OKC restaurateurs find food, jazz make nice fit

Next to the cuisine, the life of the party when eating out could be the music, and Oklahoma ” with all of its unique talent ” doesn’t disappoint.
“The music will vary, and we will be serving an appetizer menu and cocktails while the music plays,” said Ashlin Wilhelm, outlets manager for the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
At Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, co-owner Bruce Rinehart features popular Maryland crab cakes and has discovered that jazz is a perfect fit.
“I really wanted to complement the experience here with live music,” Rinehart said. “We are all about the food first, but wouldn’t it be great to have music by the fireplace?”
Trying soft rock, folk and blues, jazz was the heavyweight that got his customers’ hearts pounding.
Over the next year, Rinehart met up with jazz musicians who remarked how “cool” Rococo was. Meanwhile, Rinehart gently hinted about staging an open jam.
“They loved the idea, so about a year and a half ago, we opened it up on Monday nights and it’s really grown,” he said. “It’s tough sometimes, as these folks need to be compensated, and a small restaurant like ours, off the beaten path, could use a little more support. For those who do come, they get some of the best live jazz the city has to offer.” “Carol Smaglinski

Carol Smaglinski

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