Advertisement

The Restaurant Chain You Probably Forgot Was Inspired By A Toby Keith Song

Toby Keith in cowboy hat
Toby Keith in cowboy hat - Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Toby Keith died on February 5 at the age of 62. The bard, perhaps best known for his ode to a brand-specific red plastic party cup (and less known for suplexing wrestler Jeff Jarrett), has left behind him not just a musical legacy, but a restaurant chain that bears his name. Well, his name and that of one of his numerous country hits, since the chain is called Toby Keith's I Love [stylized as a heart] This Bar and Grill. Kind of an unwieldy name, true, but four of the words (after the Toby Keith part) echo the title of his 2003 chart topper about a saloon that attracts "winners, losers, chain smokers, and boozers" as saloons tend to do.

The video accompanying Keith's single was shot at Cowboy Palace Saloon, an establishment that bills itself as "the last real honky-tonk in Los Angeles," but by 2009 the first TKILTBAG opened in Mesa, Arizona, with an additional 19 to follow in locations across the U.S. The chain, like the Cowboy Palace, offers live entertainment and booze, but it also features a full menu of bar foods. Some of the current menu items have countrified names such as Tumbleweed Onions, Calf Fries, and Jailhouse Chili and there's also, of course, a T.K. Burger (not named after Ted Kaczynski, Tawny Kitaen, or Takeshita Kōnosuke). The house specialty, interestingly enough, is a fried bologna sandwich, a regional specialty claimed by regions across the U.S. Appropriately enough, the same thing could be said of country music, as well.

Read more: Fast Food Hamburgers Ranked Worst To Best

There Are Only A Few TKILTBAG Locations Left

interior of OKC TKILTBAG
interior of OKC TKILTBAG - Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill (Bricktown) / Facebook

Unfortunately for Mr. Keith's career as a restaurateur, most locations of his namesake eatery closed down within just a few years of opening. Moreover, plans to build restaurants in an additional 19 cities collapsed before they could be completed, and the company in charge of this enterprise — Boomtown Enterprises — was sued for more than $28 million. Keith, however, was not caught up in all of the mess as TKILTBAG was actually not a celebrity-owned chain. Instead, the singer just leased the rights to his name and would sometimes appear onstage as part of the featured entertainment.

As of today, there are just two Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill locations, both of which are located in Keith's home state of Oklahoma. Neither one is owned by Boomtown Enterprises, however, as they're operated by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group instead. Each one seems to be doing pretty well at present because the Oklahoma City location has a four-star TripAdvisor rating, while the one located in Moore gets 3.6 stars from Yelpers. The former also shows a full calendar of live music acts booked through January, while its Facebook page is also advertising a Valentine's Day event featuring entertainment from a harpist. This is obviously meant to be all sweet and romantic, but we can't help hoping they'll play "Should Have Been A Cowboy" or "How Do You Like Me Now?!"

Read the original article on Mashed.