View Full Version : Wes Welker's



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Tavia
03-08-2013, 03:53 PM
I read in the Gazette today that Wes Welker had paired with Hal Smith to open up a sports bar/grill on Memorial in the old Carrabas building, any additional info?

Pete
03-08-2013, 05:02 PM
Here is what was written in the Gazette:


Wes Welker’s Sports Bar and Grill will be in the old Carrabba’s building at 3121 W. Memorial.

Jungmann, who also co-owns Paseo Grill and Sauced on Paseo, said it is slated to open in late June.

“Wes is excited about this concept,” he said, “so we want him in the city for the opening.”

Welker, a graduate of Oklahoma City’s Heritage Hall High School, just completed his ninth NFL season, the last six of which have been as a standout wide receiver.

Jungmann said the cuisine will be slightly upper-end bar food. Expected to be about 6,000 square feet, it will boast a large bar with 20 beers on tap, full liquor service and select wines.

“We’re not just going to have chips and salsa and wings,” he said. “We want to have traditional sports bar food, but we also want some chef-driven items.”

The newly named executive chef for both restaurants, Melodie Walker, is a former Platt College instructor.

“Melodie helped me put the menu together at Paseo Grill, so she’s an experienced chef with fine-dining experience,” said Jungmann.

OKCisOK4me
03-08-2013, 05:20 PM
I hope this works well for Wes. I was a few years ahead of him at HH and will root for whatever NFL team he plays for, so if he becomes a Broncho, then I'm a Denver fan!

Mississippi Blues
03-08-2013, 09:35 PM
...so if he becomes a Broncho, then I'm a Denver fan...

Wooooaaahhh, cool your horses bro!! Don't take things that far! :)

OKCisOK4me
03-08-2013, 11:27 PM
Wooooaaahhh, cool your horses bro!! Don't take things that far! :)

Haha, don't get me wrong, I love watching him on the Patriots, but if they don't offer him a nice contract, he'll go where he's wanted. I wouldn't mind seeing him receive passes from Peyton...

Mississippi Blues
03-08-2013, 11:39 PM
Haha, don't get me wrong, I love watching him on the Patriots, but if they don't offer him a nice contract, he'll go where he's wanted. I wouldn't mind seeing him receive passes from Peyton...

That's quite a thought right there. Somewhere in the middle of scary & exciting.

soonerguru
03-10-2013, 12:54 PM
Great. Another failure looms.

Urbanized
03-11-2013, 06:55 PM
How so? Hal Smith joints rarely fail. They might not be especially daring or strive to cover new culinary ground, but generally they do comfort food very well, which actually works better for the masses in OKC anyway. Joe was longtime manager of Red Rock Canyon Grill and has been successful both with Hal and on his own. Great guy to boot. They just hired an opening general manager (not sure if it is announced yet, so I won't reveal who it is, but someone I personally know well, and know to be an excellet operator). This GM for many years has run extremely successful athlete-branded and celebrity-branded places both here and out of state. Wes has tons of love in OKC, and many personal friends on the north side. Good sports bars are few and far between in OKC, and they are going to focus on being just that.

I personally probably won't make it up there a lot due to location, but I'll bet it finds a very receptive audience.

onthestrip
03-11-2013, 09:04 PM
How so? Hal Smith joints rarely fail. They might not be especially daring or strive to cover new culinary ground, but generally they do comfort food very well, which actually works better for the masses in OKC anyway. Joe was longtime manager of Red Rock Canyon Grill and has been successful both with Hal and on his own. Great guy to boot. They just hired an opening general manager (not sure if it is announced yet, so I won't reveal who it is, but someone I personally know well, and know to be an excellet operator). This GM for many years has run extremely successful athlete-branded and celebrity-branded places both here and out of state. Wes has tons of love in OKC, and many personal friends on the north side. Good sports bars are few and far between in OKC, and they are going to focus on being just that.

I personally probably won't make it up there a lot due to location, but I'll bet it finds a very receptive audience.

