An extensive, monthlong renovation of the 56-year-old Celebrity Restaurant is complete, and it will reopen to the public Friday night.

A swarm of workers were putting the finishing touches on the restaurant, located at 3109 S. Yale Ave., all day Thursday and Friday morning as co-owners Johnna Hayes and Sara Day, and Kristin Klein Daffern of Kleinco Construction directed traffic.

Hayes, Day and Debra Zinke, principal owners of 3 Sirens Restaurant Group, purchased the restaurant, known as the Celebrity Club until a few years ago, from the Samara family earlier this year.

Founder Mike Samara died in 2018 at the age of 94. Daughter Paula Osko and son Nick Samara had handled the day-to-day operation for some years.

Generations of customers no doubt have many questions and concerns about the remodel. The owners said they tried to make updates while maintaining the Celebrity ambience.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

Almost all of the furniture, including the crushed red velvet chairs and banquettes, has been kept the same.

A new glassed-wall wine cellar that holds 500 bottles has been added at the end of the bar. “We’ll now have a captain’s list for fine wines,” Hayes said.

A new baby grand piano has been installed in the bar area, where Mark Bryan will play Friday and Saturday nights.

Among the most notable additions are glassed-in shadow boxes that display uniforms worn by women servers, likely in the 1960s and ‘70s. The large, gilded paintings will go back on the walls after the holidays.

The much-loved Christmas decorations are expected to be put up this Sunday. “We already have 400 reservations through the holidays,” Hayes said.

Carpeting has been removed and replaced with wood floors.

The private back dining room, called the Club Room, has been significantly redecorated with new chairs and refined-looking black and gold wallpaper.

The plumbing has been replaced throughout the building, and all of the bathrooms are new. “We even found some old Orangeburg pipes in here,” Day said, referring to the dated sewer pipes that were discovered.

Menu favorites will be retained, and some new items, including pasta and seafood dishes, will be added. Mitch Neely, former chef at The Alley Gastropub and The Pint on Cherry Street, has been hired as executive chef. “We are going to be using more local products, too,” Day said.

New glassware has been purchased for wines and cocktails.

New tin ceilings have been installed in the bar area and dining room.

Every employee has been retained, according to Hayes. “Customers will still recognize the people who have worked here so long,” she said. “It has been a hectic month, but we couldn’t be happier.”

Celebrity is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and for dinner 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The phone number is 918-743-1800.

The 3 Sirens group also owns The Bramble restaurants at 1302 E. Sixth St. and 400 Riverwalk Terrace, Jenks, as well as Bird & Bottle, 3324 E. 31st St. Another Bramble is expected to open in Broken Arrow before the end of the year.

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Scott Cherry


Twitter: @ScottCherryTW

Scene Writer

Scott is in his second tour of duty with the Tulsa World. He was a sports writer during his first stop. Since returning to the World in 1992, he has been the food writer and now restaurant critic and wine columnist. Phone: 918-581-8463