While the trend of opening new restaurants has slowed considerably since 2019, it never stopped completely, and 2023 looks to be a year where the trend starts to reverse a bit. The end of 2022 brought us Pacific Moon and a new Empire Slice House location on N. May. This year we’ll see new bars and restaurants all over Oklahoma City, and a few standouts are already open.
Open for Service
First was Bin 73, and now 74 will be a new modern American concept just off Classen and NW 74th. Designed to be family friendly, the restaurant is spacious, with multiple seating zones, two bars, a large patio and semiprivate dining areas. The menu is straightforward and includes a soup of the day made in-house, a delicious pork and mango burger, steaks, bar pies and salmon.
One of the challenges of occupying the former Banquet Cinema Club space is the amount of space; it’s a huge footprint for a restaurant post-COVID. The owners of Glamour have broken the space up into components: main dining and bottle service, venue and lounge. As much a club as a restaurant, Glamour hopes to do both well. The menu is heavy on seafood and Asian influence, and it’s built around shared plates: lobster shooters, foie gras potstickers, truffled crab dip, scallops and pink pepper crusted tenderloin.
Chinese food has arrived in Midtown! Mi Xian serves traditional Yunnan-style Chinese food, and their specialty is the hot pot. Choose pork stock, mala (hot spice blend), Szechuan or mushroom stock, and you get a whole tray of accoutrements to build your own noodle bowl. The menu includes takoyaki, dumplings, fantastic pork buns and crispy Szechuan chicken.
The newest concept from Provision Concepts (Broadway 10, Hatch, Culprits, etc.) is located in Chisholm Creek adjacent to Domenico and what will be Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant. A spacious patio backs up to a service window to the bar, making it a perfect happy hour destination or spot for dinner over shared dishes.
A local couple is bringing a new concept to the canal in Bricktown, and their sports-friendly bar and restaurant serves up some of the city’s best wings. Chicken dominates the menu, and famous “side chicks” are the theme of the bar menu. The chicken mac ‘n’ cheese is the best seller, but the wings and strips are worth the trip to Bricktown.
The Northeast OKC breakfast and brunch spot opens July 2. Operating partner Cordell Love has rapper/artist Jabee Williams as a partner, and they've asked Flycatcher Club chef Bryan Wilson to build the menu. The food is a blend of breakfast and brunch favorites with a little Soul and Southern influence, as is apparent in the Caribbean jerk lamb with sweet potato mash and collard greens. Also on the menu are burgers, French toast, waffles, lox bagels and more. The full bar creates delicious mimosas from very simple to top shelf, and Hennessy and sparkling wine will be on tap. Located in the EastPoint Development on NE 23rd and Rhode Island, the restaurant will seat roughly 65 inside, with room for 80 on the patio.
The former Yo Pablo space at NW 122nd will house this Japanese pub. The name comes from a Japanese island off the coast of Osaka. The heart of the menu is yakitori (skewers) with a small sushi menu, too. Projected opening is June.
Jenny Nguyen, best known for Lee’s Sandwiches, is opening her very own local concept in the Asian District called Bun Box. Named for the noodles (bun), the concept will be “Yummy vermicelli bowls, period,” per Nguyen. She said the goal is to keep things as simple as possible, including a focus on carryout and using the adjacent and underutilized Military Park as extended seating. The topping options are chicken, pork, shrimp and veggies, and you can choose to add fried egg rolls. The boxes will come in two sizes: mini and regular. Expected open is August to coincide with the Asian Night Market Festival.
This modern European concept is slated to open in the old Blu's BBQ spot across the street from the OKC National Memorial & Museum on the Robinson side sometime in July. Regular diners in Dallas will be familiar with Chef King Dey's name, as he's the corporate chef for Lombardi Family Concepts, which includes Bistro 31 and Lombardi Cucina Italiana. Dey has worked all over the world -- New York, London, Bangkok, Dubai, etc. -- so he brings a wealth of experience to JK. The pre-opening menu is eclectic, but strongly Asian, with sections of tempura, crudo, dim sum, rice and noodle dishes, and popular items like a wagyu burger, sandos, bone marrow and lobster tacos.
Big Biang Theory
This popular noodle bowl truck will have home in the West Village District this fall. A play on the traditional biangbiang noodles of China's Shaanxi Province, the dishes at Big Biang Theory are intensely flavorful and delicious, and spicy if you like. The brick-and-mortar location will allow for a menu expansion, but the options will remain true to form, including vegan options, hand-pulled noodles and curry.