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A More Perfect Union

Polishing a gem of a bar in the SoSA neighborhood



 



You might not have a ton of familiarity with the little restaurant and bar at 616 NW 5th in OKC; it’s not part of a bustling enclave of hotspots, nor on a particularly busy main drag. In fact, even if you do happen to be passing by between Walker and Shartel, from the road it doesn’t look all that different from the houses and apartment buildings around it. But this is an ideal time to look closer; the South of Saint Anthony neighborhood is on its way up in the world, and with its recent renovation and menu expansion, The Union at SoSA has become a must-visit.
 

The space isn’t new – it draws its name from a former life as a midcentury meeting hall of the electricians’ union, and took on a new identity as a bar a bit more than a year ago. But its 2018 revamp is a definite upgrade: A lighter interior makes the small space feel considerably airier, with decorative touches both small (the little cacti-filled window boxes) and large (the majestic sweep of the epoxy-topped oak bar on the building’s northeast side).

Fortunately for diners, the attention to detail extends to the contents of the menu, as well. I feel like it’s a good sign that you’re in for a treat if in lieu of mozzarella sticks, the appetizer menu starts off with bites of fried goat cheese, served with a smear of sour cherry gastrique that complements their flavor nicely and a sprinkling of ground pistachios.

The steaming, spicy, sink-your-teeth-into grouper sandwich is probably my favorite entree, but if you’re feeling more like a pizza, flatbread choices range from a fairly traditional topping combo in The Don to The Hipster – on which the sweetness of the fig preserves that take the place of a standard tomato sauce plays really nicely off its salty prosciutto and caramelized onions. And while on one hand, there’s only one burger option, on the other, the Only Burger boasts a wagyu patty, truffle aioli and butter-toasted brioche bun. I’m not so hung up on haute cuisine that I’d call wagyu beef essential for a burger, but it’s good – and I am all the way onboard with putting Muenster on more things. Even the salad, an overlooked afterthought on a bar menu if ever there was one, can impress with the Market Orchard’s candied pistachios, golden raisins and slivers of green apple.

When it comes to the menu, though, I am burying the lede: I consider it a fundamental must to recommend the Chicken crisps. Picture a pork rind but thinner, a fried wafer of chicken skin that’s firm enough to be crispy but not so brittle that it shatters under your teeth, basted with a honey-mustard glaze and served warm and fragrant. The end result is absolute genius. I’ve never had anything like them, but dios mio, they are outstanding.

 


 

Pub food is often an easily maligned genre because it represents a lower bar (so to speak). You can usually get away with concentrating on the booze and letting visitors’ palates fend for themselves on fairly uninspired or even substandard fare. So it’s a pleasure to encounter a watering hole where the reverse is true; The Union’s menu is more adventurous, and straight-up better, than it has to be. Whether or not you plan to imbibe, head to SoSA, track down The Union and give it a try.
 

Fancy as the food is, The Union remains a bar first and foremost – and choice is on tap. You can sit in the main dining room at the oak bar, peek into the opulently decorated speakeasy downstairs on special occasions or enjoy the Oklahoma sky by heading out back to lounge on the rear patio and order refills from the window of a parked Airstream trailer. And wherever you wind up, the selection is bountiful, given that the beer list alone has more entries than the entire food menu combined. With a few labels of red and white wines and a smattering of craft cocktails (the smoked pineapple sounds delicious) waiting to be tried, you should have no trouble finding something you like. It’s hot out there; stop by The Union for a cold one.

 

 


 

► Eatery & Cocktail Office @ The Union

 

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Calendar

September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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