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Diners: American Classics

What could be finer than a community diner?



 



The initial heyday of the diner has passed us by – the iconic railcar-inspired buildings created and sold by the New Jersey-based Jerry O’Mahony Diner Company that came to define the diner in the U.S. ended production right before the country entered WWII. By the late 1960s, the number of active diners in the U.S. fell to just more than 5,000, a result of tremendous growth in fast food and drive-in restaurants. The number is small, given that we have more than 600,000 restaurants in the country now, but the diner remains inextricably woven into the textures of American pop culture, food and restaurant design.
 

What would Pulp Fiction be without the amazing opening scene in which Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer discuss the merits of robbing liquor stores, banks and restaurants while seated in a diner booth? Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” is a painting we genuinely consider a snapshot of Americana, to say nothing of Norman Rockwell’s famous illustrations. On the more serious side, black and white photos of African Americans holding sit-ins at local diners are indelible images of the Civil Rights movement, including Clara Luper’s now famous sit-in at OKC’s Katz Drug Store lunch counter in 1958.

The diner has never been just about the food: It was a symbol of community, a place to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee before Starbucks and its ilk remade the caffeine landscape, a place to discuss news and local events, to meet the neighbors, to argue politics and religion, to study and, yes, to eat. Diners were typically 24-hour businesses, so breakfast, lunch and dinner were all on the menu, and it seems clear that they made the job of short order cook into an American institution, as well. Any good chef will tell you that a man or woman who can properly cook two dozen eggs to order at one time possesses a rare and wonderful skillset.

The 1960s brought cataclysmic change to America’s institutions, and diners were no exception – but while individual diners closed, the concepts lived on in spite of cultural shifts, both in the local establishments that refused to die and in fast food restaurant design. The menus behind the register at fast food restaurants? Diner inspired. The stools kids spin on at McDonald’s? Diner inspired. Seating choices that included stools, counters, tables and booths? Diners.

 

As for the countertops, they are the surest sign that you have entered a diner. There is no set, official definition of diner, no legal parameters such that a restaurateur may not use the term unless certain design specifications are met, but the diners that reshaped our cultural and culinary paradigms had counters where people could sit and eat. Absent a counter, you have a café. And there’s nothing wrong with cafés, but they are not diners.

When Shannon Roper and Aly Branstetter decided to open Sunnyside Diner in 2016, they insisted on a counter. Roper is matter-of-fact about it: “To me, a diner has a counter. You sit down. You order your coffee.”

(top right) Aly Branstetter of Sunnyside Diner, a new space that already has a classic diner feel.

 

Roper and Branstetter are only two restaurateurs who have reached back into the past to bring diners into the present. Roper said that he and his wife, Camille, look for diners when they travel – they love Gailey’s Breakfast Café in Springfield, Missouri.

“I love diner food,” Roper says. “I grew up in a small town, El Reno, so I grew up eating in diners. We got onion burgers at Johnnie’s Grill, which I think is the original onion burger joint.”

Sunnyside is one of the new diners to the area, and while Hatch and eventually Aurora will contribute to the breakfast and brunch scene, Sunnyside is a true diner. As such, Roper said they are moving toward the 24-hour model. They will add a dinner menu this year, and in keeping with the traditional theme, Chef Kiki Sabourin will serve up roast beef, hot turkey sandwiches, meatloaf and all the other dishes diners are supposed to serve. And there will be pie. Diners used to have pie cases on, or at least behind, the counter. Sabourin is already offering peanut pie, and Roper said they are trying to find a case now so that they can increase their pie offerings.

 

If they are successful, walking into Sunnyside will feel like walking into a classic diner circa 1975. That’s not surprising, given that Roper’s other endeavors – S&B Burgers, for example – feature food from the 1970s and ’80s. These were the formative years for him, and that’s when we also form our definitions of comfort food.

Comfort might be some part of the explanation for why diners are trending nationwide. “We have lots of fancy restaurants with really unique food,” Roper says, “but maybe as millennials are aging into families and homes, they are looking for something different.”

