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VZD’s has closed…

11:43 AM EST on November 11, 2014


If your aunt is sad and nostalgic today, this probably explains why.

VZD's, the one-time popular restaurant, bar and music venue on N. Western, has closed. Like a lot of one-time popular places before it, it was shutdown by the taxman.

Here's a report from the Oklahoma Gazette about the news. It does a good job ignoring that VZD's owner, Chad Bleakley, is the son of Gazette publisher Bill Bleakley, but I guess that technically doesn't matter.

After more than three decades, VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western Ave., closed Monday.

Venue owner Chad Bleakley cited continuing personal health issues, finances, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and other reasons for its closure in a media statement sent to Oklahoma Gazette on Monday. He also said he hopes to “carry on the tradition” of VZD’s, and is reaching out into the local business community to see who might carry on the venue’s name and mission.

Owner of 24 years, Bleakley helped re-establish the venue as a hot spot for up-and-coming music acts, from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Faith No More and area bands from the Reverb Brothers to Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Through the years, it’s been well-known for jazz, blues, rockabilly, alternative rock and other music genres that generally wouldn’t be as welcome in the city as they were at VZD’s.

This sucks. I actually liked VZD's. It was like walking into a living, breathing, Generation X museum. I think every girl in there was named either Amy, Mary or Christine and starred in the old Directions in Furniture commercial. It was the cool place in town to go to before Oklahoma City had cool places to go. Make sense?

Anyway, I wrote a whole bunch of other shit about VZD's, but for some reason Wordpress fucked up and decided not to save it. It was kind of a backhanded nostalgic tribute. I made some jokes about their roller derby waitresses, annoying ear-ringing live music and how all the regulars looked like they drove BMWs and had just left the Bishop McGuinness Class of 1989 High School Reunion. However, I also shared some good times like the night I drank 20 pints of Bass and sang "El Scorcho" with some cover band, or the time I was nearly attacked by Dave Morris' Mean Hot (Now Ex) Wife.

I also left some pointers for the trust fund baby or local restaurant group that tries to salvage the place. They are...

- Get away from the live music. VZD's was great for lunch or happy hour, but once you saw some fledgling touring band from Omaha moving their amps on stage, it was time to get out.

- Update the menu... but keep the stuffed mushrooms

- Pay Taxes 

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