Whenever you enter a club or a bar or a restaurant you usually know from the moment you walk in whether you like it or not. Sometimes first impressions can change over time but more often than not your first impression is the one which colors your mood from the beginning. I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening of OKC’s newest Bricktown bar and I have to say that I hope my first impression never changes because I have to tell you that I really liked this place.
Whiskey Chicks officially opened their doors for the first time this evening and I would have to say that it was a great success. It’s kind of hard to describe the place because it doesn’t really fit into any one specific niche. It’s not a honky-tonk, it’s not a dance club, it’s not a martini lounge. It’s not even a quaint neighborhood bar, at least not completely. It’s easier to tell you what it’s not because it’s hard to tell you what it is. This place has its own unique feel to it. The management likes to refer to it as a whiskey parlor and I suppose that’s a pretty apt description.
The décor remains true to the structure and purpose of the building’s history as a warehouse. The hardwood floors and stout beams frame the place in an excellent representation of the early 1900’s when whiskey parlors were at their peak of prominence. There’s no chrome or harsh lines in the design. The tables and chairs are all wood which match the floor and walls. The bar itself is an impressive structure and has that perfect feel when you belly up. It’s that feeling that tells you that you’re in a comfortable place where you can sit for hours to watch the game or chat with your friends.
What I feel is the most important factor in setting the mood for any establishment is the lighting. The lighting in Whiskey Chicks is perfect whether it be day or night. No harsh fluorescent lighting and thankfully no glaring neon except for the sign and a thin red line around the perimeter for accent. But the most interesting piece of décor is the period specific chandelier that hangs in the center of the room. It’s not ostentatious and it really doesn’t draw attention to itself but it's really a beautiful piece that in my opinion is the signature of the whole theme.
The list of whiskeys on hand is impressive to say the least and the experienced bar staff is knowledgeable and quite efficient. Your wait for a drink is never long. The wait staff is friendly, attentive and provides the perfect amount of interaction without being intrusive. Our server was a young lady named Liz who was spunky, charming and cute as hell. She really amplified the whole experience and was such a part of the overall tone of the night. So much so that she should certainly be viewed as one of the parlor’s more dynamic aspects.
While touted as a whiskey parlor it would be remiss if I didn’t point out the extensive selection of foreign and domestic beers on hand as well as the other standard spirits and wines that round out the offerings of most bars. Your desire to imbibe will certainly not be thwarted by a limited selection of booze.
While the drinks are great, it would be an utter crime if I failed to mention the magnificent food that is served. The menu is adequately diverse and the fare literally ranges from burgers to French toast. The burgers and sliders are probably some of the best I’ve had in years, and that’s NOT an exaggeration. The sliders are seasoned with an amazing Buffalo Aioli that is guaranteed to bring you back. I dare anyone to sample the sliders and tell me they’re not the best you’ve encountered. I also dare you to tell me that you won’t want to go back for them the next day. I know I did.
Now that we’ve talked about the food, drink and atmosphere let’s talk about the entertainment. Anyone who has ever been out with me knows that the moment the local band starts their set, or the first karaoke superstar picks up a microphone, I’m the first one to bolt for the door. I’m not saying that I’m a musical snob but I know what I personally like and it’s usually not offered up in the repertoire of the folks you find slamming out three or four chords at Baker’s Street. But I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by the band and vocalist that took the stage tonight.
Cami Stinson and the Uptown Band put on a first rate show and I will be the first to confess that I really liked what I heard. The music was mostly what I would call jazz with maybe just a hint of blues. I’ve always been one who has a difficult time figuring out when the line between jazz and blues is blurred but I really enjoyed this act. I didn’t catch his name but the guy on trombone really gelled the act. There’s a better than average chance that if I knew that Cami and these guys were going to be playing somewhere I would probably go out of my way to hear them. I really hope that they become somewhat a fixture at this joint and play there frequently.
That’s about all there is to tell you about Whiskey Chicks other than the fact that fun is hard to describe sometimes and must actually be experienced. They offer up free Wi-Fi with a great signal and they’re conveniently located at 115 E. Reno in the heart of Bricktown. They’re housed in the little red Wells Fargo building on the north side of Reno directly across from Starbucks and Texadelphia. There’s a pretty good sized parking lot right next to the building and of course the larger lots on the south side of Reno near Harkins and the U-Haul facility are always there for convenience.
Simple and vibrant is what I would call this quaint little whiskey house and if you don’t stop in there you’re really missing out.