting as inspiring as the OKC Museum of Art warrants something special in cuisine: delicately light or delectably robust, its European-inspired menu delights for



lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. 415 Couch, OKC, 235.6262 $$

bakery counter. 3701 N Youngs, OKC, 946.8444; 6501 N May, OKC $$

PARK AVENUE GRILL A one-of-a-kind dining experience inside the luxurious Skirvin Hilton, blending traditional steak and seafood with the high style of its 1930s setting. 1 Park, OKC, 702.8444 $$$

ROYAL BAVARIA Superb takes on traditional dishes like Weinerschnitzel, Jagerbraten and sausages, plus fantastisch house-brewed beers. The time spent is a worthy investment in this family-style dining hall. 3401 S Sooner, Moore, 799.7666 $$$

PASEO GRILL Quiet and intimate inside, cheerful and comfortable out on the patio, with an award-winning menu filled with distinctive flavors inspired by the cuisines of Europe in both areas – try the duck salad. 2909 Paseo, OKC, 601.1079 $$$ THE PRITCHARD WINE BAR Tempted by tempranillo? Musing about muscat? This Plaza District stop is amply stocked with an extensive list of exceptional wines, and sampling the varied dishes is a pleasure in itself. 1749 NW 16th, OKC, 601.4067 $ ROCOCO An “East Coast-style” restaurant with a diverse menu of international dishes, all set off by carefully selected wines to create the perfect dinner pairing. 12252 N May, OKC, 212.4577; 2824 N Penn, OKC, 528.2824 $$ SEVEN47 A Campus Corner hotspot boasting sleek, swank décor, an appealingly broad menu including a tantalizing brunch and a consistently celebratory vibe - in toto that makes this a winner. 747 Asp, Norman, 701.8622 $$ SIGNATURE GRILL Unassuming locale; magnificent culinary rewards. The expertly considered menu mixes French and Italian flavors to present a wide spectrum of amazing flavors in a few select dishes. 1317 E Danforth, Edmond, 330.4548 $$$ WEST Expert staff and stylish décor augment a menu filled with treats from beef pad thai to roasted airline chicken. Don’t forget the zuccha chips! 6714 N Western, OKC, 607.4072 $$

French LA BAGUETTE BISTRO Les Freres Buthion have deep roots in the city’s culinary landscape, and this flagship combines fine dining with a great bakery, deli and butcher on site. 7408 N May, OKC, 840.3047 $$

German DAS BOOT CAMP Longtime fixture for Deutsch festivities Royal Bavaria has brewed up a second round of exceptional cuisine and magnificent beer in a less expensive, faster-paced location in downtown Norman. 229 E Main, Norman, 701.3748 $ FASSLER HALL Bringing German flavor to Midtown via house-made sausages, warm soft pretzels with cheese sauce, duck fries and a heftig beer menu, plus a weekend brunch – what’s not to love? 421 NW 10th, OKC, 609.3300 $ INGRID’S Authentic German fare at its best, including outstanding Oklahomamade bratwurst. Join weekend regulars for breakfast, and remember the

Indian GOPURAM - TASTE OF INDIA A full-service restaurant whose richly appointed interior and attentive staff accord patrons the feel of fine dining, even during the inexpensive and plentifully stocked lunch buffet. 4559 NW 23rd, OKC, 948.7373 $$ MISAL OF INDIA A Norman institution for over 30 years, specializing in tandoori-cooked delicacies and boasting healthy, natural, delicious cuisine served amid splendid ambiance. 580 Ed Noble Pkwy, Norman, 579.5600 $$ TAJ A tremendous set of Indian staples and delicacies - the menu has sections for vegetarian, tandoori, South Indian and Indo-Chinese specialties - plus full lunch and dinner buffets. 1500 NW 23rd, OKC, 601.1888 $$

Dine Divine for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Weekend Brunch 1200 N. Walker Avenue | 405.898.8120 #DineViceroy |

Italian & Pizza BELLINI’S Tasteful in décor and Italian offerings alike, this romantic nightspot quietly, confidently exudes elegance. It’s worth a visit even if only for a couple of the namesake beverages on the shady patio. 6305 Waterford, OKC, 848.1065 $$


BENVENUTI’S Subtly flavored minestrone to rich, hearty ragouts, the splendid menu keeps the booths full and diners planning return trips to this vintage building by the railroad tracks; don’t overlook Sunday brunch. 105 W Main, Norman, 310.5271 $$ EMPIRE SLICE HOUSE Reigning over the Plaza District in New York style (that means thin, flexible crust with a lot of surface area to cover in cheese and tasty toppings), it offers whole pizzas or slices, a full bar and a primo patio. 1734 NW 16th, OKC $ FLIP’S WINE BAR & TRATTORIA Managing to feel rustic despite its location in a busy corridor of OKC, this cozy Italian joint keeps extended hours, and tends to get busier and louder as the hour gets later. 5801 N Western, OKC, 843.1527 $$ HIDEAWAY PIZZA If you’ve been serving a devoted following for over half a century, you’re doing something right. In this case, that’s incredible pizza in jovial surroundings - a true Oklahoma success story. 8 metro locations, $$ HUMBLE PIE PIZZERIA There’s really no need to be humble about this true Chicago-style pizza, boasting perhaps the best crust known to man. It’s one of our favorites; choose your

Call today for our pre-set menu and Valentine’s reservations. New Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-10pm Saturday 3pm-10pm | Closed Sunday 2920 NW 63rd St. | 405.608.8866

Renewed Dining & Spirits Served with Love & Gratitude



toppings and think deep thoughts. 1319 S Broadway, Edmond, 715.1818 $ KNUCK’S WHEELHOUSE Homemade daily with sauces from scratch and local beer in the crust, it’s a tasty and varied stopover for Bricktown wanderers as well as a pizza-lover’s destination in its own right. 103 E California, OKC, 605.4422 $ MONI’S Handmade, New Jerseystyle brick oven pizza and authentic pasta recipes from Southern Italy in a casual, comfy ambience (ideal for dates). 17200 N May, Edmond, 285.5991 $$ OTHELLO’S Garlic bread and warm mussels to tiramisu and coffee – all you could want in a romantic Italian café. The Norman location regularly hosts live music, too. 434 Buchanan, Norman, 701.4900; 1 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.9045 $$ PIZZA 23 The tempting selection of specialty pies on especially buttery, f laky crusts is available for takeout, but dining in is recommended; the Uptown joint’s good beer selection and crisp, urban décor add savor to the f lavor. 600-B NW 23rd, OKC, 601.6161 $$ PIZZERIA GUSTO Neapolitan-style pizza (which harnesses an extremely hot fire to quickly cook superfine f lour crusts and quality ingredients) stars alongside Italy-inspired salads, pastas and appetizers. 2415 N Walker, OKC, 437.4992 $$

Prairie Sparkle Take aim at Power House’s Cherokee 75 J UST ABO U T A C E NT U RY AGO, in the shadow of World War I,

a Parisian hotel bar began dishing up a cocktail featuring champagne and gin. The delicious combination’s noteworthy kick led customers (especially soldiers on leave) to name it the 75, after the potent 75mm field artillery piece that was one of their army’s mainstays at the front lines. It became known internationally – you can still order a French 75 at bars around the globe – but since you’re here in OKC, try a local spin on this classic that maintains the power while bringing the flavor a tad closer to home. The Cherokee 75 pours champagne over Prairie organic gin and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, augmented by a secret ingredient: a not-so-simple syrup infused with sorghum and sage. It gives the resulting drink a unique earthy sweetness, and since it’s made in-house you won’t find this beverage anywhere but the Power House, where it has pride of place atop the cocktail menu. Whether outside on the patio (sure, it’s February, but unexpected temperatures are also part of Oklahoma’s flavor) or within the cozy Farmer’s Market hangout, next time you have something to celebrate, find Roy and ask him to load up a Cherokee 75 for you. Ready, aim … cheers. - STEVE GILL


THE WEDGE Wood-fired pies crafted from fresh ingredients (the possibilities range from pepperoni all the way to figs or truffle oil) and made-from-scratch sauces. 230 NE 1st, OKC, 270.0660; 4709 N Western, OKC, 602.3477 $$

Japanese // Sushi CAFÉ ICON Tempting sushi, Japanese specialties and delicious spectacles like steak cooked at the table on a sizzling stone fill the menu to bursting with visually splendid and palate-pleasing treats. 311 S Blackwelder, Edmond, 340.8956 $$ DEKORA Splashy, neon-accented décor sets off a sea of delicious sushi creations in a Bricktown dazzler. Lots of variety, big drinks menu, extreme yum. 200 S Oklahoma #130, OKC, 702.1325 $$ GORO An “izakaya” is a Japanese pub; visitors to the Plaza District will quickly come to associate the term with expertly crafted deliciousness thanks to this cheerful spot for ramen, yakitori, bar snacks and more. 1634 Blackwelder, OKC, 606.2539 $ INAKA The main draw of this Casady Square spot is the fresh, savory sushi: with these imaginative combinations, names like Amazing Roll and Fantastic Roll feel like stating the obvious. 9321 N Penn, OKC, 242.2224 $$

