Popular Oklahoma City club to reopen as restaurant, bar next month

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Ron Stahl has been frequenting VZDs for more than 30 years.

He still holds onto his membership card he received in the early 1980s.

"You had to have a membership card to be a member, and you had to keep a bottle of liquor with your name on it in the club," Stahl said.

His favorite spot has been closed for seven months since the Oklahoma Tax Commission shut it down for $50,000 in unpaid taxes.

"You wouldn't believe the impact that has on a group of people that are used to hanging together in a familiar place," Stahl said. "We were just a band of itinerant gypsies uprooted and wandering."

Now, new owners are reopening VZD’s in July.

"You have an obligation to the public, and to the building, and to everything that it means to everyone and to preserve that," Eric Smith, the new owner, said.

Eric Smith bought the restaurant and bar with Nelson Bolen. He says the biggest challenge to re-opening this hot spot is making all of its long-time customers happy.

"You have 50 years of people. They have an opinion and they have their own ownership of it," Smith said.

The stage where many musicians played is gone, but art has been added to pay tribute to the famous faces that once graced VZD’s stage like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"This shows that the music tradition is being remembered and honored the way a lot of people remember it," Stahl said about the painting.

In addition to the artwork, a medicine cabinet pays homage to the time when the club was a drug store.

"It goes back to the people that are 75, 80 and 90-years-old that were maybe brought here when they were kids,” Smith said.

Smith says the food will be similar to what was served in the past and there will still be live music.

"I think that new is good, and I think with doing that, you also have to hold on a little bit to the past," Stahl said.

There will also be a reservation-only room called 'The Crown Room.' They will also serve a tasting event each week.

You can call (405) 535-6416 to make a reservation.

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