Thunder star Kevin Durant is preparing to open a restaurant in Lower Bricktown, just a short walk from the Chesapeake Energy Arena where he is routinely greeted by a devoted fan base of 18,000.
The restaurant is being developed by Randy Hogan and will be operated by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group. A building permit filed this week shows the $700,000 restaurant will be one-story tall (similar to an adjoining building that is home to Earl's Rib Palace), 10,000 square feet, and will be located just west of Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill (also operated by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group).
The restaurant will overlook the Bricktown Canal. The project will still need approval by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, which is set to meet on April 18.
“It's going to be cool,” Durant said Friday before the Thunder's game against the Indiana Pacers. “We're breaking ground, I think, on the 26th of April. So it should be up probably before the beginning of next season. I'm looking forward to it.”
Durant said the concept is a mix between an upscale restaurant and sports bar. The Hal Smith Restaurant Group also operates Louie's, Charlestons, Red Rock Canyon Grill and Mahogany Prime Steakhouse.
“It was a deal I couldn't pass up,” Durant said. “That's something in Oklahoma City that I always wanted to do … No matter what's going to happen, my name is going to be clear, and I'm not putting up money or nothing like that. So it was a perfect deal.”