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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • New Business — Thackerville

  • Country music star and Oklahoma native Toby Keith officially opened his famous restaurant Monday afternoon at the WinStar Casino.

     


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  • Country music star and Oklahoma native Toby Keith officially opened his famous restaurant Monday afternoon at the WinStar Casino.
    Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill has been operating on what Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby called a “trial basis” for two weeks before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
    The restaurant is the third of its kind in Oklahoma, and the sixth in the United States. Keith said he was unsure of the venture’s future when the first restaurant was opened in Las Vegas.
    “We didn’t know how the public in Vegas would receive us,” Keith said. “I just had this vision of giving people a great place to eat, gamble and enjoy great country cooking.”
    “When WinStar opened in 2003, we envisioned a quality entertainment venue for guests to come and visit,” the governor said. “This is another milestone in that effort to offer a quality entertainment and dining venue.”
    The 16,000-square-foot restaurant will bring 175 new jobs to the area.
    “We already employ 2,700 to 2,800 people — that itself has a pretty big impact,” Anoatubby said.
    The restaurant is named after Keith’s single “I Love This Bar,” and features over 100 pieces of Keith memorabilia, including half of the truck he drove in the movie “Beer For My Horses.”
    Anoatubby said the restaurant will offer a new venue for local acts to showcase their talent. It will offer guests live music with no cover on Friday and Saturday nights from both national and local entertainers. Some of the first acts include Oklahoma based acts including the Tulsa-based Brandon Clark Band, Kristen Stehr from Norman, and Ada-native Kevin Pickett.
    “We wanted to keep this all in-state,” Keith said.
    Anoatubby said the addition of the restaurant adds another draw to the WinStar Casino. He thanked Keith for his help in making the project happen.
    “Can you imagine having a partner that could be better known, and that has his name on such a quality product,” Anoatubby said. “We’re so proud to have a great working relationship and a great partner in developing this.”
    Phil Banker 221-6542
     
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