Not too long after we hit publish on the post, we received dispatches from Ogle Moles claiming the bar was being rescued. Then I had a phone call that went something like this:
"Hey, did you hear the Wilshire Club is being saved?"
"I am hearing that. Do you know what's up?"
"We're acquiring it!"
The person on the other line was our friend and TLO Ad Club member John Hunsucker. He's a member of the Littlepage Group. They own and operate Stag Lounge in Deep Deuce and the Omerta Cigar Co. & Lounge on 77th and S. Western. They're great people to know if you like Scotch, cigars and Steve McQueen movies.
Anyway, Littlepage signed a lease last week and are the new owners / operators of the Wilshire Club. They're telling me the same thing that they told to crack news team at OKC Talk. They want to keep everything people liked about The Wilshire Club the same – it will remain a smoking bar – while also making some improvements, like adding a little patio, installing a new air filtration system, and giving me, and the entire Ogle family, a monthly bar stipend.
Basically, they don't want to flip it into a different concept. They have a cigar bar at Stag, and want the Wilshire Club to remain the same little place where people have been knocking back cheap, strong drinks for generations, only the air will be more breathable.
They're telling me Wilshire Club will probably re-open in 4 weeks - 6 weeks, with current staff welcomed back. In today's day and age, when the concept of time has lost all meaning, I don't know if that's an eternity or tomorrow, but either way, that's good news for the Oklahoma City bar scene. We don't have too many of these spots left, and we need to hang on to what we got.