Former Kevin Durant restaurant will reopen with homage to famous Oklahomans
Hal Smith Restaurants said Tuesday that it would rebrand Kevin Durant's Bricktown restaurant as Legacy Grill, a new concept that will feature rotating memorabilia from famous Oklahomans.
Legacy Grill's menu will feature many menu items from Kd's Southern Cuisine, which previously occupied the space, along with new items.
Hal Smith, founder and CEO of Hall Smith Restaurant Group, said a restaurant celebrating Oklahoma history has been something he has wanted to make a reality.
"I've had this in my brain for quite a while," Smith said. "It's going to be a premier destination for anyone who wants to enjoy the history of Oklahoma and its culture, and a good meal."
Records show Hal Smith Restaurant Group filed an application to trademark the Legacy Grill name on July 12, eight days after Durant announced his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.
Durant was 25 percent owner of Kd's, but will have no stake in Legacy Grill, Smith said.
Smith said his parting with Durant was amicable.
"I went into that partnership with him knowing that someday he could leave, and I had this plan in the back of my head for quite a few years,” Smith said. “I wish him only the best in the future.”
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Although there will be a new take on some elements of the dining experience, the restaurant group said the essence of the menu will be upheld by retaining popular items like fried chicken, fish specials, chicken-fried steak and pan-seared lemon tilapia.
A few new items such as shrimp linguine and a French dip sandwich made with prime rib will be added to the menu.
After Durant's announcement to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 4, Smith was inundated with phone calls about the future of the restaurant.
“Initially we were all surprised and in a way, a lot of people were hurt and mad,” Smith said. “Some of the hard-core fans are disgruntled, but we've still got a great team and we've got to have a lot of fun. Personally, I've never had a negative thought about KD.”
At the new Legacy Grill, guests will be surrounded by images and memorabilia of more than 200 notable Oklahomans, including astronauts, actors, civil rights activists, civic leaders, sports stars and singers. The Distinguished Oklahomans exhibit will rotate regularly over time and will celebrate the diversity of Oklahoma's population, representing not only a range of professions and contributions, but also a variety of races, ages and perspectives.
Many of these pieces will be on loan from the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
“Legacy Grill is creating an atmosphere that aligns with what we at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame do every day — telling our state's amazing story through our people,” said Shannon L. Rich, Oklahoma Hall of Fame CEO. “We think it will help bring a unique aspect to the dining experience, and hopefully guests will learn something fun while being inspired by Oklahoma's best and brightest along the way.”
The restaurant closed July 24 to accommodate updates to the kitchen and dining room.
Smith said employees were offered the opportunity to maintain their positions during the transition with pay. Many employees have used the time to join together on behalf of Hal Smith Restaurants and volunteer for Ronald McDonald House Charities, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, Free to Live Animal Sanctuary and other nonprofits.
Smith said he wanted to retain and continue to pay as much of Kd's staff as possible, because of the challenges and expense of hiring and training new staff.
“We will continue to have same nucleus of great employees,” he said.
Smith said he hopes to have the new restaurant open by mid September.
Legacy Grill is at 224 Johnny Bench Drive in Bricktown. The new menu soon will be available at www.LegacyGrill.com.