Say goodbye to a legacy and hello to Charleston's as the Hal Smith Group ends a new concept attempted in Lower Bricktown when they quickly had to end a restaurant's affiliation with former Thunder star Kevin Durant.
Legacy Grill opened last September in the space that previously home to KD's southern eatery. The restaurant, which drew long lines while Durant was a beloved adopted son, quickly lost its popularity when Durant on July Fourth of last year shocked local fans and joined the rival Golden State Warriors.
Nathan Couch, managing partner at the restaurant, confirmed the switch to one of the most popular of the Hal Smith restaurant concepts will open at 224 Johnny Bench Drive along the Bricktown Canal by September.
“We had so many requests for a Charleston's downtown,” Couch said. “We already had a location. With the popularity of that brand we thought we'd go with the summer to make the change. We're trying to change as fast as possible because we have so many guests who already come down for Legacy Grill.”
Couch said the end of Legacy Grill was more driven by the popularity of Charleston's rather than the performance of the existing restaurant.
Legacy Grill opened as a tribute to famous Oklahomans coordinated by the Oklahoma Heritage Association. The walls once adorned with Durant memorabilia were changed to a display of photos and items representing more than 200 distinguished Oklahomans, from astronauts and actors, to civil rights activists and civic leaders, to sports stars and singers.
The menu was tweaked during the switch but still retained the southern food featured when it was KD's.
Couch said the change this summer will be extensive.
“It will be a total renovation and it will have a complete Charleston's feel to it, but urban, like our Mahogany steakhouse is downtown,” Couch said. “It will have the feel of an urban environment while retaining the Charleston's nostalgia.”
Charleston's is one of the Hal Smith Group's leading concepts with restaurants in Oklahoma, Arizona, Nebraska, Texas and Indiana. The Bricktown location will be the 18th Charleston's and another is set to open soon in Kansas City, Mo.
The switch to Charleston's also will extend lunch operations at the location in Bricktown, which currently is open for lunch only on Fridays through Sundays. Charleston's, Couch said, is a better fit for lunch than Legacy Grill.
The change was applauded by Malory O'Neill, program manager at the Bricktown Association.
“It's a well-established brand that has a lot of credibility and love in Oklahoma City,” O'Neill said. “And having anything open for more days and hours in Bricktown is something we always love to hear.”