STELLA MODERN ITALIAN CUISINE A luscious spate of legitimately Italian tastes for a casual lunch, or romantic dinner, amid stylish scenery. The weekend brunch offerings are especially superb. 1201 N Walker, OKC, 235.2200 $$

MUSASHI’S Exquisitely flavorful Japanese cuisine prepared with genuine artistry, thanks to the skilled chefs executing culinary performance art at tableside hibachi grills. It’s a great spot for a special occasion. 4315 N Western, OKC, 602.5623 $$

TOMMY’S ITALIAN-AMERICAN GRILL An old favorite returns to the metro to provide fresh, plentiful doses of primo pasta and pizzas, always served with plenty of ambiance. 5516 W Memorial, OKC, 470.5577 $$

SUSHI NEKO An established OKC favorite combining style (sleek, brisk, classy) with substance (in the form of an especially wide-ranging and creative sushi menu). 4318 N Western, OKC, 528.8862 $$

UPPER CRUST A chic, contemporary pizzeria and wine bar specializing in wood-fired, thin-crust New York-style pies complemented by a full menu and wine list. 5860 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 842.7743; 1205 NW 178th, Edmond, 285.8887 $$

TOKYO It’s neither huge nor lavishly appointed, and the menu focuses on tradition rather than creativity; but it’s palpably fresh and routinely cited as among the metro’s best sushi. 7516 N Western, OKC, 848.6733 $$

VICTORIA’S A comfortable atmosphere, with local art on its walls and the art of pasta on its plates – the chicken lasagna and linguine with snow crab are especially excellent. 327 White, Norman, 329.0377; 3000 SW 104th, OKC, 759.3580 $ VITO’S RISTORANTE Homestyle Italian cuisine in an intimate setting where the staff and management treat customers like guests in their home. It’s a small space, so calling ahead is recommended. 7521 N May, OKC, 848.4867 $$ VOLARE A f lavor-filled variety of Neapolitan-style pizzas, produced with haste from a specially imported oven,


fill this stylish Campus Corner space boasting a serious rooftop patio. 315 White, Norman, 310.3615 $$

VOLCANO Creations from the hibachi grill or dazzling displays of handcrafted sushi prowess – this restaurant might not have much seating, but it’s certainly far from short on flavor. 2727 S I-35, Moore, 759.3888 $$ YOKOZUNA The noodles, entrees and snappy drinks menu beckon, but it’s the rolls that stand out in this heavyweight contender for local sushi supremacy – personally, we’re partial to the 405 Roll. 13230 Pawnee, OKC, 500.1020 $$ YUZO Variety is the word in this sushi tapas bar, boasting a tempting swirl of Colombian, Brazilian and Japanese culinary influences. 808 N Broadway, OKC, 702.9808 $$



Mediterranean HAIGET’S Vegan-friendly – and friendly in general, due to the influence of the warm, patient namesake owner – this gem rewards the adventurous with Ethiopian and Kenyan specialties to explore and share. 308 W Edmond Road, Edmond, 509.6441 $$ MEDITERRANEAN IMPORTS & DELI The menu is stocked with authentic, quick and savory options from Greek salad to eye-watering cabbage rolls, and there’s even a mini-grocery stocked with select staples. 5620 N May, OKC, 810.9494 $ QUEEN OF SHEBA Practically the definitive example of a hidden treasure, the spicy, vegan-friendly menu of Ethiopian delights awaits the bold. Bring friends and be prepared to linger. 2308 N MacArthur, OKC, 606.8616 $$ ZORBA’S For well over 20 years, Zorba’s has satisfied appetites and pleased palates. Serving dishes from recipes passed down through generations, they proudly share flavors of Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Morocco. 6014 N May, OKC, 947.7788 $

Mexican & Latin American 1492 Authentic Mexican cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, combining its caliente flavors with fusion decor to make an ideal spot for a romantic evening ... including perhaps the world’s best mojitos. 1207 N Walker, OKC, 236.1492 $$ BARRIOS A serious collection of Latin-flavored deliciousness, including a brunch that’s maravilloso, in a cool Midtown space with a back patio that’s pure paradise. 1000 N Hudson, OKC, 702.6922 $ BIG TRUCK TACOS It’s nearly always standing-room-only at lunch, but don’t let that deter you; spend a few minutes in line and get an ample reward in the form of fast, fresh, imaginative taco creations. 530 NW 23rd, OKC, 525.8226 $ CAFÉ DO BRASIL It’s a long way from OKC to Rio, but the savory menu in this Midtown hot spot covers the distance in a mouthful. Even brunch is a spicy, inimitable treat. 440 NW 11th, OKC, 525.9779 $$ CAFÉ KACAO A sunlit space filled with bright, vibrant flavors from the zesty traditions of Guatemala. Lunch possibilities beckon, but it’s the breakfast specialties that truly dazzle. 3325 N Classen, OKC, 602.2883 $ CULTIVAR A farm-to-fire Mexican kitchen that stresses sustainability, local sourcing and fresh, fast, flavorful food. Gluten-free options, chef-crafted tacos, a substantial bar and plenty more are on the menu. 714 N Broadway, OKC $$ IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL Unique Mexican flavor in a fun atmosphere

at reasonable prices - a treat from the house-made salsas to the handcrafted cocktails, and all the tastes between. 9 NW 9th, OKC, 606.7172 $$ MAMA ROJA MEXICAN KITCHEN A festive atmosphere on the scenic shores of Lake Hefner sets off a menu loaded with hand-rolled tamales, vendor-style tacos and signature dishes. 9219 E Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 302.6262 $$ REVOLUCION You say you want a Revolucion? You easily might once you try this spicy Tex-Mex haven – start with the queso fundido and don’t stop until you reach the delectable arroz tres leche dessert. 916 NW 6th, OKC, 606.6184 $$ TARAHUMARA’S Beloved by locals (there’s usually a line but it moves quickly), this airy ristorante serves huge, tasty Tex-Mex classics plus less ubiquitous fare like carnitas de puerco and mole poblano. 702 N Porter, Norman, 360.8070 $$ YUCATAN TACO STAND A Bricktown haven for feisty Latin fusion cuisine such as paella and tamales wrapped in banana leaves plus signature nachos and combos … and a selection of over 75 top-shelf tequilas. 100 E California, OKC, 886.0413 $ ZARATE’S In addition to the familiar joys of enchiladas and the like, the chef’s Peruvian heritage shines in dishes featuring plantains, yuca and imported spices. Try something different; find something tasty. 706 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.6400 $$

Soul Food BRENT’S CAJUN Sit down to a massive platter of jambalaya, crawfish etoufee, Pasta Orleans or any of the wellseasoned temptations on the weekend brunch menu – and spice up your life. 3005 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.0911 $$ C’EST SI BON The name is accurate: it is impressively good for lovers of Cajun-style catfish and po-boys. Crawfish etouffee, frogs’ legs, fried chicken and shrimp po-boys are among the highlights, but the award-winning catfish is a must-try. 101 N Douglas, Midwest City, 610.2555 $ THE DRUM ROOM March your own drumsticks in for a heap of crispy, juicy fried chicken (among the city’s best) starring alongside fried okra, waffles and a fully loaded bar. 4300 N Western, OKC, 604.0990 $$ JAX SOUL KITCHEN The team behind Blackbird and Blu dishes up big ol’ helpings of jambalaya, pork ribs, fried catfish and many more deep South classics for OU-adjacent crowds. 575 S University, Norman, 801.2828 $

Steakhouse BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE Perfectly soigné ambiance down to the last detail and cuisine easily in the metro’s elite – a sumptuous, if pricy, masterpiece. 505 S Boulevard, Edmond, 715.2333 $$$


PEARL’S CRABTOWN A huge Bricktown warehouse where the Cajun Crab Boil is a favorite, guests are encouraged to “leave the silverware at home and dig in,” and taste is king. 303 E Sheridan, OKC, 232.7227 $$

TRAPPER’S FISHCAMP Zesty, widely varied flavor from the Pearl’s family of restaurants finds a comfortable home in a backwoods fishing lodge atmosphere. Don’t forget the bountifully stocked bar, either. 4300 W Reno, OKC, 943.9111 $$ THE SHACK SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR A massive selection of nicely spiced Cajun and Creole cooking, plus fried and grilled seafood, in an atmosphere that’s not shy about being as casual as it can be. 3 metro locations, $$