Surely there is an element of nostalgia for some of us, some voice from our childhood or youth calling us back to gravy and hash browns and open-faced sandwiches, and away from truffles and exotic birds stuffed with hard-to-pronounce ingredients, to a time when cheese was cheese, and not an unending lexicon of words from other distant places.

This is not to say that those finer places do not possess merit; they clearly do. But when life becomes more complicated, simple choices are very helpful in uncluttering our existences: toast or biscuit, hash browns or breakfast potatoes, scrambled or fried, white or wheat? Perhaps more importantly, counter or booth? Someone should do a study of the psychology of that choice, because it may be a better way to understand humanity than any yet found. Nostalgia, though, is a tricky thing. We can romanticize what came before, and in a very real sense, our memories are full of details our brain created to fill out the storyline. All hash browns are not crispy out and tender in (as God intended them to be); some need to be pressed between napkins to eliminate the extra grease. Diners are irregular things because cooks are humans, and some owners care more than others. Overall, the diner has endured not because of the food, but for other, more intuitive reasons.


As part of this feature, we asked food professionals and people from various walks of life what their favorite diner is … or in some cases, what it used to be, as many are now closed. Tunnel vision affects us all, and it was clear with one answer from three different people that this writer failed to notice the oldest diner in Oklahoma because it was not a diner per se.

“My favorite diner?” Chef Kurt Fleischfresser echoes. “The north side of Cattlemen’s.”

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse has been in continuous operation for more than 100 years, and the north side, the original part of the restaurant, is a diner.

Shaun Fiaccone, who owns Picasso Café, says Cattlemen’s “knows who they are after 100 years.”

“They are comfortable in their own skin, and it’s so refreshing. You feel it as soon as you walk in.”

Cattlemen’s operated 24 hours a day up until 1988 or 1989. During the 1960s and ’70s, the restaurant served hundreds of the 30 to 40 thousand workers who populated the large packing houses west of Cattlemen’s: Armour, Swift, Wilson and others. They started closing in the 1970s, and Cattlemen’s suffered a downturn. When operating partner David Egan and his business partner Dick Stubbs bought the place, they continued to staff the diner side, and now, the counter is manned seven days a week beginning at 6 a.m.

Egan said they let diners choose which side to sit on now. Up until 1990, the breakfast side closed for dinner, but eventually, demand made it necessary to re-open the counter for dinner, and many guests now choose the more casual side.

 

Some of the appeal is the counter. While it’s possible to chat between booths, a counter is like a bar in that many people who sit at one don’t mind conversational stimulation from strangers who are neighbors at the bar.

Brady Sexton, who owns Scratch in Norman, said he loves diners because he can sit at the counter with his kids. “You can’t do that at a bar, but at the diner, it’s part of the fun. It’s also more fun and personal to sit closer to the staff.”

Regulars will tell you – and they are correct – that the best service in a restaurant is typically at the bar. This is simple spatial reasoning: A server or bartender is nearly always within sight or hearing, as opposed to a table or booth, where seeing your server every three to five minutes is standard. Counters in diners are much like bars in this respect, making them even more appealing to the non-introverts among us.


Before there was Starbucks, there was the counter, and so we come to the coffee. Does the coffee need to be good at a diner? Maybe. Visiting several diners over a few weeks convinced me that coffee is the most irregular feature of diners. The servers, the eggs, the mixed fruit jelly (only available in restaurants, folks), the kitschy décor, the glass sugar dispensers that eject pre-diabetic granules at a furious volume, the squeeze bottles of ketchup that always seemed to be topped with vinegar simply to frustrate you, the nondescript flatware, the paper napkins that somehow shred skin and absorb liquid – these are all the same, or at least similar. The coffee quality is all over the place, though. Sunnyside has excellent coffee. Not all diners do, though many of the customers don’t seem to care.

They didn’t come for the coffee. I heard first names called on dozens of occasions. “The usual, Bill?” “You take it black, right, Hank?” “How are the grandkids, Esther?” In “Cheers”-like fashion, the diner is a local joint; the local-est in some ways, because we allow people to see us regularly early in the morning, when we are not at our best. They know our names, hear our stories and ask after our loved ones, and they keep the coffee “warmed up.” If it tastes a bit like caffeinated sadness, we can live with that. The side of camaraderie is usually plenty to send customers off with a smile, and to keep the legacy of these restaurant institutions rolling along into the future.

