Charlie’s Bar and Grill

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by Tim Farley

There is a reason for the “sports” reference in the name Charlie’s Sports Grill and it happens to be the sports motif! Oklahoma City Thunder banners hang on the wall opposite framed jerseys and a plethora of photographs and articles.

Restaurant owners are planning a facelift in the near future which will dedicate one wall to college football, one to Thunder Alley and one to UFC. In addition to the athletic walls, owners want to feature all military branches in another area of the eatery.

The restaurant is separated from the bar side by one wall with a large opening. The restaurant section evolves into a family style establishment with video games geared more toward the youngsters.

Formerly located in xxxxx as a bar, owners Mike Potts and Ian Pugh moved their business a half-mile south in May, and expanded into a restaurant. They also have a location in Eufaula and are planning to open another Charlie’s Sports Grill in Newcastle during the upcoming football season.

They wanted “the folks in Choctaw to have more choices [for dining] so they would not have to drive to OKC,” according to restaurant manager James Cameron.

Community Involvement

Cameron has been with Charlie’s for three months and oversees both locations with his vast amount of restaurant experience.

After his military stint was over, Cameron was looking for a new venture and the restaurant business came calling. He has managed restaurants and clubs abroad and from New Orleans to New York.

Seth, the bartender, Shane and Danny, both cooks, have been with Charlie’s since it opened.

Charlie’s staff is big on community involvement and when the budget can accommodate it they like to aid local residents. They recently participated in a blood drive for an injured oil field worker and also dedicated 10 percent of a day’s sales to a critically ill young man in the community.

New Menu Items

They constantly are updating their menu to meet the desires of patrons. It is updated on Facebook frequently and they are currently building a web site.

Fried catfish and steak dinners are recent additions to the menu. The owners are adding more dinner entrees while eliminating some of the specialty burgers. The Sweet Tooth is a popular lunch item and takes advantage of seasonal strawberries, Blue Cheese, candied pecans, a spring mix of lettuce and raspberry vinaigrette.

Their signature dish is the Irish Nacho’s. The fresh potatoes are sliced in a wheel and deep fried, served with bacon cooked in brown sugar and honey, topped with sour cream and green onions, and layered with the Grill’s special cheese sauce.

Reviewer’s Meal

I’d never heard of Irish nachos, so I was curious. I couldn’t resist testing them. A couple of bites into the nachos and I began thinking how easy it would be to make King Henry VIII look like he was on a diet. The unique flavor is heavenly and could be shared by two and make quite a filling lunch.

James wanted me to share a Sprawl Pizza with him, and we added some jalapenos for good measure. Complete with Artisan style crust, this pizza is just the ticket.

The super thin, chewy crust hosts red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, green bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, Mozzarella Cheese and jalapenos. There are as many styles of Artisan crust as there are pizza chefs, but Charlie’s looks like a flour tortilla that has been fried-thin and crunchy. It’s a perfect complement to the toppings.

He insisted I try four samples of the Wings: Asian, Mad Mike, the Buffalo and the BBQ. They were spectacular.

The Asian hints at a soy flavor, the BBQ should be filed under Sweet Tooth, Mad Mike was spicy hot and the Buffalo was just one degree cooler than Mad Mike. They were thoroughly cooked, very spicy and messy like wings are supposed to be.

I was so grateful I only had to taste test these, but I left knowing I would be back for more.

Charlie’s owners are hoping to expand their catering services and occasionally rent out the entire facility. For example, the restaurant will be closed August 3 to the public as they host a wedding reception.

Even if you are not hungry Charlie’s Sports Grill is a great place to come watch the UFC fights, which will all be broadcast here. Or, you can take in the live bands hosted on most weekend nights. Best of all Happy Hour offers half-price appetizers and that’s where you’ll find the Irish Nachos.

14530 NE 20th, Choctaw, 73020

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