by Malena Lott
Honestly, we’re a tad bit spoiled now. Every time I turn around, we’re getting something cool in OKC. It’s not just drinking OKC’s Thunder-blue Kool-Aid, either. And it’s not “just” a certain developer or business person or city manager making it happen. It’s not “one” program or promotion. It’s creative people bringing creative ideas to the marketplace and more often than not, residents responding and supporting it. And while a lot of the “cool” is happening around the downtown Oklahoma City area, it’s not just “one” part of downtown. They are all rising to the occasion.
That included Deep Deuce, the relatively quiet eastern Bricktown district of OKC around 314 NE 2nd Street. Apartments popped up there several years ago and since then more retailers and restaurants have added to the flavor of the area.
Now add Urban Johnnie to the mix with a two-story warehouse design concept of steel, concrete and “jazzy” blue and black brand imagery, a hip bar, local photography by Carl Short and, oh, yeah, really freaking fantastic food. I haven’t even tasted the liquor yet, so I’ll be back.
Urban Johnnie is the “upscale” gourmet concept brought to us by the fine family of Johnnie’s restaurants known for their burgers, big onion rings, fries and pie. Check out the menu here, which includes a lot more offerings, including my choice, a grilled chicken and kale salad that had the best dressing I’ve ever had on kale. It may make a kale fan out of kale haters, I swear.
Sooner Picker Sister Ali Clark had the grilled caesar salad and she also raved that they’d added a twist to the old favorite. Even the guac, white queso and salsa were extremely flavorful and unique. I love when chefs try something new out of staples like that.
Even with the warehouse design, the space is pretty quiet. Many booths are tucked under one section so you still feel you get an intimate setting unless you choose to sit at the central bar height table.
Love the vibe and the eats. Nice job, Urban Johnnie!