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Building Success at the Jones Assembly

Putting together a downtown showcase



 



What do you get when you combine a restaurant, bar, private space for intimate events and top-tier concert hall in one historic venue? OKC is finding out, as the massive new Jones Assembly is making waves on Film Row at 901 W Sheridan.
 

I still can’t get over the size of this place. The first thing I asked while we were setting up for the photo shoot was whether the staff has a semaphore code or other signaling system for communicating between the host stand at the entrance and the main dining area on the other side of the ample bar – a distance of at least 30 paces, and my legs are pretty long. (The question got a laugh the first time, but I asked a different staffer as we were leaving, and she admitted that their secret is technology, in the form of iPads.)

The space would be positively cavernous if not for the design touches that give it warmth and life and make it feel merely very large instead. That means lots of wood paneling to offset the exposed brick of the former assembly plant’s walls, royal blue upholstery to echo the velvet curtain up on the stage that fills the north wall (more on that later), gleaming brass light fixtures and freestanding lamps, even a few potted trees here and there – they’ve got room.

Upstairs, there’s a second, smaller bar, with a nice variety of seating options from low-backed, tufted leather barstools to a comfy couch that faces the impressively ample selection of vinyl LPs – complete with turntable. There’s also a perfectly appointed non-smoking covered seating area outside overlooking Sheridan, and a few deep, cozy semicircular booths that look to seat about five, positioned to give a VIP view of the stage below. Again, more on that later.

And if that weren’t enough space, there’s an entire extra dimension added via the great outdoors: The enormous exterior seating area is surrounded by walls but open to the sky, and features cornhole boards, shady enclaves and wood-burning fireplaces, so whatever Oklahoma’s notoriously fickle weather has in store, it should be comfortably worth a visit.


The downstairs bar is crowded, nearly full, before 4:30 p.m. on a Tuesday – the main restaurant area doesn’t begin seating until 5 p.m., but in the afternoon hours, the bar features a special “Brakes and Fluids” menu filled with snacks and coffee-based beverages. Of course, some of these patrons could simply be eager to get at the full dinner menu as soon as possible.

For an appetizer, my first and strongest recommendation is the octopus (see p. 53), but the soft, creamy burrata with blood orange slices makes a delicately flavored accompaniment to practically anything on the menu, and I admire the breadth of the charcuterie platter. This is not a heap of meat accompanied by a side of different meat – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but prosciutto and pepperoni and Schwab ham, as well as olives and salted almonds and homemade bread and slices of local peaches and pimento spread … a nicely wide variety of tastes and textures.

Like the hamburger buns and breads, the pizza crusts are made in-house, and the Neapolitan-style results are definitely worth trying, especially with toppings such as the fennel sausage, or the G.O.A.T. (these kids today and their acronyms) and its goat cheese from the exceptional Lovera’s in Krebs, red onion, crushed pistachios (yes, really) and a dab of local honey. A curious combination to be sure, and one that takes a moment to adjust to texturally – but quite delicious.

The house burger, with Tilamook cheddar and crispy shallots, is perfectly serviceable, but I’d steer you more toward the perfectly cooked scallops – with charred Brussels sprouts on a streak of pureed cauliflower – or the simple pleasure of a gorgeous piece of hanger steak from Creekstone Farms presented as Steak Frites. And definitely close out with a dessert along the lines of the B-A-N-A-N-A-S’ big bowl of tastiness: banana ice cream, toasted marshmallows, candied pecans, a house-made cookie and a sweep of banana pudding around the perimeter, to be combined in whatever proportion you like.

Chef Brittany Sanger has done some really nice work with the menu, and the Social Order management team has made a marvel out of this old space. Dinner? Yes. Cocktails as a group? Most definitely – try the cinnamon-spiked mint julep, blackberry/tequila Disco Nap or the creamy rum, citrus and avocado concoction they call the Hong Kong Phooey. A cozy spot to sip a latte in the afternoon sun? You’ve come to the right place. The Jones Assembly has put together a new downtown landmark. 


 

 

So I mentioned the stage earlier in passing, but I need to emphasize that it’s not decorative. The Jones Assembly is doing its part to add to the metro’s burgeoning music scene, tempting listeners in to enjoy acts from across the country. In the coming days, they’re set to play host to Cut Copy Oct. 5, St. Paul and the Broken Bones Oct. 13, Third Eye Blind on Halloween and the inimitable Matisyahu on All Saints Day. Visit thejonesassembly.com for details and tickets.

 


► The Jones Assembly is a big, big venue – so much so that we thought a few extra images might help give you a more complete picture. See below for an extra visual helping.

 

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Calendar

November 2019

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More information

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Cost: Free!

Where:
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
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More information

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Cost: $175 for the full term

Where:
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Contact Name: AL Caveny
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Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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Cost: Free!

Where:
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555 Elm Ave.
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Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
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View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
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More information

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Cost: 29.95

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: Varying

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View map »

More information

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Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

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Cost: 10-35

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Cost: Free!

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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1200 W. Memorial Rd.
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View map »


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Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

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View map »


Sponsor: Britta Thrift
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Website »

More information

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Cost: 29.95

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot
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Contact Name: Donna Jackson
Website »

More information

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Cost: $59.95

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View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
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View map »

More information

Thrills, laughs, and excitement are on full display in this incredible Cirque program that transports audiences back to the timeless adventure of the big top circus ring. This production, set to...

Cost: Varying

Where:
McKnight Center Performance Hall
419 S. Monroe
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View map »

More information

Nominated for 8 Tony Awards A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 flashes forward 15 years form Henrik Ibsen's 1879 portrait of marriage as a women's prison, and my, how things have - and...

Cost: 40.00

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Rep
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

More information

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