 


► The Ones We Miss
 

Larry Dean Pickering | Artist, Designer, Gadabout

“Skyline Restaurant near Eastern and SE 15th. I used to pick my dad up when he came in off the road, and we would eat there at 3 a.m. The Skyline Chili was something else – damn good, greasy spoon chili.”

 

Ty Tyler | Owner/Partner, Tyler Media

“Our family ate at Dolly’s every Sunday morning when I was growing up. I miss their breakfast.”

 

Robert Ross | Founder and Co-owner, Interurban and Packard’s New American Kitchen

“Denco’s was a great diner during the day, and a college hangout at night. They were inside the Denver Transportation Company building, which is where the name came from. They closed in 1981, but everyone from Norman remembers the Denco Darlin’: elbow macaroni with chili and cheese.”

 

Steve Gill | Managing Editor, 405 Magazine

“I still miss the burgers, fries and shakes from Nichols Hills Drug; they were good enough to warrant wading through the ever-present horde of Bishop McGuinness students.”

Denco’s courtesy oklahoma historical society;


 


► Fine Old Favorites
 

Scotty O’Daniel, art director, 405 Magazine

“Sherri’s Diner. The décor gives it a nice throwback feel, and the food’s good enough to make you think about becoming a regular. I’m already planning a return trip for biscuits and gravy. And pie.”

 

Kurt Fleischfresser, executive chef and partner, Western Concepts

“Cattlemen’s serves real food. It’s not processed, anti-oxidized, homogenized stuff. And I love the atmosphere.”

 

Shaun Fiaccone, restaurateur, Picasso Café

“Cattlemen’s. It embodies all the attributes of the perfect diner: delicious, unpretentious food in an equally unpretentious environment, familiar, well worn, effortlessly executed. (Full disclosure: it doesn’t hurt that my first job was at Applewoods.)”

 

David Henry, executive chef and operating partner, The Hutch on Avondale

“Good Gravy serves perfect hangover food, and the chicken-fried steak is the size of your face!”

 

Brady Sexton, owner, Scratch

“The Diner. The food is exactly what you expect, and it’s fast and friendly.”

 

Melissa Aust, executive chef, Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

“Ray’s Café over off May. I feel really young when I’m there, and the food is great. Also, Beverly’s.”

 

Kristi Miller Griffith, wine sales representative

“Juan del Fuego in Norman. It’s a diner with a Mexican twist. It’s everything that is great about both things.”

 

(clockwise from top left) Juan del Fuego // Boom-a-Rang // Stray Dog Cafe // Jim's Diner



► Extra Helpings
 

This newer addition to Bethany is well worth a visit, with a soothing atmosphere and friendly staff – they’re how we learned that they bake their own cinnamon bread for the French Toast. We learned it’s completely delicious through independent research.

 

An Oklahoma success story that started in one OKC diner has swelled to 50+ locations. They serve a full menu seven days a week, and claim to go through 7.5 million eggs per year. Probably in part because the scrambles are so good.

 

It might be a lingering aspect of Route 66’s storied legacy, but Bethany has a bumper crop of long-lived diners. Jim’s is pushing 40, and they mean it when they say homestyle. We recommend the open-face roast beef sandwich, with homemade pie a la mode.

 

This might be the only place on the list where we wouldn’t be tempted to order breakfast. It’s probably quite good, but they’re a progenitor of a true culinary treasure: You can’t go to Sid’s and not get an onion burger with fries and a shake.

 

Far-flung across Oklahoma – there’s even one in western Arkansas – these retro-styled locales have a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pro tip: The catfish is especially good.

 

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April 2017

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

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National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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A fairy tale filled with beauty both visual and musical - the OKC Ballet is ready to weave an enchanting evening for audiences with Mendelssohn's music and inspired by Shakespearean romance.