JUNIOR’S The classic restaurant’s decor sets the perfect stage for hand-cut Angus steaks and lobster to fight for attention with knockout fried chicken. 2601 NW Expressway, OKC, 848.5597 $$$ MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE The ambiance and service are sublime, but fine aged steak broiled to perfection is the star. 3241 W Memorial, OKC, 748.5959; 100 W Main, OKC, 208.8800 $$$ MEAT MARKET REFECTORY The well-aged steaks are excellent, but they’re the tip of the ample menu’s iceberg: fresh seafood and Australian lamb chops command attention as well, and from Hatch green chili crab cakes to champagne sabayon, the carefully selected flavors pop and sparkle in this prime dining experience. 2920 NW 63rd, OKC, 608.8866 $$$ MICKEY MANTLE’S This lushly atmospheric social spot in Bricktown serves powerhouse entrées and sides with a full complement of amenities destined to impress. 7 S Mickey Mantle, OKC, 272.0777 $$$ OPUS PRIME STEAKHOUSE It aspires to the ultimate in upscale dining via handcut USDA Prime Black Angus steaks, a vast wine selection and intimate ambiance. 800 W Memorial, OKC, 607.6787 $$$ RANCH STEAKHOUSE Effortless opulence, custom-aged hand-cut USDA Certified Prime tenderloins and ribeyes, served amid warm Southern hospitality. 3000 W Britton, OKC, 755.3501 $$$ RED PRIMESTEAK Visionary design and atmosphere house super-premium steaks, vibrant, imaginative flavors and amenities to make some of the state’s best dining. 504 N Broadway, OKC, 232.2626 $$$

THE DRAKE The Good Egg Group’s flagship and a standard-bearer for diners who crave excellent seafood, it supplies a passel of chef’s creations featuring the sea’s finest, plus an oyster bar and righteous cocktails. 519 NW 23rd, OKC, 605.3399 $$$

PEARL’S OYSTER BAR A perennial OKC favorite for its flavorful seafood and spicy Creole-inspired dishes: Shrimp Diablo, Tabasco-infused Caesar salads, Andouille omelets at Sunday brunch and more. 5641 N Classen, OKC, 848.8008 $$

feeding Oklahoma exceptionally well since 1964. 4910 N Lincoln, OKC, 525.8352 $$$

Broadway 10

Cruise into the Buick building in Automobile Alley to savor steak supremacy or seafood selections (even sushi) in a cozy enclave amid urban bustle. 1101 N Broadway, OKC, 212.3949 $$$

CATTLEMEN’S Almost as old as the state itself, this Oklahoma institution’s immense corn-fed steaks and matchless atmosphere are history served anew every day. 1309 S Agnew, OKC, 236.0416 $$ JAMIL’S STEAKHOUSE Saving room for your steak, lobster or prime rib is difficult when your gratis appetizers arrive in the form of a Lebanese bounty, but make the effort. Jamil’s has been

TEXAS DE BRAZIL Inspired by Brazilian churrascarias, this festive establishment offers diners cuts from their choice of skewers laden with beef, pork, chicken and sausage, in addition to excellent sides and a massive salad bar. 1901 NW Expressway, OKC, 362.9200 $$$

Thai SALA THAI Pineapple curry, basil squid, fried rice with crab, cinnamon beef ... the variety is exceptional, making this Midtown diner a popular midday option. 1614 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.8424 $ SWEET BASIL The enormous aquarium adds to the cozy ambiance; with its outstanding curries and specialty dishes, it makes a great venue for a dinner date. 211 W Main, Norman, 217.8424 $$ TANA THAI There’s a lot to like about the food in this little spot, from red snapper filet to pad thai. Pay special mind to the varied soups, and do not play chicken with the spice level. 10700 N May, OKC, 749.5590 $$




Local artist Suzanne Wallace Mears’ work is often aptly described as bold, colorful and contemporary – this 15” ceramic “Blue Cat” plate adds fun to the list, as well. $350 Howell Gallery

Beauty sleep takes on new meaning with Morning Glamour’s wrinkle-preventing, gentle-on-hair satin pillowcases. King (available in ivory, silver and light pink) $16; Queen (in ivory, silver, light pink, gold or leopard) $15 SoooLilly

Great Gifts

Handmade bracelets by Catherine Page are great for layering with your faves, and also make great gifts, so feel free to get a bunch. $36-$125 Kokopelli

What better way to bring nature and beauty into your home than with these perfectly combined marble and finished mango wood coasters? These little gems are individually priced at $5, so make your own set of one, two, three or twelve! The Wood Garden

Including unlimited free admission to the museum, discounts to its films and the Museum Store, invitations to exclusive events and more, museum memberships make great gifts! Individual memberships start at $50; visit for details. OKC Museum of Art

These obsession-worthy stud earrings from Blackbird and the Snow come in 14kt yellow or rose gold with ruby or turquoise; pick your preference for $900. Plus, white or black diamond versions are available by special order; allow 6 weeks for delivery. Exclusively at Naifeh Fine Jewelry

SHOPPING NEWS Color your world with the Victor from Kirk & Kirk’s Kaleidoscope Collection, beautiful acrylic frames handmade from start to finish in France. $495 Physicians Optical



OKC MUSEUM OF ART March 3 the 33rd annual OKCMOA Omelette

Party: Viva Las V-EGG-as! will rock from 7 p.m.midnight at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center. Tickets are now on sale at or in person at the museum.


SHELTER PET & FASHION ICON Amazing stories start in shelters and rescues. Adopt today to start yours. TOAST 325K+ Instagram Followers



Central Oklahomaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier home and design resource. SPRING EDITION: APRIL 2017



is filled with ideas for buying, constructing, renovating, repurposing or redecorating the indoor and outdoor spaces that define our lives, and the resources to bring those ideas to fruition.

405.842.2266 is a biannual publication from 405 Magazine.





Glowing With Potential Built (and labeled) as a bindery pre-WWII, this spot not far from downtown OKC stood abandoned for nearly a decade before its conversion by architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris into a striking ultra-modern living space. A reminder of the past that celebrates contemporary potential, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of several local facilities that have been remodeled into lovely living spaces. See page 68. Jesus Saves - Designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architects FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE



Making Opposites Attractive A modern mix of high and low in the historic Taylor Home BY CHRISTINE EDDINGTON PHOTOS BY ESTHER NAIL PHOTOS



(Above) Becky, Clay and Samson, shortly before the arrival of Josie. The Taylors’ stately home commands a spacious corner lot in historic Lincoln Terrace, a neighborhood just south of the Oklahoma State Capitol born in the decade between 1920 and 1930. Many of the homes were built in the 1920s by the prolific builder/ developer G.A. Nichols, and many notable Oklahomans have called the enclave home – including Sen. Robert S. Kerr and Gov. Roy Turner, who both lived in more than one home in the neighborhood. Architecture in Lincoln Terrace ranges from Colonial to French and Spanish styles.


A L OV E OF HISTOR IC homes runs in Clay Taylor’s family, and his wife Becky loves them just as much as he does. While Clay’s parents, Marnie and Clay Sr., live in Edgemere Park – their opulent Christmas décor was featured in 405 Magazine’s December 2016 issue – the younger generation is a bit closer to the Capitol in Lincoln Terrace. “This house is it for us,” Clay Jr. says. “I’ve loved Lincoln Terrace all my life. I learned to swim at the Faculty House, and to me there was always a mystique and charm about Lincoln Terrace, up on a hilltop. I work at the Capitol a lot, so this location is perfect, and we’ve got a beautiful park right across the street.” The park’s importance became evident not long after the couple bought their home in March 2016: “We found out we were expecting five days after we bought the house,” Becky says. Good location … not quite perfect condition. Becky laughs, “When we bought the house, you could roll a marble downhill on the floors.” They took several areas of the home down to the studs, and added a half bath downstairs. Upstairs, the room that is now the nursery initially had no interior entrance, so that had to change. Other improvements included closing off an exterior door on the east side of the home, and turning a careful eye to maintaining the historic charm by preserving original arched doorways and adding new ones where appropriate.

Exposed brick adds visual texture in the kitchen, which underwent significant renovation. A dark wood beam between the kitchen and dining room is a further nod to the home’s age and stature and pairs charmingly with the latter’s chandelier. Blue and white ginger jars filled with cheery yellow flowers add warm pops of bright color.

Clay’s home office is a vast, masculine space located on the east end of the house, but Becky’s spot is a petite alcove tucked into the downstairs hallway between the living room and the bar area. The dining room’s Lucite seating is repeated here, as are the home’s overarching colors of blue and orange. Peppy baskets hide office necessities, and symmetrically placed vases contrast merrily with a bold abstract painting above.

