Last Saturday hundreds of southern Oklahomans gathered in Heritage Hall to see the live musical performances from Ace Frehely and Damon Johnson.
Not uncommon on a Saturday night in Ardmore as popular musical guests have frequented the area for nearly 30 years to entertain residents.
This past weekend Two Frogs Grill celebrated its 26th anniversary, cementing itself as a staple in the Ardmore community.
Owners Aubry Harris and his wife Angeila Harris first opened the restaurant in Lone Grove in 1993, before moving to Ardmore in 1999.
The restaurant was the original host to the live music scene in southern Oklahoma, before striking a deal with the city of Ardmore for Heritage Hall to host bigger shows. The restaurant still hosts events too, just on a smaller scale.
Aubry Harris used his gift of cooking and his love of music to bring live entertainment to the Ardmore area.
“I have been playing music since I was 11 years old,” Aubry Harris said. “Just out of a love of music, it was kind of a natural thing to sponge people in.”
Music has been a big influence on Aubry Harris’s life, starting at a young age. His first musical hero was Elvis Presley, before moving on to enjoying acts like KISS and Van Halen.
While attending Oklahoma State University, Aubry was the kitchen manager and in charge of booking bands for his fraternity.
“I got my room basically discounted for being the kitchen manager and I got into waiting tables while in hotel restaurant school,” Aubry Harris said. “Beyond that, they (the fraternity) leaned on me because I like music and play guitar, to book the bands.”
After college, Aubry moved to Louisiana where he and his wife used their experience in Baton Rouge to build their cajun style food for Two Frogs. Aubry Harris gives credit to the success of the restaurant based on the suggestions Angeila Harris made.
“We met at a restaurant in Dallas, and when she came up here she literally put the cool in the place with me,” Aubry Harris said. “She put her style, and ideas into the place. She was a big influence on our menu, on our recipes, on our desserts and everything. This restaurant wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for her.”
Booking talents like .38 special and Peter Frampton, from Travis Tritt to Clint Black, Aubry Harris has had success in both the music and restaurant business. Bigger cities and venues maybe calling, but to see the growth of his hometown means the most to Aubry Harris.
“I just enjoy the simple life of just doing things here,” Aubry said. “I like what I do, but the thing about it is I also like to travel and see my family and kids at night. To me having a family life and dipping into the craziness is fun. If you can do that and make it to the gym in the morning and go to work and do your job that is what’s up with me.”