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OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.848.8637
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A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
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A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

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OKC Museum of Art
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The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

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Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
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More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Memphis.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

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Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Memphis.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The lunch hour sounds better than ever with a free acoustic set from local musicians and an appearance by The Loaded Bowl food truck.

Where:
Kerr Park
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OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.3500
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Crank it up on the south side with a high-energy show.

Where:
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S Eastern
OKC, OK  73149
View map »


Telephone: 866.977.6849
Website »

More information

Catch a masterpiece you missed the first time around or just want to re-experience on the big screen.

Where:
Harkins Theatres
150 E Reno
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.321.4747
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The Paseo gallery hosts a visually arresting show featuring new works in acrylic by Jon Clarke.

Where:
In Your Eye Gallery
3005 Paseo
OKC, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405.525.2161
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Armstrong closes out its performance season on a high note thanks to the much-sought-after special guest stringsmiths.

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
14400 S Bryant
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.285.1010
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Nearly 100 performers strong and impressively sonorous, the community band is tuning up to resume its concert schedule - join them!

Where:
Yukon Fine Arts Center
850 Yukon
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits with a return from the energetic rapster.

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.406.7484
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

The diriving force behind podcast Never Not Funny and a veteran presence before and during Conan, Jimmy Pardo is one excellent comedian.

Where:
ACM@UCO Performance Lab
329 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Website »

More information

Free lunchtime serenades to sonically spice up your Thursdays.

Where:
Downtown Library
300 Park Ave
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.231.8650
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

A mix of '90s and 2000s rock n' roll and some killer originals. Baker is an engaging, talented singer and guitarist!  No cover, smoke- and vape-free!

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The Paseo gallery hosts a visually arresting show featuring new works in acrylic by Jon Clarke.

Where:
In Your Eye Gallery
3005 Paseo
OKC, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405.525.2161
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

The writers of Chicago and Cabaret take a stab at a musical whodunnit, as OU theater students embroil themselves in the mayhem.

Where:
Elsie Brackett Theater
600 Parrington
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Broadway performer and man of many talents Todrick Hall shares a personal spin on the land somewhere over the rainbow - don't miss it!

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

Hearty food, heart-stirring music, plenty of games, competitions and feats of strength - highlights of Scotland's culture take center stage in this annual fest.

Where:
Kirkpatrick Family Farm
1001 S Garth Brooks
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Telephone: 405.834.1876
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Saturday cartoons aren’t just for the children anymore. Share the classics with your crew every Saturday on an Oklahoma River Cruise. Kids 6 and under ride free.

Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Jade Castle is a singer-songwriter from OKC, who started performing on stage at age 9 and has been obsessed with it ever since. She plays many shows around the metro and has started branching...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

A mix of '90s and 2000s rock n' roll and some killer originals. Baker is an engaging, talented singer and guitarist!  No cover, smoke- and vape-free!

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A trip to the amusement park becomes even more tempting with a shimmering set from For King & Country and Stars Go Dim.

Where:
Frontier City
11501 N I-35 Service
OKC, OK  73131
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2140
Website »

More information

He's quick with a quip or a song, and thoroughly entertaining overall in addition to being pretty funny - get tickets in advance so you don't have to improvise.

Where:
Riverwind Casino
1544 W Hwy 9
Norman, OK  73072
View map »


Telephone: 405.322.6464
Website »

More information

A three-mile run might not sound so very daunting, but this circuit traverses a grueling variety of obstacles - climbing, splashing, crawling and eventually partying with triumph.

Where:
Lost Lakes
3501 NE 10th
OKC, OK  73117
View map »


Telephone: 413.834.4498
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits with a crowd-pleasing show from the Texan post-rockers .

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.406.7484
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

The writers of Chicago and Cabaret take a stab at a musical whodunnit, as OU theater students embroil themselves in the mayhem.

Where:
Elsie Brackett Theater
600 Parrington
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

Hearty food, heart-stirring music, plenty of games, competitions and feats of strength - highlights of Scotland's culture take center stage in this annual fest.

Where:
Kirkpatrick Family Farm
1001 S Garth Brooks
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Telephone: 405.834.1876
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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