I believe it will do well just for this reason, there arent many nice sports bar options. Plus, as you said, Hal Smith doesnt usually serve up bad food.

jbkrems
03-11-2013, 09:31 PM
The only Hal Smith store I know that has failed is the Louie's in Nichols Hills. I never got there, but I heard it failed because of its location, etc. However, overall, Louie's has been a successful concept, as has all the other Hal Smith concepts abound. I expect the new Wes Welker restaurant to be no different than everything else that Hal Smith does. Good, consistent food at a reasonable price. :)

Nick
03-12-2013, 09:07 AM
I hope it does well, but I probably won't visit too much if its up off memorial.

positano
03-12-2013, 03:43 PM
The only Hal Smith store I know that has failed is the Louie's in Nichols Hills. I never got there, but I heard it failed because of its location, etc. However, overall, Louie's has been a successful concept, as has all the other Hal Smith concepts abound. I expect the new Wes Welker restaurant to be no different than everything else that Hal Smith does. Good, consistent food at a reasonable price. :)


Red River Ranch, Boomerang(s), Casa Del Sol, Sauced, Cha Cha's, Big Tuna, the cajun place after Pearl's, a few others. I'm a fan of those that have lasted, but there are no guarantees for any operators. I'm curious about the "celeb" places in OKC. Toby Keith's in Bricktown seems to have legs, but off the top of my head I recall most don't. Switzer's steak place on Hefner, his fried chicken place, and J.R.'s BBQ all were pretty short-timers.

Larry OKC
03-12-2013, 04:05 PM
From what I read most of Switzer's places failed because of bad management/embezzlement, not directly related to Switzer himself, the food or the staff...places were busy too.

positano
03-12-2013, 04:21 PM
From what I read most of Switzer's places failed because of bad management/embezzlement, not directly related to Switzer himself, the food or the staff...places were busy too.

I should probably clarify: I didn't intend to suggest any fault of the celeb for the ultimate closures. In fact, I expect most have little to do with daily operations. My thought was that perhaps the name alone wouldn't guarantee the success of a place.

OKCisOK4me
03-13-2013, 11:28 PM
Wooooaaahhh, cool your horses bro!! Don't take things that far! :)

Well, that was fast!

Wes Welker agrees to terms with Denver Broncos - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9048556/wes-welker-agrees-terms-denver-broncos)

OklahomaNick
05-23-2013, 10:26 AM
I am pretty excited about this place.
My wife LOVES Passeo Grill and Sauced, so we will hopefully BOTH love this place!
Does anyone know if they are still on schedule to open in Late June?

SoonerDave
05-23-2013, 11:25 AM
From what I read most of Switzer's places failed because of bad management/embezzlement, not directly related to Switzer himself, the food or the staff...places were busy too.

The legend I always heard back in the day was that Switzer was happy to lend his name and even put in a few bucks to start up places, but the reality was it was an opportunity for him to shelter income. He'd be highly involved early, then lose interest, do something else, whatever, and the place would fold up. The chicken restaurant in Norman was very reflective of this - actually very good when it first opened, and Switzer was known to show up there frequently just to shake hands with guests, then he more or less stopped doing that, then the food went south, then it was just...gone. Had heard Stoops was an investor in at least some of the Louie's restaurants, but don't know that for a fact.

Bill Robertson
05-28-2013, 07:29 AM
I am pretty excited about this place.
My wife LOVES Passeo Grill and Sauced, so we will hopefully BOTH love this place!
Does anyone know if they are still on schedule to open in Late June? If they're going to finish in 4 to 5 weeks they're going to have to hurry. I've seen activity going on for at least a couple of months. I was next door the other night and saw lights on so I looked inside. It's still just a shell. Studs and roof joists with rough framing for the bar. Not near as far along as I had expected to see.

Bellaboo
05-28-2013, 07:45 AM
Great. Another failure looms.

Boy, aren't you a ray of sunshine.

OKCTalker
05-28-2013, 09:53 AM
Memorial Road is a dense restaurant corridor, but it also seems to have a substantial number of failures. Is that proportionately in line with the rest of OKC, or is there something else going on up there that makes it especially difficult to succeed?

onthestrip
05-28-2013, 11:01 AM
Memorial Road is a dense restaurant corridor, but it also seems to have a substantial number of failures. Is that proportionately in line with the rest of OKC, or is there something else going on up there that makes it especially difficult to succeed?

No doubt there is a bunch of competition along Memorial but I also chalk some of it up to bad concepts or poorly ran. I suspect that Welkers place will do well. First, Hal Smith will put effort into the remodel, not to mention his food is always solid. But I also think it'll do well because of the lack of good sports bars up there. Fox & Hound needs an update on the interior and their A/V in a bad way and Twin Peaks gets annoying with the biker and UFC crowd.

Rover
05-28-2013, 11:18 AM
Memorial Road is a dense restaurant corridor, but it also seems to have a substantial number of failures. Is that proportionately in line with the rest of OKC, or is there something else going on up there that makes it especially difficult to succeed?

It is proportional to the number of bad concepts and executions. Don Pablos was very average food at best in a large expensive location. Carraba's was not on par with the rest of the chain and too similar to Johnny Carino's. There was a bad steakhouse that failed. And a log cabin restaurant that had way too much invested to ever turn a profit...especially with average food.