A quick step from both Taylors’ home offices is the well-equipped bar. Plenty of wine storage is custom-built, as is the taupe-gray cabinetry. Graphic black-and-white tile, vintage barware and a Moroccan rug complete the room. Bubbly, anyone?




Lucite chairs add modernity and whimsy to the Taylors’ dining room. Another heirloom rug, this one in shades of regal navy blue, has determined the palette for the rest of the room. Again, the pair has embraced their signature mix of old and new, high and low. “The house is the antique, and we’ve given it a modern lease on life,” Clay says.

Symmetrically placed furnishings add order to the couple’s eclectic style. Durably covered, Samson-proof custom sofas flank a clever little brass-and-glass coffee table, while two bright blue chairs from the approachably priced home goods purveyor Wayfair anchor the space opposite the fireplace. One of the couple’s prized hand-knotted rugs warms the beautifully refinished wood flooring.



Scattered throughout the house on tabletops, shelves, night tables and really, any free surface, is Clay’s prodigious collection of artful coffee table books. He’s been collecting them since his college days, and has always had a distinct eye for design. “I like pretty books,” he explains, with a smile. “When I met Clay, he had the nicest room in his fraternity house, with a beautiful coffee table and coasters,” says Becky.


More blue and orange in the master bedroom lend order to the home’s eclecticism, and an original fireplace with unique gold tile is the clear focal point. Becky’s orange chair sits fireside. Lush white bedding with enormous pillows trimmed in a vivid orange meandros border motif stand ready to cradle a napper. Although with the arrival of baby Josie, grownup naps may well be on hiatus.

The home was built in 1927, and occupies a spacious corner lot in one of Oklahoma City’s oldest historic neighborhoods. The Taylors had begun their house search the previous autumn and were specifically looking for a three- or four-bedroom space, because Clay, a lobbyist, works from home. Becky, who is the senior director of development for Infant Crisis Services, knew she wanted the home to be colorful, as well as something a little different. “We already had our Persian and Moroccan rugs, which are family treasures, and the chandelier. We wanted the house to have a modern twist, but still have the bones of an historic house,” she explains. With the help of interior designer Kellie Hefner, the home is transformed. It’s perfect for a young family; it’s bright, airy, cheerful and slightly regal. Just in time, too, as the Taylor duo became a trio in October. Baby Josephine “Josie” Louise made her entrance a bit early, but

other than giving her parents a scare, she’s perfect. Of course, there is also a fourth member of the family who deserves his very own paragraph. The house shakes when he walks into the room, and his penchant for dramatic and prolific drooling helped Becky choose easy-care, washable fabrics throughout. “He” is the mighty Samson, a massive St. Bernard puppy that Becky surprised Clay with. In decorating, the couple found that they had two pretty distinct styles to merge. Becky grew up in a home that was more minimalist. “We had nothing on the counters,” she says. Clay, on the other hand, grew up in a maximalist household, in which every inch of space houses a work of art, a framed photo or a bit of beautiful bric-a-brac, and where layers of classic patterns and fabrics reign. “Kellie just did a wonderful job,” Becky says. “She captured our styles and our love of mixing high and low. We love it.”

Josie’s nursery is at once peaceful and playful. Another beautiful rug from the couple’s collection warms the floor, and a comfy chair and pouf make late night feedings less of a chore. A herd of friendly animals keep little Josie company, and her growing library doubles as art, displayed covers-forward on clever wall shelves. FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE




A S N IGH T FA L L S on OKC, near the Broadway Extension’s 10th Street exit, a neon sign that reads “Jesus Saves” glows above an old warehouse. While the neon sign is new, placed over a hand-painted version of the same message, the sentiment is not: For many years, this was the Duncan bible bindery. Now, though, this once-abandoned building has been converted into one of the city’s premier living spaces. “The building was in disrepair when we began,” explains owner Tarena Self, a local real estate investor and hairdresser. “We took the building right down to the four outer walls before we could get the vision to work. The designers and I thought it important to pay homage to the history of the house with the amped up neon version of the sign facing 10th, as well as a light fixture above the staircase that appears as a cross from any angle.” This one-bedroom home is ultra-modern with an open floor plan and contemporary accents – it even features a Murphy bed in the living room. Downstairs is an Airbnb, and the whole space is available to rent for events. Although the interior is impressive, the soul of the property is its patios. There are two: one off the bedroom offering vistas of the Capitol and Buick sign, and the other offering a view of the entire expanse of the downtown OKC skyline. The result is one of a kind, but it’s far from the only local building or business that’s been converted into a spectacular living space.




Conversion houses are home to inspiration


the famed Route 66, just outside Arcadia, is a home like no other that pays tribute to the road’s colorful nostalgia. “I designed and built my house in 1997, modeling part of the front after a vintage 1930 Phillips 66 gas station that still exists on the route in Chandler,” says owner Jim Ross. Ross’ home, which is lit by neon and accented by antique gas pumps, makes a frequent photo opportunity for visitors cruising up the historic highway. And while the gas station façade sparks curiosity, its backyard is where the home truly glows: That’s where you’ll find nine thoughtfully arranged vintage neon signs, some antique and others replicas, arrayed like a neon garden. The visual is centered on a small cabin Ross built by hand, which also is designed to look like an old-fashioned gas station.

H A NGA R HOM E In North Edmond, nestled between small housing editions

and horse farms, is a runway. Not one of the Will Rogers variety; rather grassier in nature, where small prop planes take off daily. And just off that runway, in what was once an old 1930s barnstorming airplane hangar, is now the eccentric home of Kim and Ron Van Der Wol. The Van Der Wols bought the old hangar in 2003. At the time, it had no water, no plumbing, no heat, no bathroom and a single outlet for electricity – but in what most saw as an abandoned relic of rural aviation, Ron and Kim saw their future. They hammered, drilled, sanded and sawed by hand, ultimately transforming the hangar into an open and energetic two-bedroom home with high ceilings and an incorporated dining room, living room and kitchen brimming with natural light. “We took something that nobody wanted and turned it into a pretty amazing home,” says Kim.

CH U RCH HOUSE , A .K . A . “CHOUSE” This Village

residence with stunning views of Lake Hefner was built in 1984 by five-time Village Mayor Roy Carmack, and actually began as the beautiful “Our Lady of Guadalupe” Chapel. When the chapel’s congregation grew too big in 1990, the Carmacks added a kitchen and garage, turning it into a beautiful, Santa Fe-style stucco home. Purchased in 2013 by Nicole and Matt Hughes, the house holds true to its spiritual background, a reflection of the devout faith of the owners. “There’s a beautiful stained glass window in the front of the house that would have been above the altar,” says Nicole. “That window is a replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It features a beautiful white dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. On the third level – in the master bedroom now – you’ll find the ‘Prayer Tower.’ It’s the tallest part of the house and once served as a place for folks to pray surrounded by windows, looking toward the east.” In addition to the huge windows, beautiful skylights flood the house with natural light, and there is no place more stunning to watch a sunset than from the patio, which sits on a pond that takes up most of the backyard. - MAT T PAYNE FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE


home DÉCOR

From The Wood Garden, OKC: Antique linen French console table, $2,500

Style on the Side Utility and beauty in buffets

WHILE THE DESIGNATION of this piece of furniture is debatable – I say

“sideboard,” you say “buffet” – there is one thing that is not up for debate: the functionality. Whether you’re talking about a piece that has a full base or one with legs, with shelving or with cabinets, all are undoubtedly useful, as well as stylish. No matter what you’re looking for, whether something primarily to showcase a set of lamps or vases with a great piece of art, or a piece that truly can hold all the table’s contents when necessary, the sideboard is your ticket to success. No matter what you call it. - SARA GAE WATERS

From Heenan’s, OKC: (prices upon request) Italian Dressing from the Caracole Classic collection; Modern Uptown Dresser by Caracole




(l to r) From Mister Robert Fine Furniture, Norman: Carlotta gold cabinet by John-Richard, $3,595; Empirestyle hand-carved sideboard, $2,395; Astral four-door buffet by John-Richard, $3,295





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beer. The hoppy notes, solid menu and spacious patio give Wicked Weed great commercial appeal, and Funkatorium, one of the area’s oldest breweries, specializes in sour beers. No brewery is probably as influential in beer culture, however, as Burial Beer Co. – a dog-friendly, laid-back and almost always crowded spot with a wide variety of brews from saisons and sours to IPAs and porters. Burial has complex beers for the aficionado alongside easy-drinking blondes for those who are more interested in quantity, cornhole and sunshine.

