Take A Bite Out Of Western
by Heide Brandes
Along “lower” Western Avenue, you can bite into a crispy ocean-flavored fried oyster, sip on a deep blood red Pinot Noir, enjoy a slice of cheesy pizza or nibble on a thick, barbecued rib.
On Oct. 25, you can sample all at once as Chesapeake Energy presents the 10th Annual Taste of Western.
The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Will Rogers Theater, 4322 N. Western Avenue, and participating restaurants include Cafe 501, Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro, VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 51st Street Speakeasy, 42nd Street Candy Co, Republic Gastropub, Iron Starr Urban BBQ, Hideaway Pizza, Sushi Neko, Musashi’s, Coach House, Will Rogers Theater, Kyle’s 1025, Bin 73, Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Big Sky Bread.
Tickets will be available at http://www.visitwesternavenue.com and are $60 each.
“This is the 10th anniversary of Taste of Western, and it is a food and wine tasting event that features only Western Avenue establishments,” said Heather Griswold of the Western Avenue Association, which hosts the event.
“We focus on the area from 36th St. to Wilshire, and we will have 18 participants this year, along with five wine brokers. We’re going to have some great wine – and beer for that matter – for people to enjoy.”
Each restaurant and establishment will have a table at Will Rogers Theater so participants can walk around and sample the goods. The theme this year is “Halloween,” so the décor should be spooky fun, Griswold added.
“It’s our 10th anniversary, and the event has really grown. We started out with only about 100 people, and know we max out on people coming to Taste of Western,” she said. “We probably see 600 to 700 people each year.
Along with food and drink, Taste of Western will also have a silent auction from Western Avenue retail merchants along with a live DJ. It’s all designed to show off what a vibrant area lower Western Avenue has become, said Griswold.
“It’s taken a lot of work. I started this about 11 years ago, and since then, a ton of development has happened along Western,” she said. “It’s more than Chesapeake Energy too. We’ve had so much private development, and people just want to be located on Western now.”
Besides events and support for Western Avenue merchants and restaurants, The Western Avenue Association also works to beautify the arterial street to lure even more business. It is a Business Development District, and the retailers and businesses participate in a self-imposed tax that helps fund improvements to the area.
“All the funds from Taste of Western will go toward beautification projects,” Griswold said. “Last year, we spent $10,000 on beautification projects on Western.”
Sponsors for Taste of Western include Chesapeake Energy, First National Bank of Oklahoma, RCB Bank, Summit Bank, Total Environment, Ben E Keith, Fox/CW, OPUBCO, This Land Press and the OKC Friday.
Griswold recommends that participants buy tickets early.Share story on Facebook Share story on Twitter Email a Friend.