- Garett Fisbeck
- Renovations at VZD's in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
After months of waiting, fans of beloved Western Avenue bar and restaurant VZDs might see light at the end of the tunnel. Chef Eric Smith said the business, which closed its doors in 2014, should reopen by the end of July.
VZDs, 4200 N. Western Ave., has undergone a lot of refurbishment, but Smith said the dividends promise to pay off for customers. Its long history as a retail space meant the bar was not ideally suited for restaurant use and needed upgrades to core systems, including electrics. Smith hopes the improvements will yield a more functional restaurant.
About 75 percent of the old menu remains, including burgers, chicken salad and blue plates specials. But by creating a Crown Heights neighborhood restaurant, Smith will incorporate several new, healthier menu options.
Thats what we want it to be, and thats what the people want it to be, he said, a day-in, day-out neighborhood restaurant.
However, an entirely new concept from Smith is going in the space next to VZDs. The Crown Room will be a 12-seat, one-table restaurant serving a tasting menu that will change monthly. The restaurant will employ three sommeliers, one each for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night services.
A new S&Bs Burger Joint will join the family this week, as the burgeoning chain opens a location in Midwest City on Friday.
Built inside the bones of a former Poblano Grill at 1909 S. Douglas Blvd., the newest S&Bs will be the restaurants ninth location (although only eight survive after the Norman branch burned in February).
Partner Shannon Roper said theyve received positive feedback from the community and on social media that people are excited to see an S&Bs near them.
Its a great location partially because of the base [Tinker Air Force Base], but its generally a heavy traffic area, he said. Theres lots of new housing and new developments going in, and its close to Choctaw.
To christen the new joint, the Midwest City S&Bs will have a cash donation-only soft opening Thursday with all proceeds going to the food bank.
The restaurant will seat 137 inside with a large covered patio out front.
Picasso Cafe recently promoted chef Ryan Parrott to the post of director of culinary operations.
Parrott who made a name in Oklahoma City with concepts such as Iguana Grill, Local, Tamazul and Table One was the acting chef de cuisine at Picasso before the title change. The new role means hell be in charge of the eaterys culinary experiences as well as the meatball food truck Ciao Wagon and the new Paseo restaurant Mesero Mesero, said co-owner Shaun Fiaccone.
Parrotts influence has brought a new focus on daily specials to Picasso, and Fiaccone said Parrot is poised to take the restaurant group into the future.
One stop on the way will be Mesero Mesero, a Mexican concept at NW 28th Street and Walker Avenue.
Even as we were developing the space, the idea of Mexican food kept popping up, he said.
The preponderance of great, local Mexican fare isnt intimidating to Fiaccone; its challenging.