THE ALLURE OF ASHEVILLE Life’s divine in Carolina



AT T HE ST Y L ISH Marketplace Restaurant and Lounge, in eccentric downtown Asheville, North

Carolina, guests are treated to the sustainability-inspired culinary delights of innovative chef William Dissen. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Dissen has been a featured chef at New York’s James Beard House in 2013, 2014 and 2016, in addition to being named one of America’s most sustainable chefs. Dissen’s locally sourced dishes are prepared entirely with ingredients farmed or found within 100 miles of Asheville. It is unquestionably an experience to indulge in Dissen’s staple wood-grilled pork shoulder, or the hand-cut pappardelle with braised lamb, roasted oyster mushrooms, confit tomatoes, wild ramp pesto and parmesan. However, what makes The Marketplace truly special is the opportunity for guests to dine on carefully prepared items – from Solomon’s Seal to morel mushrooms – that they have procured themselves on a foraging trip in the surrounding North Carolina wilderness with Wild Food Adventures.

WHERE TO EAT Asheville is exploding with new restaurants on a weekly basis, but if there were a single dish that defines the region, it would have to be barbeque. No place mixes Asheville’s swanky, southern style with slow-cooked meat quite like Buxton Hall Barbecue. Helmed by partners Meherwan Irani and Elliott Moss, each of whom individually have a James Beard “Best Chef in the Southeast” nomination under their respective belts, Buxton Hall’s barbeque is an experience in flavorful decadence. Located on trendy South



Carolina-style whole hog, spiked with a light vinegar pepper sauce, collard greens and a side of macaroni and cheese, and you’ll be ready to step outside and enjoy some of Asheville’s premier breweries.

WHERE TO DRINK Slope, Buxton Hall is a high-ceiling, high-energy eatery with an open kitchen. Grab a craft cocktail from one of their talented mixologists, then take down some Eastern

In the city limits alone, there are 15 microbreweries, and at any time of day, most are heavily occupied with beer enthusiasts – locals alongside visitors who have traveled to Asheville specifically for the

Given its location in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers countless activities for outdoor enthusiasts. If you want to stay in the city, there is a greenway along Asheville’s French Broad River that’s a perfect place to go for a paddle or to rent a bike. If you want to explore the mountains beyond, do a leisurely hike with the Blue Ridge Hiking Company up to the

famed Max Patch, a grassy, rolling green hilltop high above the Blue Ridge Mountains located on the famed Appalachian Trail.

RIVER ARTS DISTRICT Located just off of the French Broad River, The River Arts District explodes with artists and creative innovation. Painting, clay and ceramics, textiles, mixed media, photography and everything in between can be found along this frenetic stretch. Artists influenced by local surroundings – and the world at large – populate this area, turning it into one of Asheville’s trendiest neighborhoods. And if you can stop by Blue Duck Tacos, you won’t be disappointed.

WHERE TO STAY Hotel Indigo is a two-minute walk from most of downtown Asheville, including The Grove Arcade, one of the area’s most noted shopping areas. This contemporary boutique hotel has an attentive and well-informed staff, minimalist chic rooms and grand views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wicked Weed

For 20 years, WFA owner Alan Muskat has been leading foraging excursions and wild food workshops in Asheville’s surrounding woods. The goal of Wild Food Adventures, whose mantra is “There’s No Taste Like Home,” is to transform the forest from a scary place where every plant will kill you into a friendly place where there is an abundance of nourishment and flavor at every turn. In addition to discussing the culinary value of the various plants and fungi found in the forest, Muskat explains the medicinal and spiritual properties of much of this wild greenery. After arming guests with a spoon, small knife and a bucket, Muskat leads a gentle walk through the forest, pointing out which plants will and will not kill you. And occasionally he’ll pluck something from the earth – be it flower or root, plant or fungus – wipe off (some) of the dirt and pop it into the mouths of curious but cautious guests. While Solomon’s Seal is not without its culinary appeal, it is the elusive morel mushroom that is the grand prize and, when in season, can be found with much enthusiasm under the right circumstances. If participants have a reservation later that night at The Marketplace, they can bring their bounty to the restaurant and Dissen will incorporate the foraged food into as many aspects of a multiple-course meal as he is capable. The symbiotic creativity and natural incorporation of WFA and The Marketplace is the heart of what makes Asheville one of the coolest cities in the USA. It long has been a hub for music, and is home to some of the best microbreweries in the country. Bluegrass buskers pluck banjos and strum mandolins, singing in ethereal harmonies on every street corner and giving the city a constant pulse of emerging music and mountain nostalgia. And since its rich art scene and thriving food culture are surrounded by the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville also offers some of the best kayaking, hiking and mountain bike riding on the East Coast. FEBRUARY 2017 405 MAGAZINE


ART CAN REVITALIZE Before Lyric restored the historic Plaza Theatre in 2007, the district was empty, littered and often considered unsafe. Today the entire neighborhood is thriving. In the last decade the district has grown to house more than 30 businesses employing nearly 400 people and has become a cultural gathering place – making the Plaza District a great example of neighborhood rejuvenation through the arts. BENEFITTING HISTORIC AUTOMOBILE ALLEY




C H O C O L AT E D E C A D E N C E O K C . C O M



events Islands in the Dream

Forest scenes to fierce samurai, a wide range of woodblock prints from two centuries of Japanese history star in “After the Floating World,” on display Feb. 18-May 14 at the OKC Museum of Art. Kampai!


Torii Kiyotada VII, "An actor portraying Danshici Kurobei in the play 'Natsu matsuri'"




City Sweetness February 2, Hudson Essex Lofts After two decades, the sensational celebration known as Chocolate Decadence remains every bit as delicious as ever. Treats from nearly two dozen local restaurants, confectioners and purveyors of treats for the tongue wait to be sampled, along with gourmet coffee, wine, champagne, a steady flow of sensational jazz and auction goodness. Raising funds for Automobile Alley is a thorough joy.

Bang, Bang, You’re Dead February 8-26, Lyric’s Plaza Theater

Tony DeSare

Anyone can try to change the world, but not all changes are for the better. Lyric Theatre takes a musical tour through a dark side of American history – via narratives from noteworthy figures such as Booth, Hinckley, Guiteau, Squeaky Fromme and Lee Harvey Oswald – in Stephen Sondheim’s Tony-winning “Assassins.” It’s a fun exploration of a grim topic, and you’ll probably enjoy it; give it a shot.

Melodies and Memories If you want your plans for the month to sound fantastic, look no further than the OKC Philharmonic: February begins and ends with musical excellence. The Classics concert Feb. 4 welcomes guest conductor Andreas Delfs and cellist supreme Christine Lamprea for an evening of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Debussy, while impeccable vocalist Tony DeSare closes out the month with a Pops rendition of “Sinatra and Beyond.” 78


Chansons d’Amour February 14-18, Santa Fe Depot Season of romance, you say? Step right this way – the Depot becomes a world apart where lovers can press music to their hearts as Cimarron Opera continues its Salon Series with “La Vie en Rose.” French melodies paired with wine, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and an intimate atmosphere of no more than 50 patrons total … all that’s missing is you.


February 4-25, OKC Civic Center

JEFFREY GIBSON more info: | @okcontemporary 3000 General Pershing Blvd. | Oklahoma City | 405 951 0000

Jeffrey Gibson: Speak to Me 2/9 - 6/11

Images: (Left) Speak To Me In Your Way So That I Can Hear You, 2015. (Right) The Difference Between You + Me, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Marc Straus Gallery. SLICE 1-2 HORIZONTAL.pdf 1 1/11/17 12:40 PM












with Lance McDaniel

State of Grace

Sharing stories with Nancy Miller more than 180 episodes for 14 different television shows, the creator of the hit series “Saving Grace” has relocated from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City to start the next phase of her writing career. If her past work is any indication, the stories coming out of Oklahoma are about to get very personal. “Everyone writes what they know,” Miller explains. “You have to do research, but the best stories that come up in the writer’s room are when the writers tell stories that actually happened to them. Use your life, just make it funnier and more dramatic.” Miller has carved a successful path in the industry by creating multiple series about challenging topics she personally wants to explore. However, that was not always the case. “Starting out my career, I wrote for any show I could,” recalls Miller. “It took me five years to make a living as a writer. At the time, all of the shows were cop shows. They all wanted one woman in the writers’ room. So, I ended up writing for all cop shows. Eventually, I took on a job with a drama series just to broaden my appeal.” In 1992, NBC hired Miller to create her first series, “The Round Table,” to compete against Fox’s surprise hit “Melrose Place.” Aaron Spelling produced. David Bowie sang the theme song. Yet, the series only lasted seven episodes. The experience helped Miller realize she needed to stop following trends and start writing about topics important to her. “I grew up in the south,” Miller says. “We would go from Oklahoma to Birmingham every summer. I remember the separate water fountains. We would be catching fireflies and half a mile away there were riots. I had no idea. “I wanted to write about my experiences there with my best friend,” she continues, “So I changed one of the two characters from white to black and pitched it to the Lifetime Network. It was their first original series. They loved the characters and the storyline. They just did not want episodes about race.” Well, they got them. “Any Day Now” dealt head-on with racism, religion and a slew of controversial issues during its four-year,



