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Oklahoma City's unique treasures

The Jones Assembly

The Jones Assembly in Oklahoma City, OK on Jan. 20.

The Jones Assembly

The Jones Assembly is a one-stop shop for food, drinks, events and concerts in downtown Oklahoma City on historic film row.

Annie Tucker, director of marketing, said there’s truly nothing like the experience The Jones Assembly provides.

“Our three pillars are food, spirits and music,” Tucker said. “The way we pull off those three things simultaneously is so cool to me.”

The Jones Assembly is a 20,000-square-foot building boasting a dining room for brunch and dinner, a full service bar, a patio and an upstairs event area.

The brunch menu features a specialty savory ricotta hot cake with Nashville hot chicken, appetizers like scratch biscuits served with honey butter and fresh jam and brioche french toast, a spin on a classic. 

The dinner menu includes Italian favorites like lasagna made with pork sugo and rigatoni with whipped ricotta, various salads and steak. An array of specialty cocktails like the Jones Crush and Disco Nap are available, as well as an extensive wine and beer list.

Tucker said the restaurant functions as a full service fine dining restaurant one day and a casual concert venue the next. Both the dining room and patio are often converted into concert venues and party areas.

“We move all the furniture and everything around to be able to provide that to guests and clients,” Tucker said. “I haven’t seen anything like it.”

One of the Jones Assembly’s most recent events was the TJ Après pop-up, a monthlong alpine food and beverage experience on the patio, which ran from Feb. 4 to March 4. Tucker said the patio was set up to feel like a ski lodge and featured an exclusive menu.

“We completely overhauled our patio to make it feel like a ski lodge,” Tucker said. “We’ve created a new type of reservation to sit out there, with a specialty menu only for the patio. We have DJs and music out there on the weekend, then all the while we’ve got the dining room running as normal. The food and drinks are so fun, the space looks amazing. A completely different experience than I’ve seen at any other place in (Oklahoma City).”

The Jones Assembly hosts several annual events and parties as well. The annual St. Patrick’s Day party will be hosted March 11.

“We’ll have all the usual things going on, plus a full themed party,” Tucker said. “We’ll have green beer, Irish-themed food specials and music.”

Concerts at The Jones Assembly have featured artists like Lord Huron, Flatland Cavalry, Hippo Campus, Andy Grammer and Randy Rogers.

Starting up in April, The Jones Assembly hosts The Lively Concert Series from spring through fall. This series features local musicians playing on the patio stage every week, Tuesday through Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

“We started this after Covid to provide local musicians with a gig and our guests with free live music,” Tucker said. “It’s sponsored by Lively Beerworks, a great brewery close by that we work with.”

Tucker said The Jones Assembly aims to bring in people from outside Oklahoma City, such as Edmond and Norman, and that the venue is full of entertainment for all ages.

“It’s great on the weekends for kids, great late at night for college kids, 20-somethings and 30-somethings,” Tucker said.

The Jones Assembly is open 4-11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 10-2 a.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Whether it’s for a meal, happy hour, an event or a concert, there’s always a reason to go to The Jones Assembly. 

For more information, visit their website or Instagram.

Hideout Art Studio

Sign outside Hideout Art Studio in Oklahoma City, OK on Jan. 20.

Hideout Art

Hideout Art, an abstract art school and gallery, is one of Oklahoma City’s hidden treasures, located in the Britton District.

Oklahoma resident Lisa Allen owns the studio. She has loved art her whole life and intended to major in it in college. However, she ended up majoring in communications, following a different career path.

Allen grew up in Oklahoma but went to Stephens College in Missouri, graduating in 1991. She bounced around cities for two years, then lived in Kansas City until finally moving back to Oklahoma City in 2001 after the birth of her second child. During these years, Allen worked as a corporate trainer for Revlon, traveling and training other employees to promote their growth and skills.

“I loved what I did but hated the travel part,” Allen said. “I was in a different city every day. I could not have a life like that.”

Allen then worked in pharmaceutical sales from 2003-07. She later worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor manager and fitness instructor of indoor cycling and water aerobics. 

One day, her neighbor asked her to teach him how to paint, and she taught him on her back porch. Allen soon realized that painting there was a huge mess and wouldn’t work long term.

“I realized I needed a place to paint that wasn’t my back porch,” Allen said. “I was literally driving around looking for places to rent and saw the for lease sign draped over what is now the Hideout Art sign. I called the owner and it turns out I knew him — Ward Hall.”

Allen opened Hideout Art in 2018. Allen said Hall helped her get a head start on materials for the space.

“Ward gave me the remnants from the school down the street, so I have all the cool coat racks,” Allen said. “The studio is all kind of cutesy with a lot of color. It’s definitely my happy place.”

Allen said she had always loved painting but couldn’t tap into her creative side. She wanted to learn how to let her personality shine through her art.

“I’ve always painted all my life,” Allen said. “I was always a brush artist. Everything was cool, but it was exact. I was great at copying other people’s art, but I couldn’t get any creativity to come out of my brain. But if I could just go out there with my personality, I could.” 