Dubya61
05-28-2013, 11:31 AM
And a log cabin restaurant that had way too much invested to ever turn a profit...especially with average food.

I never found Kodiak's food to be average.

Rover
05-28-2013, 12:34 PM
I never found Kodiak's food to be average.

I was being generous.

bluedogok
05-28-2013, 02:53 PM
I thought the Kodiak in Tulsa was great, the location in OKC never measured up.

Many of those failures on Memorial are national chain failures, China Coast and Harrigan's closed up nationally and Don Pablo's closed a large number of their restaurants. The Black Eyed Pea has all but disappeared except in Texas, the franchise owner here in Colorado operates them separately as their own group with no connection to the original franchisor. Kind of hard to pin the blame just on Memorial Road if the corporate entity closes up shop nationwide.

Bill Robertson
05-29-2013, 06:27 AM
I thought the Kodiak in Tulsa was great, the location in OKC never measured up.

Many of those failures on Memorial are national chain failures, China Coast and Harrigan's closed up nationally and Don Pablo's closed a large number of their restaurants. The Black Eyed Pea has all but disappeared except in Texas, the franchise owner here in Colorado operates them separately as their own group with no connection to the original franchisor. Kind of hard to pin the blame just on Memorial Road if the corporate entity closes up shop nationwide.Cheeseburger In Paradise was also a victim of the chain failing. All but a couple CIP stores were closed. The store here was usually packed.

bluedogok
05-29-2013, 09:38 PM
Cheeseburger In Paradise was also a victim of the chain failing. All but a couple CIP stores were closed. The store here was usually packed.
I think that one opened up after I moved to Austin (2003), I don't remember it other than some posts on here. Never saw another location elsewhere that I have been.

Bigrayok
05-29-2013, 10:06 PM
I think that one opened up after I moved to Austin (2003), I don't remember it other than some posts on here. Never saw another location elsewhere that I have been.

I liked Carraba's. Cheeseburger in Paradise was ok. Both were owned by Outback I believe. They opened and closed in Oklahoma City around the time Outback was closing restaurants all over the country. Outback tried to hire Hal Smith as an executive a few years ago. He turned them down. Hal built the Outbacks in Oklahoma City as franchises then sold them to the company later. I hope Wes Welker's place makes it.

Bigray in Ok

bluedogok
05-29-2013, 10:48 PM
We go to Carraba's here in Denver, there was one in North Austin but we usually ended up at the Johnny Carino's in South Austin.

soonerguru
05-29-2013, 11:02 PM
How so? Hal Smith joints rarely fail. They might not be especially daring or strive to cover new culinary ground, but generally they do comfort food very well, which actually works better for the masses in OKC anyway. Joe was longtime manager of Red Rock Canyon Grill and has been successful both with Hal and on his own. Great guy to boot. They just hired an opening general manager (not sure if it is announced yet, so I won't reveal who it is, but someone I personally know well, and know to be an excellet operator). This GM for many years has run extremely successful athlete-branded and celebrity-branded places both here and out of state. Wes has tons of love in OKC, and many personal friends on the north side. Good sports bars are few and far between in OKC, and they are going to focus on being just that.

I personally probably won't make it up there a lot due to location, but I'll bet it finds a very receptive audience.

I agree that Joe is a great operator and human being. Not overly impressed by Hal Smith fare, however.

Bill Robertson
05-30-2013, 06:56 AM
I think that one opened up after I moved to Austin (2003), I don't remember it other than some posts on here. Never saw another location elsewhere that I have been.CIP was owned by Outback. Supposedly with Jimmy Buffett having some financial interest. That I can't confirm. After Outback closed all the stores Luby's\Fudruckers bought the chain and reopened stores in 14 states. The OKC store had already been bought by Twin Peaks so couldn't be reopened as a CIP.

Nick
05-30-2013, 09:19 AM
Any idea why he chose the north side as opposed to something more centrally located?

Rover
05-30-2013, 12:06 PM
Probably because Wes is from the north side.

Nick
05-30-2013, 01:03 PM
Probably because Wes is from the north side.

I assumed that was the case, just wasn't sure. A concept like what Wes has proposed would have been a nice fit in the Bricktown Coach's space.

sooner88
05-30-2013, 08:13 PM
They first tried to do it downtown, when that didn't work they went with the Memorial location.

Rover
05-30-2013, 10:22 PM
Where did they try downtown? What didn't work?

