For a depressant, alcohol sure shows up at all the best parties. There are plenty of tear-in-your-beer bars around for the sad, solitary drinker, but if you’re going out for a good time, Oklahoma City has you covered with an array of spirited watering holes where they don’t water down the spirits.
— By Greg Elwell
Photos by Garett Fisbeck and Mark Hancock
222 E. Sheridan Ave.
An undiscovered gem in Bricktown, Room 222 is the perfect place for happy hours that turn into nightcaps. Decked out as a plush, modern lounge with plenty of TVs for all different kinds of sports (and whatever else you want to watch), Room 222 can be a quiet little hideaway from the bustle of downtown streets. But as the evening wears on and the drinks keep flowing, don’t be surprised to hear an eruption of laughter from the next couch over.
814 W. Sheridan Ave.
Where can you get a stiff drink, body-slam The Ultimate Warrior, eat fruit while being chased by ghosts, go flying off Rainbow Road and fight your way through an army of Sentinels to beat up Magneto? Oklahoma City’s coolest video game bar, of course. Flashback RetroPub has alcohol and arcade games aplenty for the ultimate intersection of your child and adult sides. And if you get tired of the games, you can also bust several moves on the dance floor.
2218 NW 39th St.
Let us all pray that The Boom never goes bust, because this is one of OKC’s craziest bars with entertainment of all sorts. The drag shows are expertly done, and Trashy Thursday’s open talent showcase packs the crowds in. But one of the biggest draws is the hilarious Sunday Gospel Brunch hosted by Kitty and Norma. It features breakfast, $2 mimosas and a lot of audience interaction.
2304 N. Western Ave.
Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one can hear you. Or go to Cookie’s and let everyone see and hear you when you take the stage for some of the city’s most energetic karaoke performances. The drinks are strong, the tables fill up fast and smoking is allowed. But if you’re looking for a fun way to pass an evening, few things are quite so enjoyable as singing Bell Biv DeVoe extremely off-key.
TapWerks Ale House
121 E. Sheridan Ave.
TapWerks is a Bricktown staple known for its extensive lineup of beers on tap. Local brewers often drop a few kegs of special edition and one-off batches. So if you’re looking to hoist pints with friends but you don’t just want any old beer, TapWerks is a solid choice. And with live music three nights a week and pub trivia on Tuesdays, there’s almost always something to do while you’re enjoying another glass.
51st Street Speakeasy
1114 NW 51st St.
Tuesday night trivia by The Lost Ogle is a fun way to test your knowledge against other local booze enthusiasts, but with a trio of new owners, The Speak is bringing in a lot of new live entertainment. Comedy nights, DJs and bands are filling out the calendar and giving the building new life. Best of all, if you’re just looking to hang out with friends, there are private rooms and large patio areas for more privacy. (See our related story on P.19.)
5137 N. Classen Circle
Lunchboxes are some of the sneakiest drinks around. Once you find your way into Edna’s and get a frosty mug of that famous libation in your hand — an inevitability — you’ll look down and see that it’s empty. Smooth and satisfying, Lunchboxes tend to disappear quickly, leaving behind only a burning desire to get up and order another one. Beware: Edna’s drinks have been known to cause excessive dancing and booming laughter.