Industry Gastro Lounge to open in NW OKC

Published Friday, September 29, 2017
by Molly M. Fleming

A new locally owned restaurant is planned for the city’s northwest sector.

Industry Gastro Lounge is being constructed at NW 140th Street and N. May Avenue. Owner and operator Bobby Kahkesh said the slab will be poured in October and he expects the restaurant to open this spring.

The 8,000-square-foot building was designed by RBA Architects Associate Principal Troy Downing. Kahkesh said it’s about a $3 million project.

With shopping centers and Quail Springs Mall nearby, Downing said his design emphasizes the restaurant’s name, focusing on an industrial aesthetic. The building’s sloped and juxtaposing roofs, with bright signage, should help it pop out from the surrounding area, he said.

“There will be a lot of neat surprises inside,” he said. “I think it will be something a little different.”

Kahkesh said he’s been thinking about opening Industry Gastro Lounge for about five years. He has a background in commercial real estate and got into the restaurant business when places became vacant in his shopping centers.

He owns and operates the Frosted Mug Grill and Big Bar on S. Meridian Avenue, another area with hotel traffic.

Industry Gastro Lounge will be open until 2 a.m. to cater to hotel visitors in the northwest corridor. He said there used to be a couple of restaurants that offered that atmosphere, but they’ve closed.

The restaurant will have a 1,400-square-foot patio with two outdoor fire pits, and two 50-seat bars inside, which he’s calling the largest in the city. He was approved for alcohol zoning during Thursday’s Oklahoma City Planning Commission meeting. He plans to serve wine, beer, and cocktails.

The bars will offer views of several television screens. In the last couple of years, Oklahoma City’s high-end bars have struggled with the decision to add a television. It can change the atmosphere, but not having a TV can send people to other places to watch an athletic event.

Kahkesh said he’s visited several venues nationwide and having TVs seemed integral. While Industry Gastro Lounge will be an upscale eatery, he said he doesn’t think TVs will affect the Las-Vegas style ambience he’s trying to achieve.

“We absolutely believe that the TV will be part of the success,” he said. “It’s not the quantity of TVs, but the quality and the size. You’ll get the feel that you’re not overcrowded by the TVs, but be able to enjoy them as well.”

The menu will feature items made from scratch and hand-cut steaks. Lunch will be about $10 per person and dinner will be about $15, Kahkesh said.

Building a restaurant from the ground-up, and then opening it, is a challenge for Kahkesh. There’s no large group behind it, and as he said, he’s taking on the big boys on N. May Avenue, where national chain restaurants populate the Memorial Road corridor.

He said since it’s just him, he can make changes to help fit the market and help the restaurant have a strong performance.

“The confidence is in having a strong team and knowing your capabilities and your limitations,” he said. “Sometimes you have to be a little stupid to get anywhere.”

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