Nick
05-31-2013, 08:39 AM
When did they try downtown?

sooner88
05-31-2013, 03:16 PM
It was in the infancy stage, but attempted to make something work in Lower Bricktown... after that didn't pan out they started to look elsewhere.

OKCretro
06-26-2013, 09:53 PM
Heard Louie was the name of stoops' dog?

Al esbach's restaurant was open for maybe 2 months

yukong
06-26-2013, 10:51 PM
Heard Louie was the name of stoops' dog?

Al esbach's restaurant was open for maybe 2 months

I knew the manager of JR's in Norman when it was running. JR's was a Hal Smith operation also I believe. She told me the Louie's was patterned after a place in Youngstown, Ohio that was popular and liked by Stoops. And she said Louie was Stoop's dog.

blangtang
06-26-2013, 11:17 PM
I knew the manager of JR's in Norman when it was running. JR's was a Hal Smith operation also I believe. She told me the Louie's was patterned after a place in Youngstown, Ohio that was popular and liked by Stoops. And she said Louie was Stoop's dog.

I don't know anything about Stoops' dog, but I remember the OU student paper had a story quoting Stoops when the original Louie's opened on Campus Corner, in what until that time had been I believe a bagel shop.

The gist of the quote was Stoops said "For the name of a bar, 'Louie's' sounds better than 'Bob's'..."

bradh
06-29-2013, 11:50 AM
I'll give the place a shot because the only other decent sports bar on the NW side where you don't come out smelling like an ash tray is Republic, and it's always impossible to get a table.

jedicurt
07-12-2013, 03:04 PM
I'll give the place a shot because the only other decent sports bar on the NW side where you don't come out smelling like an ash tray is Republic, and it's always impossible to get a table.

I still just argue that there isn't a decent sports bar in OKC, but perhaps this or KD's will change that... but i doubt it

OKCisOK4me
07-12-2013, 03:24 PM
The Varsity at 63rd & Western WAS that decent sports bar... So wish it were still in operation.

bradh
07-12-2013, 03:46 PM
I still just argue that there isn't a decent sports bar in OKC, but perhaps this or KD's will change that... but i doubt it

Don't like Republic?

OKCisOK4me
07-12-2013, 03:48 PM
Don't like Republic?

He/she said it was always too packed...and everywhere else that has room you come out smellin like a pack of smokes.

Pete
07-16-2013, 09:03 AM
From their FB page:

We open for business July 22nd. (Dinner only July 22nd and 23rd, and then we open for Lunch on July 24th) Can't wait to see you!!!

Bill Robertson
07-16-2013, 09:15 AM
From their FB page:

We open for business July 22nd. (Dinner only July 22nd and 23rd, and then we open for Lunch on July 24th) Can't wait to see you!!!We were next door Sunday night. They were having some type of soft-opening with some local sports, TV and radio people. I figured from that it would be pretty soon. They flew through construction the past 6 weeks. At that time I looked inside and it was still just a shell.

Pete
07-16-2013, 09:39 AM
The had a disaster relief fund-raiser.

Pete
07-23-2013, 08:41 PM
Wes Welker's officially opened yesterday.

Anybody been yet??

Pete
07-31-2013, 10:15 AM
New website:

WesWelker's (http://www.weswelkers.com/)

OKC4me
07-31-2013, 06:39 PM
We went the other day.
We both had $9 hamburgers. They were good, but extremely greasy. The buns and fries were almost dripping with grease. I told the waiter, and he agreed that they were unusually greasy. I think the atmosphere is neat. The décor is kind of plain. There is a bar in the middle of the place, and its large. There are big tvs above the bar. Looks similar to Dave & Busters. It was kind of dark in there as well. Waiter said there were 36 tvs there, so should be a good place for sports games. Its worth trying, but not anything very unique or very interesting. I noticed they had a steak for $26, so the menu isn't cheap at all.
I would go back, but just wasn't super impressed. I wouldn't make a special trip to visit, but if you're in the area, worth trying. I might give it a shot for an OU game or something.

Anonymous.
08-01-2013, 08:10 AM
Went last night.

Sat at bartop as the tables had a wait.


Service at the bar was good, they had 3 bartenders. Ordered cheese fries appetizer which was good, but EXTREMELY greasy. We could only get through about half before feeling like crap. Thus we changed our minds about ordering burgers and instead got a salad and a sandwhich melt. They were both good, but once again the sandwhich was overly buttered resulting in too much grease. I got the rice casserole as a side and it was good, but too cheesey for my taste. Salad was expensive once you add grilled chicken.

Apetizer was around $8
Salad w/ chicken $12
Sandwhich melt $9
Beer was overly expensive unless you got a mainstream domestic - which was still 3.50 a bottle or draft.