88-episode run. The two lead characters were different races, but lifelong friends. They could have real arguments and ask challenging questions. “Any Day Now” was honored with nominations by the Emmys, the Screen Actors Guild and the NAACP. “We did some really interesting shows. We put the N word on trial. We did an episode about telling racist jokes. We got into huge fights in the writers’ room,” she says. “But that’s the point. We need to have conversations about race. You do not understand issues until you talk about them. And we made it funny. We made it fun to talk about racism.” The success of “Any Day Now” led to a run of executive producing jobs on high-profile shows like “CSI: Miami” and “The Closer.” But Miller was anxious to create another passion project. “‘Saving Grace’ was my most personal show,” she says. “I got to set it in Oklahoma. I got to include a storyline about the bombing memorial to make Oklahoma City super relevant. I got to explore sin, faith and religion.” “Saving Grace,” starring Oscar winner Holly Hunter, ran for four years and garnered multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and People’s Choice Award nominations. At the end of the run, its creator was exhausted. “Running a show is seven days a week, 18-20 hours a day,” Miller says. “It’s exhausting. It wears you down. I honestly came home to get a little rest. But, when I got I here, I realized there were all of these amazing stories about Oklahomans that need to be told. So, I’m starting to do research about Oklahoma history and see what stories I can find.” Welcome home, Nancy Miller. We are excited for you to tell our stories.


NA NC Y MIL L ER is finally home. After writing and producing


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on the radar

WANT TO SEE MORE? Visit our online calendar at

Red Tie Turns Silver The sterling fundraiser’s 25th smash

Dance THE SLEEPING BEAUTY Feb 17-19 A fairytale filled with beauty both visual and musical - the OKC Ballet is ready to weave an enchanting evening for audiences with one of classical ballet’s greatest hits. OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 848.8637, CONTEMPORARY DANCE OKLAHOMA Feb 24-Mar 5 Imagination and vigor fuel this array of thrilling works, many of them original, performed by OU School of Dance students. Rupel Jones Center 600 Parrington, Norman, 325.4101,

starring wine, champagne, jazz and auctions ... and plenty of rich, luscious chocolate. Hudson Essex Lofts 825 N Broadway, OKC, 706.7484, 1ST FRIDAY GALLERY WALK Feb 3 The historic arts district’s name means “stroll,” which happens to be the preferred form of locomotion while taking in its wonders during a monthly display of arts and culture. Paseo Arts District 3022 Paseo, OKC, 525.2688,


VICTORIAN TEA Feb 3-4 History is served with a scone and a spot of tea in the Edmond Historical Society’s elegantly educational event for ladies young and old - dress formally and enjoy. Rodkey House 410 S Littler, Edmond, 341.4344,

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE Feb 2 It’s the 20th anniversary of this soiree

TASTE OF OKC Feb 4 Deliciousness is ready and waiting at this collection



2017 Co-chairs Molly Ross and Sean Olmstead

“We have come a long way in the last 25 years, and we hope one day to report there are no new infections,” she says. “But until then, we need events like Red Tie Night.” It’s the black-tie event’s silver anniversary, but as always, its true color is red. For tickets and information, visit the OACF website at - MARK BEUTLER

of tempting flavors from two dozen local restaurants - a wonderland of flavors to sample for the benefit of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Bricktown Events Center 429 E California, OKC, 943.8075, 2ND FRIDAY CIRCUIT OF ART Feb 10 A monthly community-wide celebration of creativity, focused on historic Downtown Norman. Norman Arts Council 122 E Main, Norman, 360.1162, LIVE ON THE PLAZA Feb 10 Vendors, artists, residents and passerby unite for a monthly fiesta. OKC Plaza District 1618 N Gatewood, OKC, 367.9403, MYSTERY AT THE MUSEUM Feb 10 An overnight event for kids centering around investigating a crime through application of science

techniques … and having a little fun, too. Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington, OKC, 602.6664, VALENTINE NIGHT OUT Feb 11 Love is in the air, along with live music, as couples sample champagne and light appetizers while strolling through the exceptional scenery of the Crystal Bridge. RSVP early! Myriad Gardens 301 W Reno, OKC, TOWN HALL: PEGGY NOONAN Feb 16 The engrossing lecture series resumes by welcoming historian, author and political insider Noonan for a look ahead at the newly elected Congress. St. Luke’s UMC 222 NW 15th, OKC, 202.4262, townhall. OKC COMEDY Feb 21 You may know his face from Chelsea Lately, @


BAC K I N 1981, J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing were burning up the airwaves on “Dallas.” Olivia Newton-John was getting physical, and the news kept talking about a mysterious new disease called AIDS. A decade later, that disease touched a local family and, in 1991, the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund was formed. The organization’s largest fundraiser, Red Tie Night, commemorates its 25th anniversary on Saturday, March 4. “We are kicking things up a notch this year,” says Paula Love, president of the OACF Board of Directors. “Our new location is the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. This year, we are contrasting our traditional classic elements of Red Tie Night with a new modern twist.” The 25th anniversary gala will honor Barbara Cooper for her pioneering efforts in HIV/AIDS support in Oklahoma City. “After her son passed away, Barbara and her late husband, Jackie Cooper, made it their life’s mission to raise awareness and funding to help Oklahomans affected by the disease,” Love says. “Very little help was available here in Oklahoma in the early ’90s. The Coopers have served as advocates all these years. They helped reduce the stigma surrounding the disease. They brought together other families who are dealing with loss and grief, and raised more than $12.5 million dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and services.” Being diagnosed with HIV is not the death sentence it once was, Love said. But it is still a public health crisis and new infections are on the rise, especially among the younger generation.

Midnight, Best Week Ever or a host of other programs, but make your way to this show and you’ll agree Greg Fitzsimmons is a funny, funny guy. ACM@UCO Performance Lab 329 E Sheridan, OKC, ADAM DEVINE Feb 22 Writer and actor Devine is a lauded young voice in comedy; his Weird Life standup tour bursts with appreciation for absurdity. Hudiburg Center 6420 SE 15th, Midwest City, 297.2264, OKC SPRING REMODEL & LANDSCAPE SHOW Feb 24-26 Thinking ahead to a new season? Experts offering advice and vendors showcasing products for the home and outdoors gather for this ideapacked weekend. Cox Center 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, 208.4667, NORMAN MARDI GRAS PARADE Feb 25 The good times roll right on down Main Street in the 23rd annual celebration of bonhomie - come celebrate! Downtown Norman 110 E Main, Norman, OPERATION RELIEF Feb 25 Celebrate and support the lifesaving work of the Red Cross in this wildly entertaining gala - all bets are on red for “The Luck o’ the Irish.” Grand Casino 777 Grand, Shawnee, 228.9500, A NIGHT WITH RALPH ELLISON Feb 25 This inspiring gala honors the life, work and legacy of a true Oklahoma icon - expect a creative, convivial evening. Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi, OKC, 788.0566, A NIGHT OF STYLE Feb 27 The youngsters of the Assistance League’s Assisteens program mount a fashion expo to benefit its philanthropic Operation School Bell. Bethel Baptist Chuch 1132 McGee, Norman, 321.9400, UPCOMING OMELETTE PARTY Mar 3 Delicious as ever with live music to enjoy and fresh art to raff le off, the 33rd installment of this annual fundraising jewel is themed Viva Las VEGGas. Bricktown Events Center 429 E California, OKC, 236.3100, RED TIE NIGHT Mar 4 Among the finest and most successful fundraisers in the state, this annual gala benefits AIDS/HIV prevention, education and support work in Oklahoma. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd, OKC, 348.6600,

Film CENTER THEATER SHOWS Feb 3-26 The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films - this month includes new documentary Oklahoma City. OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch, OKC, 236.3100, CLASSIC SERIES Feb 7-28 Catch a masterpiece you missed the first time around or just want to re-experience on the big screen: Sleepless in Seattle Feb 7, The Princess Bride Feb 14, Sabrina (the 1954 version) Feb 21 and Crocodile Dundee Feb 28. Harkins Theatres 150 E Reno, OKC, 321.4747,

