Uptown Gets a Glow Up with Roosevelt Room - 405 Magazine

Uptown Gets a Glow Up with Roosevelt Room

This bar rewards a closer look.

Photo by Rachel Maucieri.

The 23rd Street corridor is a veritable choose-your-own-adventure of bars, with styles spanning from The Pump’s patio and Guyutes’ rooftop to Ponyboy and the dive-y Bar Next Door. But there’s nothing quite like The Roosevelt Room, the latest addition to the district, which set up shop as a quasi-speakeasy beneath Hurts Donuts. 

Accessed by stairwell and a nondescript door in the back of the building, marked by a Roosevelt Room mural, the basement bar distinguishes itself from its Uptown compatriots with an intimate, cozy atmosphere, and a style of cocktail service that raises the bar, so to speak. A far cry from the spacious crowd-pleasers that populate the neighborhood, including the new Bungalow 23 nearby, The Roosevelt Room is dark and discreet, with a central bar flanked by booths and stools. And that stark difference is intentional. 

“We wanted to bring a speakeasy style, a sensual and intimate date-night spot, to the 23rd Street area,” explained general manager Kolton Dickerson, citing more one-on-one interactions with guests, and more focus on hospitality. “It’s fun to be a part of 23rd Street and its new roots. People will always go to the late-night bars, but we’re allowing people to come unwind at the end of the night, and get away from the street-level nightlife.” 

The name is partly inspired by similarly named bars in Tulsa and Austin, which capture the intimacy and classic ambience operators are striving for here. The caliber of cocktails is a notch above as well, spotlighting seasonal novelties like the Lemongrass Grass, a tiki-inspired riff on a caipirinha with cachaca, lemongrass-fennel syrup, lime, vanilla and hibiscus butters. And the LSP, a creamy medley of mezcal and Drambuie with Cherry Heering, lemon, orgeat, Peychaud’s bitters and grated nutmeg. The Yubari Fizz is a particular stunner that showcases the bar’s artistry and capabilities — served in a highball, it’s a fruity spin on a Melon Ball, with Midori, vodka, ginger liqueur, pineapple, lime, vanilla, cream and Topo Chico.

Classic cocktails are well represented too. “That’s where hospitality starts, being able to execute a classic well,” explains Dickerson. “It’s like a latte. You go get your coffee of choice in the morning, and you want it done your way. The same for someone coming in and wanting a Sazerac made the same way it was made 150 years ago.” 

Rounding it all out is a curated wine list and a tapas menu with plates like lobster quesadillas, shrimp ceviche, duck wings and crispy eggplant. Together, it’s all a part of a new kind of hospitality experience for the lively neighborhood — at once elevated and subterranean.

The Roosevelt Room

604 NW 23rd St., Suite b001

therooseveltroomokc.com