The "sport" atmosphere is ideal. By far the best TV setup I have seen in an OKC restaraunt. There is minimal wall decor because there is TVs spaced out every 2 feet along the wall. This will definitely be a hot place for Thunder games and football games. The table setup is a little odd when you walk in, there is a row of tables directly in front of the hostess stand/lobby then it fans out around the bar in the center. The bar is a good height and deep enough that you feel like you're at a table.

Overall I give it a 7/10 due to greasyness of food and the prices. If the food was improved I would not mind the prices as much. The setup really saves this one.

OKC4me
08-01-2013, 03:25 PM
You're right on, about how I felt.

The hamburger was good, but the bun was really, really greasy, and the fries were worse. I did tell the waiter, and told him it was a huge turn off. All 10 of my fingers were greasy when I would take a bite out of my burger. If it keeps up, I definitely won't be eating there, just go for nachos to watch a game or something.



Went last night.

Sat at bartop as the tables had a wait.


Service at the bar was good, they had 3 bartenders. Ordered cheese fries appetizer which was good, but EXTREMELY greasy. We could only get through about half before feeling like crap. Thus we changed our minds about ordering burgers and instead got a salad and a sandwhich melt. They were both good, but once again the sandwhich was overly buttered resulting in too much grease. I got the rice casserole as a side and it was good, but too cheesey for my taste. Salad was expensive once you add grilled chicken.

Apetizer was around $8
Salad w/ chicken $12
Sandwhich melt $9
Beer was overly expensive unless you got a mainstream domestic - which was still 3.50 a bottle or draft.

The "sport" atmosphere is ideal. By far the best TV setup I have seen in an OKC restaraunt. There is minimal wall decor because there is TVs spaced out every 2 feet along the wall. This will definitely be a hot place for Thunder games and football games. The table setup is a little odd when you walk in, there is a row of tables directly in front of the hostess stand/lobby then it fans out around the bar in the center. The bar is a good height and deep enough that you feel like you're at a table.

Overall I give it a 7/10 due to greasyness of food and the prices. If the food was improved I would not mind the prices as much. The setup really saves this one.

bradh
08-01-2013, 03:27 PM
I had the pulled pork sandwich the first time I went last week and it was good, don't hold the cole slaw on it, it makes it.

Had a burger last night. Yes it was greasy, but not bad. I'm not a fan of their fries, that's why I got green beans. The green beans were close to what Republic offers.

OKCisOK4me
08-08-2013, 01:35 PM
You guys are making me feel like I need to tell the waiter to "hold the grease" on my first visit, lol.

ctchandler
08-08-2013, 01:38 PM
OKCisOK4me,
But vitamin "G" is important to life. Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have grease!
C. T.
You guys are making me feel like I need to tell the waiter to "hold the grease" on my first visit, lol.

OKCisOK4me
08-08-2013, 01:59 PM
OKCisOK4me,
But vitamin "G" is important to life. Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have grease!
C. T.

Don't get me wrong, I'll head that way next time I roll outta bed with a hangover ;-)

Anonymous.
08-12-2013, 09:15 AM
Went back again this weekend.

Place was busy, sat at bar and service was instant.


I got the pulled pork sandwhich this time and it was overly greasy once again. Since pulled pork sandwhiches are generally greasy already, I figured I would see what other things looked like.

Someone in our group got the chicken melt that I got last time, it was greasy, but not nearly as bad as when I got it the week prior.

Another person got a standard cheeseburger and the bottom bun was falling apart and dripping with grease. It was extremely unappetizing.

Lastly, tried the buffalo chicken nachos and they were excellent.



So I think the grease thing is just how they do it there. I think I will try to order "light on the butter" or some variance next time if I am planning on getting a sandwhich of some kind.

MikeLucky
08-12-2013, 09:29 AM
I went Saturday night... It is a really well done Sports Bar, for sure. TV's everywhere. Bar and restaurant service was very good. We started with the waffle and chicken bites as an appetizer. And, WOW, those were literally amazing. Sweet potato waffle fries and chicken bites paired with two dipping sauces... one was a honey based sauce and the other was maple syrup. Very very good.

I had the Bourbon Street burger, I believe. It was a bit greasy, but that didn't put me out much. lol. It was very tasty. I had the green chili mac and cheese instead of fries and it was good. My date had a sandwich that I believe was a turkey melt of some kind... but she only ate half of it because we went to TOWN on that appetizer.

But, overall the experience was very good. Nice bar, clean decor, LOTS of televisons, and the food was good in my estimation.