Arena Pub & Grill Brings Life to Tulsa’s Arena District for Sports and Music Fans

Contributing Editor

GTR Media Group photo
DINING ENTREPRENEURS: Restaurant co-owners Bill Stokely, left, and Ted Andress have compiled a list of events and food and drink specials to draw and build a regular crowd in their innovative downtown Tulsa facility.

Arena Pub & Grill, 201 S. Denver Ave., sits just across Denver Avenue from the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. It’s an obvious and convenient stop for concertgoers on a night out.
When live events return full-time to the BOK Center, there is no doubt that the eatery will experience an uptick in guests. Yet, the restaurant is already building a solid customer base of sports fans, music fans, night owls and others.
Restaurant co-owners Ted Andress and Bill Stokely have compiled a list of events and food and drink specials to draw and build a regular crowd.
Arena Pub & Grill offers $2.50 domestics, 1-7 pm, seven days a week. Food and drink specials are offered routinely, often in conjunction with a featured event, such as live music or a comedy show. The restaurant’s Facebook page is the best way to stay up to speed on the offer of the day.
Arena Pub & Grill opened in July. Andress and Stokely took ownership of the space, which had previously housed Naples Flatbread Kitchen and Bar, in January, and when they did, they moved the restaurant into the sports bar world, which fits the area – the burgeoning “Arena District.”
The restaurant features TVs throughout and a large bar, with additional seating plus darts and other games. There is also a long rectangular outdoor patio space that sits next to the parking lot. Right now, it simply houses seating, but plans are in the works to make serious improvements this fall, notes Andress, including adding a pergola, heaters and TVs.
The restaurant also offers parking validation – a welcome resolution to a problem that often plagues downtown establishments. A QR code is available inside the restaurant to scan on your smartphone to provide a few free hours of parking in the adjacent parking lot.
When deciding on the menu, Andress and Stokely kept the top 10 most popular items from Naples Flatbread and then added additional offerings.
There are eight burger and sandwich options, the burgers all double patties, noted our server. In addition to burgers with Angus beef, there is a veggie option with a black bean patty plus a grilled chicken sandwich, Philly Cheesesteak and Reuben.
The menu also offers the traditional sports bar appetizers of nachos, pretzels, and wings as well as soups and salads, mac n’ cheese, pizza, and sausage dishes. The two sausage offerings come from Siegi’s.
One item of note are the menu’s meatless options, one in largely each category.
My party chose to order the Chicken Nachos and Drunken Shrimp Flatbread. The flatbreads come in two sizes: 10- or 16-inch. We chose 10, which was an adequate size for sharing.
The Nachos came covered in white queso, topped with jalapeños, shredded chicken, and sour cream and fire-roasted salsa on the side. The dish was a generous size as was the amount of chicken, which we appreciated.
The Drunken Shrimp Flatbread came with eight shrimp baked on top of the flatbread, plus onions, tomatoes, garlic aioli, cheese and a balsamic glaze. The flatbread had a nice flavor. Our server offered a side of ranch at no extra cost. We accepted, and it was a welcome compliment to the flatbread’s flavor.
Overall, Arena Pub & Grill is a welcome addition to downtown’s west end, providing value and atmosphere. Now, downtown just needs more people.