Galleries ONGOING NATHAN PRICE: ONE MAN SHOW Through Feb 26 Santa Fe Depot Norman, 307.9320, FINE ARTS INSTITUTE Feb 1-28 The FAI hosts a collection of beauty painted by local artist Chris Cargill. Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond, 340.4481, PAA MEMBERS SHOW Feb 3-25 Those who support the arts also create - members of the Paseo Arts Association show off their skills in this annual exhibition. Paseo Art Space 3022 Paseo, OKC, 525.2688, EVOLVE Feb 9-Mar 26 Participating artists get creative with a little help from their friends, pushing beyond their individual boundaries and forging new works they would not have been able to produce on their own. Current Studio 1218 N Penn, OKC, 673.1218, DREAM OF MAN Feb 16-Apr 7 Nicole Emmons-Willis and Tessa Raven combine their sculptural prowess to explore dreaming, specifically the American Dream, and man’s effect on Earth. IAO Gallery 706 W Sheridan, OKC, 232.6060, MARILYN ARTUS Feb 18-Mar 28 A foe of stereotypes, Artus wields needle and thread to thought-provoking effect in this solo show of fresh creations. Kasum Contemporary Fine Art 1706 NW 16th, OKC, 604.6602,

Museums ONGOING AMBIGUOUS: LOSS + INTERFERENCE Through Feb 4 Artspace at Untitled OKC, 815.9995,


Arts & Theatre invites you to the

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on the radar SPOTLIGHT

RED DIRT DINOS Through Mar 12 Science Museum Oklahoma OKC, 604.6602,

Through a Native Lens

PHOTO/SYNTHESIS Through Apr 2 Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art Norman, 325.3272,

Seeking synthesis at Fred Jones Museum

OKLAHOMA PRIDE Through Apr 8 OK Hall of Fame Museum OKC, 235.4458,

TH E CAM E R A , as the

saying goes, never lies – but that doesn’t mean you should believe everything you see, because photographs don’t always capture context. See how different viewpoints can affect perception, and with it history, in the new exhibition Photo/Synthesis, on display through Apr. 2 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the OU campus. Back in the early part of the 20th century, respected photographer Edward Curtis spent decades capturing Native Americans on film (well, on plates), resulting in a substantial impact on the public’s conception of these peoples. However, much of the time Curtis staged the pictures using clothing, postures and backgrounds of his own choosing – the photograph did not necessarily reflect the reality of the subjects’ lives. So in this exhibit, Navajo camera-wielder Will Wilson visited Oklahomans representing seven tribal communities, and used special equipment including a Civil War-era lens to photograph them in order to get images that resemble those Curtis took. The difference is that Wilson invited his subjects to dress and act as they chose, essentially giving them co-authorship in the work. Curator heather ahtone calls the resulting images, “stunning portraits, full of aesthetic value and individual personality, that also include the voice of the subject as part of the image.” Photo/Synthesis combines inspiration with response by displaying 53 new photos by Wilson alongside 33 works by Curtis from the museum’s permanent collection – it’s a chance to see for yourself the cultural and historical value of letting portraits speak for themselves. - STEVE GILL



THE ARTISTRY OF THE WESTERN PAPERBACK Through May 14 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum OKC, 478.2250, THE COMPLETE WPA COLLECTION Through Dec 31 OKC Museum of Art OKC, 236.3100, HOLLYWOOD AND THE AMERICAN WEST Feb 3-May 14 They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more private moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John Ford, Gregory Peck and more. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd, OKC, 478.2250, SPEAK TO ME Feb 9-Jun 11 Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and inf luences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition that converses with inanimate objects. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center 3000 General Pershing, OKC, 951.0000, THE UNSETTLED LENS Feb 18May 14 A photographic collection that’s deliberately a bit … odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny. OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch, OKC, 236.3100, AFTER THE FLOATING WORLD Feb 18-May 14 The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai! OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch, OKC, 236.3100,

Music NOON TUNES Feb 2-23 Free lunchtime serenades to sonically spice up your Thursdays: Casey & Minna Feb 2, the Jay Wilkinson Trio Feb 9, Miss Brown to You Feb 16 and the Boulevard Brass Qunitet Feb 23. Downtown Library 300 Park Ave, OKC, 231.8650, mls.lib.

RIVERWIND SHOWS Feb 3-18 The casino is hopping this month, with extra energy from the Josh Abbott Band Feb 3, Foreigner Feb 10 and Rick Springfield Feb 18. Riverwind Casino 1544 W Hwy 9, Norman, 322.6464, BLUE DOOR SHOWS Feb 3-27 Self-billed as “the best listening room in Oklahoma,” it certainly has some of the best music, including Travis Linville Feb 3, Mike McClure Feb 4, Michael Fracasso Feb 14, Sean McConnell Feb 22, Harumph Feb 25 and Tift Merritt Feb 27 check online for updates. The Blue Door 2805 N McKinley, OKC, 524.0738, JAZZ LAB SHOWS Feb 3-28 The Lab cooks up all kinds of sweet sounds, including Shortt Dogg Feb 3, Smilin’ Vic Feb 4, Eldredge Jackson Feb 10, Shadowman Blues Feb 11, Edgar Cruz Feb 16 and the Civilized Tribe Faculty Dixieland concert Feb 28. UCO Jazz Lab 100 E 5th, Edmond, 974.2100, OKC PHILHARMONIC CLASSICS Feb 4 Strike up the orchestra; guest conductor Andreas Delfs leads the OKC Philharmonic and cellist Christine Lampra through an evening of Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Shostakovich. OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 842.5387, OCU CONCERTS Feb 4-24 Students and townspeople alike can head to campus and enjoy musical treats: Distinguished Artists OLGA quartet Feb 4 and Kalinosky and Goncharova Feb 11, plus a Project 21 concert Feb 24. OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC, 208.5227, CHAMBER MUSIC IN OKLAHOMA Feb 5 Enhancing OKC’s musical appreciation since 1960, the organization welcomes the Ariel Quartet for an afternoon of Haydn, Widman and Dvorak. Christ the King Church 8005 Dorset, OKC, OU MUSIC Feb 7-27 Join the OU School of Music for auditory bliss:the trombone choir Feb 7, the OU Wind Symphony Feb 20, A Evening of Czech Song Feb 24, the Women’s Chorus and Men’s Glee Club Feb 25, pianist Jonathan Shames Feb 26 and the OU Symphony Band Feb 27. OU Catlett Music Center 500 W Boyd, Norman, 325.4101, 89TH STREET COLLECTIVE Feb 10-24 Fire up some music at a set of all-ages shows, including Carnifex Feb 10, Knocked Loose and Harm’s Way Feb 12 and Expire Feb 24 check online for more. 89th Street Collective 8911 N Western, OKC,

WINTER WIND CONCERTS Feb 12-22 Cozy up indoors and enjoy a season of more intimate singersongwriter sounds from the likes of John Gorka Feb 12 and Emily Scott Robinson with Caroline Cotter Feb 22. Santa Fe Depot 200 S Jones, Norman, 307.9320, OPOLIS SHOWS Feb 16-22 Metro, meet Opolis - you’ll make beautiful music together, including all ages shows from Tacocat Feb 16, Hoops Feb 18 and N.O.T.S. Feb 22. Check online for updates. The Opolis 113 N Crawford, Norman, OKLAHOMA COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA Feb 19 Dr. Irvin Wagner conducts the orchestra in a lively concert featuring banjo work from special guest Lucas Ross. OCCC Theater 7777 S May, OKC, 682.7579, BON JOVI Feb 21 The arena rockers return to OKC to blaze through old favorites and new tracks from their fresh album, “This House Is Not For Sale.” Tickets, however, are. Chesapeake Arena 100 W Reno, OKC, 800.745.3000, THE FIVE IRISH TENORS Feb 21 Armstrong’s season continues with a visit from this quintet of golden voices from the Emerald Isle - performing everything from Sinatra standards to “Danny Boy.” Armstrong Auditorium 14400 S Bryant, Edmond, 285.1010, OKC SYMPHONIC BAND Feb 23 Nearly 100 performers strong and impressively sonorous, the community band is tuning up to resume its concert schedule - join them! Santa Fe HS 1901 W 15th, Edmond, OKC PHILHARMONIC POPS Feb 24-25 The orchestra provides some backing gusto for the powerful voice of Tony DeSare as he rolls through the hits in “Sinatra and Byond.” OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 842.5387, CRITERION SHOWS Feb 25 The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits with a crowdrocking show from hard-traveling red dirt tunesmiths the Turnpike Troubadours. The Criterion 500 E Sheridan, OKC, 406.7484,

Sports OSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Feb 1-25 The Big 12 season heats up for the Cowgirls as they host Texas Feb 1, Oklahoma Feb 4, TCU Feb 15, Texas Tech Feb 22 and West Virginia Feb 25. Gallagher-Iba Arena 1046 W Hall of Fame, Stillwater, 877.255.4678,

