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VZD’s is (not) reopening tomorrow…


Update: Yeah, I have no clue what's going on. Apparently the whole "reopening this week" thing has hit some snags. The liquor license is expired, and the new owner I talked to apparently isn't even the new owner. Brianna Bailey took a break from singing Yellow Ledbetter at Nancy's Lighthouse to update on everything. You can see it after jump. I added some "editor's notes" to the post below.

That lasted about as long as a plate of stuffed mushrooms... (I guess mushrooms last longer than I thought.)

Less than one month after the venue was shut down because someone didn't pay taxes, the Oklahoma City landmark VZD's is set to reopen as early as 5:00pm tomorrow under new ownership. (Haha, psyche!)

I know this because I just got off the phone with VZD's new owner article, Brent Walton. (So, according to The Oklahoman article, the guy I talked to isn't the new owner, but the new operator and eventual owner. Meh, details suck.)  He's been involved in the Oklahoma City bar scene for nearly his entire life. He's a former owner of the Cock-O-The-Walk and Classics – two of my favorite local neighborhood dives – and his first job was at Will Rogers Theatre when it was still a theater. When Brent was a kid, his uncle owned Sipango and Red Rooster, so I guess you can say Brent and his family have been directly responsible for a bunch of Bishop McGuinness graduates getting drunk and laid over the years. (Hey, I think this part is right. Who knows.)

Here are a few things (I thought) I learned from my brief conversation with Brent...

Not a lot is going to change...

The "new" VZD's will be very similar to the "old" VZD's (Heh, I guess that means it's not currently open). The food menu should remain relatively the same, the staff that stuck around and decided not to pursue a pro career in Roller Derby will be welcomed back, and they're going to continue to feature live music.

Which leads to...

Expect Live Music 7-Days A Week...

According to Brent, VZD's will now be open on Sunday. The old one was closed on Sunday, and for some reason decided to market that with this recent video. (The video is actually three years old or whatever, but it was posted on the VZDs facebook page about a month or two ago, so I just assumed it was recent... kind of like how I thought the guy I talked to on the phone was the new owner.)

Yeah, let's tell people about the one day each week we're closed. That will help us pay taxes.

(Here's another video to summarize how I feel)

In my original post, I suggested that VZD's tone down the live music. It looks like Brent's doing the exact opposite, which is probably a good move. My suggestion was totally selfish in nature and had nothing to do with what's good for the venue. I'm a big live music snob, and would prefer that I be the center of attention when drinking with friends as opposed to a group of talented musicians. But VZD's is a live music venue at night, and sticking to the one thing that made it a historic venue worthy of this type of coverage is a good idea. I wish them the best, and hope they have a plate of piping hot stuffed mushrooms waiting for me the next time I come in for happy hour. (If / when they open)


Per Brianna Bailey with The Oklahoman...

VZD’s will not reopen Thursday night, owner Chad Bleakley said.

Although Bleakley has agreed to let Brent Walton manage the local restaurant and bar, and eventually purchase VZD’s, a final deal has not been reached and the venue is not yet ready to reopen, Bleakley said.

Walton on Wednesday prematurely announced plans to reopen the restaurant and local music venue at 4200 N Western, Bleakley said.

“People get a little overexcited, but hopefully it will reopen soon,” Bleakley said.

Attempts to reach Walton were unsuccessful on Thursday.

VZD’s liquor license expired Dec. 5, the Oklahoma Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission said.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission closed VZD’s in November for delinquent taxes. Bleakley had struggled in recent years with personal health problems, as well as to pay to bring the establishment up to Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards.

State law that restricted smoking in restaurants to designated smoking areas with separate ventilation also cut into Bleakley’s business, he said after VZD’s closed last month.

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