Allen said the use of different tools, especially trowels, small handheld tools with a flat pointed blade, are what finally let her get creative.

“It really started for me when I started painting with trowels, doing some ridiculous, fun, easy, modern pieces,” Allen said.

Allen said she can teach others how to channel this creativity within themselves. She teaches lessons on how to paint modern canvases with these trowels and other tools.

“Hideout Art became such a fun place, not just for teaching a single lesson, but it’s super therapeutic,” Allen said. “The things I show you are so easy, memorable and doable. It’s so fun, even for someone with no artistic skill whatsoever. They may come in and do some badass, modern minimalist piece that nobody saw coming. The sky’s the limit on these. It really allows people to be artists right away.”

Allen has a very open studio environment and said she wants people to make the most of the experience, making themselves at home.

“I allow people to bring and use their medical marijuana, and they can also bring any wine and beer they want,” Allen said. “I also encourage them to bring any snacks they want. A lot of people will have a party here and cater. And now we’ve got El Coyote down the street. I’ve watched this whole district open, it’s crazy. Over the past five years, it really came alive.”

Allen said her father, mother and sister have died, but one of her favorite memories at Hideout Art was getting to paint with her family members who are still alive. She said she knows the joy other families get to experience together when painting in the studio.

“My favorite moment was when my family, who was alive, was there and we did a family painting where we literally just loaded up the big trowel, and had a huge painting,” Allen said. “I literally just let them do whatever. I wanted us to do something huge and bold, and it turned out amazing. Experiencing that with my family who I love. … I know that’s what it’s like for the other people who come to paint here.”

Allen said people become connected through the studio. Many friendships form through the love of art.

“Our business is really word of mouth,” Allen said. “Everybody is connected. It’s like a spider network of friends now. I’ve met the most wonderful people and that’s what I love the most. It’s been such a blessing, and has even helped people get into, or get back into art.”

Guests are able to book the space for parties through the Hideout Art website, but Allen said it’s also a great way for family and friends to spend time together while creating something.

“It’s the chillest place,” Allen said. “There’s paint on the floor. It’s a hot mess, but a really cute adorable hot mess. They walk in not being an artist ever, and leave with an incredible, big abstract painting. I’m there to help guide, but I let people do whatever they want. You have to let go. It’s a weird cool thing to watch.”

Hideout Art is truly unique to Oklahoma City. The studio teaches innovative techniques, has a strong community, and is a place for creative expression, all because of the one-of-a-kind Lisa Allen. For lessons and to learn more, visit Hideout’s website or Instagram.

The National Hotel

The National Hotel is a historical Oklahoma building turned hotel located at the corner of Park Avenue and Robinson Street in Oklahoma City.

Originally the First National Bank tower built in 1931, the National Hotel was restored and reopened in April 2022 as part of the First National Center Project. The hotel’s tower stands 456 feet above the sidewalk. The hotel has preserved and maintained many elements of the original building, including murals, cast stone, stone columns, vault doors and safes, keeping the history of the bank alive.

Jason Gifford, the general manager, said even Oklahomans should still come stay. The hotel has so much more to offer than rooms to sleep in.

“Whether you’re visiting or from here, it’s something that is so unique, it should be on everyone’s list to at least walk in,” Jason Gifford said. “We want you to stay a night, enjoy the restaurants, shop.”

The hotel features 146 guest rooms, with 16 suites and a presidential suite. The lobby features historic murals by Edgar Spier Cameron and original marble floors The Great Hall bar.

“The Great Hall’s very unique. It’s a beautiful Roman-esque depiction,” Gifford said.

The hotel features restaurants like Tellers Italian Wood-Fired Grill and Stock & Bond steakhouse. Tellers uses traditional Italian cooking techniques for an authentic meal. Stock & Bond stays true to Oklahoma’s history by serving a modern interpretation of High Plains steaks paired with American whiskey. 

The Gilded Acorn is another eatery, with indoor and outdoor seating, that serves small plates, champagne, coffee and tea. Library of Distilled Spirits, located in the hotel’s basement, serves liquor inside the iconic bank vault. The Library contains over 1,500 spirits from all over the world and over 200 cocktails.

The hotel also has an array of retail shops just a few steps away, inluding Plenty Mercantile: The Reserve, offering a line of locally sourced and sustainable goods, including jewelry, bath and body products, apparel, candy and home decor; The Barbershop and DryBar, both hair salons; and Lucchese Bootmaker, the largest Lucchese location.

“You have the hotel, residences, food and beverages,” Gifford said. Add in Stock & Bond steakhouse, the retail shops, the Acorn and the Library of Distilled Spirits. … It is just such a fun and unique property.”

The hotel hosts several meeting venues, like their 7,096 square-foot ballroom. These rooms are ideal for business meetings and corporate parties.

Other amenities include a fitness center, valet parking, room service and smart TVs in guest rooms. The hotel is also pet-friendly. 

The National Hotel is more than a place to stay with a multitude of amenities. The building is an integral part of Oklahoma’s history.

“The building is so special, with so much history behind it and what it took to get this building where it is to be representative of Oklahoma,” Gifford said.

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