OU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Feb 1-27 The Sooners’ house should be packed as they square off against Kansas Feb 1, West Virginia Feb 7, Texas Feb 18 and Baylor Feb 27. Lloyd Noble Center 2900 S Jenkins, Norman, 325.2424, THUNDER BASKETBALL Feb 1-28 Join the crowds and hear the roar as OKC hosts Chicago Feb 1, Memphis Feb 3, Portland Feb 5, Cleveland Feb 9, Golden State Feb 11, New York Feb 15, the L.A. Lakers Feb 24, New Orleans Feb 26 and Utah Feb 28. Chesapeake Arena 100 W Reno, OKC, 208.4800, HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS Feb 4 It’s less about competition and more physical artistry that happens to involve a basketball - that means plenty of astounding trick shots, thunderous dunks and fun for all ages. Chesapeake Arena 100 W Reno, OKC, 800.745.3000, OKC BLUE BASKETBALL Feb 4-25 The Thunder’s D-League affiliate brings its A-game to battle Los Angeles Feb 4, Santa Cruz Feb 14, Sioux Falls Feb 22 and Salt Lake City Feb 25. Cox Center 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, 208.4667,

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OSU MEN’S BASKETBALL Feb 8-25 The Big 12 season heats up for the Cowboys as they host Baylor Feb 8, Texas Feb 11, Oklahoma Feb 18 and Texas Tech Feb 25. GallagherIba Arena 1046 W Hall of Fame, Stillwater, 877.255.4678, OU MEN’S BASKETBALL Feb 8-25 The Sooners’ house should be packed as they square off against West Virginia Feb 8, Texas Feb 14 and Kansas State Feb 25. Lloyd Noble Center 2900 S Jenkins, Norman, 325.2424, BART AND NADIA SPORTS EXPERIENCE Feb 10-12 Watch exceptional competition and join in activities for all in this athletic weekend featuring gymnastics, rowing, a 5k race, weightlifting, cricket and more. Cox Center 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, 208.4667, ROLLER DERBY Feb 12 Women on wheels exhibit passion, finesse, speed and power as the All Stars and Tornado Alley Rollergirls take on Omaha. Star Skate 2020 W Lindsey, Norman, MONSTER JAM Feb 18-19 The trucks are massive and so is the action - if you like your entertainment loud, over-the-top and destructive, it’s time to get ready to rumble. Chesapeake Arena 100 W Reno, OKC, 800.745.3000,

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on the radar Theater

2501 N Blackwelder, OKC, 951.0011,

ONGOING 37 POSTCARDS Through Feb 12 A returning son finds that life in his family’s home has become a bit askew, and not just because of the sinkhole in the backyard, as Jewel Box explores a comic bit of domestic dysfunction. Jewel Box Theater 3700 N Walker, OKC, 521.1786,

MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY Feb 23-Mar 5 One era’s everyday entertainment can become respected mythology in a later epoch - this production of a look at humanity in a dystopian future and their Simpsons-based understanding of our time is a co-production of CityRep and Theatre OCU. OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 297.2264,

LA TRAVIATA Feb 3-5 Her inglorious past curtails Violetta’s future prospects for true love, but at least the music is incredible before her unhappy ending in the Painted Sky Opera presentation of Verdi’s classic. OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 297.2264, PIPPIN Feb 7-12 A young prince’s search for a meaningful life fills this tuneful stage favorite, brought to the stage by OKC Broadway. OKC Civic Center 201 N Walker, OKC, 877.737.2929,

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ASSASSINS Feb 8-26 Lyric takes a tuneful trip through time to talk (well, sing) about what drives people to try killing the President, starring Sondheim songs and a cast of historical villains. Lyric Theater 1727 NW 16th, OKC, 524.9312, RIP’S DINER Feb 9-11 Relish a Valentine treat by unraveling the deaths on the menu in the Sooner Theatre’s annual musical murder mystery dinner. Studio of the Sooner Theatre 110 E Main, Norman, 321.9600, DON PASQUALE IN HOLLYWOOD Feb 9-12 One of the all-time great comic operas - boy meets girl, stuffed shirt uncle makes everything worse - gets a transposition to modern California. Rupel Jones Center 600 Parrington, Norman, 325.4101, DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN Feb 10-11 CityRep visits OCCC to present the longest-running one-man play in Broadway history, illustrating that misunderstandings between men and women are, to put it mildly, not exactly a modern phenomenon. OCCC Theater 7777 S May, OKC, 682.7579, FENCES Feb 10-Mar 4 The Pollard takes a swing at the Pulitzerwinning tale of racial divides, lost opportunities and lingering bitterness. Pollard Theater 120 W Harrison, Guthrie, 282.2800,

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THE CAT IN THE HAT Feb 10-Mar 10 Mischief comes with a striped chapeau in Oklahoma Children’s Theatre’s textually faithful Seussian rendition. OCU Children’s Center for the Arts

LA VIE EN ROSE Feb 14-18 Romance will be in the air as the Cimarron Opera continues its Salon Series with a program of French cabaret music wine, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and intimate atmosphere included. Santa Fe Depot 200 S Jones, Norman, 364.8962, AS YOU LIKE IT Feb 16-19 UCO drama students head into the woods with this Shakespeare adaptation, in which Rosalind, Orlando, Touchstone and a surprisingly large number of people camp out in a forest and most everyone gets a happy ending. UCO Mitchell Hall Theater 100 N University, Edmond, 974.3375, uco. edu/cfad NEWSIES Feb 16-22 The big screen serves as a portal to the Broadway stage as Disney beams a live production of the triumphant musical to theaters across the country - including here in OKC. Harkins Theatres 150 E Reno, OKC, 321.4747, DARK SISTERS Feb 17-19 OCU music students sing a story of self-discovery as a woman seeks to find a new life for her family in a haunting opera by Nico Mulhy. OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC, 208.5227, okcu. edu/music EXIT LAUGHING Feb 17-Mar 11 Death is a part of life, right? So when a foursome who’ve been friends for 30 years lose one of their members before their weekly bridge game, what’s so terrible about stealing her ashes for a night to round out the numbers? (Hilarity ensues.) Carpenter Square Theater 800 W Main, OKC, 232.6500, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Feb 24-26 Young actors go on a grand adventure in this Dahl adaptation directed by Kelli Cormack; it should be deliciously fun. Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond, 340.4481, THE WEDDING SINGER Feb 24-26 The ‘80s live again - musically, at least - as the Sooner rocks through an entertainer’s crisis of confidence and unexpected revival of romance. Sooner Theatre 101 E Main, Norman, 321.9600,


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Countering Discrimination Katz Drug and Clara Luper’s legacy L ONG BEFOR E a Walgreens or CVS occupied nearly every

corner, there was Katz. The chain of “cut-rate” drug stores had its humble beginnings in Kansas City in the early part of the 20th century. Eventually, it expanded to 65 stores in five states, including locations in Oklahoma City. The downtown store was located at 200 W Main, and its lunch counter was a favorite among locals.   “Most drug stores of that era had a lunch counter,” says Larry O’Dell, director of development and special projects at the Oklahoma Historical Society. “It was a long counter where folks could sit and order café food and soft drinks. They were less formal than restaurants, and usually quicker.” The lunch counter was a nice place to stop for an ice cold Coca-Cola or a hamburger and take a bit of a breather – unless you happened to be black. In those days, dining establishments, water fountains and even elevators were still very separate. But that changed in 1958 when Clara Luper entered Katz and made her stand. Luper was an Oklahoma City school teacher, and eventually became known as the “mother” of the state’s civil rights movement. “Mrs. Luper took over the NAACP youth council in 1957 and decided to stage her first sit-in at Katz in August of 1958,” O’Dell says. “There were mixed reactions to the sit-in, with many people of the era very belligerent to the demonstrators.” When Luper and her young entourage sat down at the Katz lunch counter, they were promptly denied service. So they sat,



hour after hour, and returned the next day. Eventually, Katz’s management relented, and some white customers offered to buy lunch for the polite young crowd. The sit-in prompted Katz to change its segregation policy – not just in Oklahoma, but in other states, as well. “That was the precursor to other civil rights demonstrations that occurred in the 1960s,” O’Dell says. “Clara Luper led protests against other segregation policies, including Doe Doe Park in Lawton in 1966, and helped with Oklahoma City’s sanitation strike in 1969.” The Katz store in Oklahoma City eventually was demolished as part of the Urban Renewal efforts in the 1960s and 1970s, but holds a unique place in the city’s struggle for civil rights. “Oklahoma City desegregated very quickly,” O’Dell says. “The Katz protests were peaceful, and much less violent than most southern cities. But Katz was really the beginning.”



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405 Magazine February 2017  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

405 Magazine February 2017  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.