Widgets Magazine
  • Relax Park closed by the city; lawsuits fly

    Relax Park, a 3.6-acre entertainment venue and cannabis dispensary near downtown, was shuttered July 26th by the City of Oklahoma City due to lack of proper building permits and inspections and remains closed as the facility's operator and investors sue and countersue one another.

    The operator, Jason Thomas, was featured in a 3/26/21 Oklahoman article titled "Staging a Comeback" where he was portrayed as being the victim of promised bank funding that never materialized as he ran the now-defunct Urban Farmhouse furniture store.

    Thomas defaulted on a multi-million loan by Farmer's Bank and Urban Farmhouse soon collapsed leaving a large amount of debt; a new investment group assumed the existing loans and obligations but later claimed the inventory used as collateral had been vastly overstated. The new owners also told the Oklahoman that Thomas had taken money from hundreds of customers while running Urban Farmhouse without completing their custom orders. Ultimately, Urban Farmhouse closed for good and Aaron Johnson, who had loaned the money to Thomas, was ousted from Farmer's Bank and banned from banking by the FDIC due to a long list of issues.

    From left: former Farmer's banker Aaron Johnson, Cherami Thomas, Jason Thomas

    For Relax Park -- coincidentally located directly south of the old Urban Farmhouse buildings at 5th and S. Western -- court documents show Thomas sold 83% of the ownership to a group of investors who claim, among several other accusations, that Thomas took their money but never filed the proper building permits and that bills and employees were unpaid.

    The lawsuit was filed against Thomas and his wife Cherami after the city posted a 'cease and desist' order on the door of Relax Park stating, "Continued operations and activities are not permitted without proper inspection and code compliance."

    When it opened in April, Relax Park featured a large performance stage with capacity for 2,000, the dispensary, and a cannabis-friendly bar with overhead doors.

    Cease and desist order posted at Relax Park

    Through court documents, Thomas denies the claims of embezzlement and is counter-suing the investment group.

    The lawsuits between the investors and Thomas are ongoing as the facility remains shuttered.

    Note: OKCTalk was aware of the large-scale construction at Relax Park at 500 S. Western in early 2021 but could not locate building permits that are required for such work and thus chose not to cover the business, even after being approached by a public relations firm hired by Relax Park.

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