Stepping back in time to an amazing cocktail: R&J Lounge and Supper Club

I am no Wisconsinite, nor have I ever stepped foot in the state of Wisconsin. However, when I do set foot in R&J Lounge and Supper Club, I feel like I’m stepping right into a rich history and culture. Like a blast from the 1950s, R&J’s transports you to your Grandfather’s house. Dimly lit and lovely kitschy you feel an instant sense of belonging. Unlike the Speakeasy of the Prohibition era, Supper Clubs are here to make you feel a big Midwest welcome. There aren’t secret codes or hidden doors. Instead, there are perfectly curated vintage wood wall panels and wallpaper. Eclectic artwork and restored vintage lighting. No detail was spared to create the perfect atmosphere. Sometimes you have to stop and remember that R&J’s opened in 2014 and hasn’t been around for 70 years.

Like all Superclubs R&J’s is all about ambiance, drinks, and relish trays. They pride themselves on their made-in-house food specials and cocktails. Everything from the juice is fresh-squeezed each day to mixers and bitters, all made by hand to add the perfect touch to their menus. Home-style Americana with a flare is their true specialty. The menu shines with choices like the old Oklahoma standby, chicken fried steak with an R&J remix by making it gluten-free. Or try their spin on an American classic, an umami burger made with a blended patty, kimchi aioli, onion strings, and muenster cheese. Not wanting a full meal, try their famous and rightfully so, cheesy crab toast. Garlic bread made infinity better by topping it with a cheesy crab mix and muenster cheese than toasting it until it’s all warm and gooey. Perfection. Or if you’re feeling extra fancy and nostalgic dive into a mini pot full of cocktail wieners. These aren’t your typical Lil smokie, R&J cooks them in a homemade sauce made of mustard and strawberry jam for the perfect sweet and tart kick. However, you can’t come to a Supper Club and not talk about the relish tray, the menu item that is synonymous with Wisconsin Supper Clubs. Here you’ll get a selection of spicy cucumbers and feta, warm olives and peppers, pimento cheese, artichoke dip and to top it off some pickled collard greens. It doesn’t get more 1950’s America than that.

If the food and atmosphere aren’t enough to sell you on R&J then you’ll be won over by the stellar bar. What they may lack in bar space they make up for in quality. With over 50 classic cocktails, hi-balls, long drinks, and tiki inspire drinks to choose from they have everything you could want or something new to try. They even have Old Style Beer and sparkling wine on tap, the last to create one of their signature and best-selling drinks The French 75. However, to truly experience the real R&J Lounge and Supper Club may I suggest the famous and regularly described as the best in OKC, The Old Fashion. The bar staff uses only rye whiskey and an in-house mix of bitter to create of the best version of the classic that I’ve ever had. But they are so much more than just the classics and standbys. They create seasonal menus inspired by the staff and what’s in season and available. Mitch Czarneski the bar manager of R&J created The Saturnalia from the Spring cocktail menu, and let me tell you, it’s not to be missed. It’s a tiki-inspired drink with gin, mezcal, melon, and lemon, combined to create a refreshing and exciting change from your normally sweet tiki drinks.

R&J’s isn’t just a bar, is a true OKC staple where the majority of the patrons are regulars and lovingly refer to it as a “Cheer’s of Oklahoma.” On any given day you will find a mix of all ages, genders, and backgrounds sitting together, laughing, and enjoying their drinks and time. It’s open 7 days a week from 2 to 2 and serves food until midnight. It has a great happy hour every day from 2 to 6 and all-day Monday with deals on drinks and appetizers. They even host events like burlesque shows and brunch. If you ever wanted a piece of the action for yourself and your closest friends, you can even rent out the 2nd floor for any event that you have.

The allure of Supper Clubs is undeniable. The unique feeling of nostalgia served with a side of relish trays and whiskey, from your favorite bartender, at a bar that feels like home is something special, and something completely R&J’s. It’s what brings people back time and time again. While it’s may not be as old as it feels, it feels good to know that it will be here for a long, long time to come. Welcoming you back with that Midwest Americana magic.

By Published On: April 5th, 2022Categories: Cocktails, drinks, Midtown, Wine0 Comments

About the Author: Laconia Butler

Laconia Butler
Laconia is a born and bred Cali girl, whose traveled all over the US before landing in OKC. While she lived all over, she has come to truly love her new home and embrace her Okie family history. Her love of adventure and inability to say no has led to many life stories that she loves to share with others. Everything from getting lost in a jungle and almost stepping on a poisonous snake, to sailing with dolphins and humpback whales, beers at baseball games, crashing music festivals and dancing on bar tops, always living life to the fullest. Growing up in a big city gave her a love and appreciation of different cultures and traditions. Her background is working with museums and non-profits in public programming and outreach education. So yes, she will go with you to that art opening and gala. If she isn’t at a museum or off on an adventure you can find her trying out the new beer releases at the local breweries or chowing down at local restaurants. A self-proclaimed expert on all things noodles and nachos. Being a part of the community is important to her, as she is active with several non-profit and service organization. However, above all else she is a Super Nerd. A collector (and reader) of books, bugs, plants and anything and everything Star...Wars, Trek, NASA, it all. In fact, if you want to have a heart to heart about the Skywalker legacy and superiority of certain droids- Laconia is your girl. Oh, and if you have a dog, she will 100% ask to pet it and make it her new BFF. All in all, she is excited to be a part of the great local food, drink and music scene and can’t wait to explore it even more!

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