Celebrity Restaurant, famed for its Caesar salads and swanky red velvet décor, has been acquired by the restaurant group that owns The Bramble eateries.

The acquisition was announced Wednesday night on Facebook by Johnna Hayes, one of the members of the 3 Sirens Restaurant Group. The other members of the group are Sara Day and Debra Zinke, and they collectively own The Bramble restaurants at 1302 E. Sixth St. and 400 Riverwalk Terrace, Jenks, as well as Bird & Bottle, 3324 E. 31st St.

Mike Samara, founder and longtime owner of the restaurant, died in 2018 at the age of 94. He opened the Celebrity Club as a private club in 1963, prior to liquor-by-the-drink being legalized in 1984. Private club guests ranged from Bob Hope and Mickey Mantle to Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Dave Clark Five band. Samara’s children took over running the restaurant.

Carole Sue Fiorendino, employee and longtime friend of the Samara family, said 3 Sirens Restaurant Group took over Wednesday. Samara’s daughter, Paula Osko, who had been running the restaurant for years, sometimes with her brother, Nick, was not available for comment.

“I think it’s probably too emotional for Paula to come around anymore,” Fiorendino said. “The word sure got out fast. It has been crazy around here today. Crazy good.”

Hayes said she is respectful of Celebrity’s history and place in the community.

“Salvaging & preserving the legacy that a man brought to the restaurant scene over 50 years ago is going to be one of the greater honors we as Three Sirens get to have,” Hayes said in her social media post.

“For me, coming from a lineage of restaurant & bar owners going back as far as I remember, it is not lost upon me the magnitude & responsibility I have to serve not only the best quality of food and drink but to give the service that has been long loved and supported by Tulsa.”

The classic steakhouse at 3109 S. Yale Ave. has been serving Tulsans for 56 years. In addition to the Caesar salads that are made tableside, the restaurant also is known for its piano bar, gilded artwork, lots of crushed red velvet and holiday decorations.

So it is no surprise that the question on the minds of regular diners right now is — will it change?

Here’s what Hayes had to say about that: “We will not be making any major changes, as we want to see what has been built and maintain what has worked so well for so many years. We will however want to share some exciting and hopefully new found favorites and give attention where some had maybe been lost over the years — breathe a little bit of freshness to an already beloved space.

“We hope you join us in sharing your favorite memories, your favorite meals and what you love so much about this iconic space — and we look forward to carrying on another 56 years of family, food, drink and tradition.”


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Scott Cherry

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scott.cherry@tulsaworld.com

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