Cherokee citizen brings fine-dining restaurant to Tahlequah
4/4/2011 7:10:06 AM
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The Branch – the eatery formerly known as Town Branch – will be a new upscale restaurant in Tahlequah, Okla., offering seafood flown in weekly from the Gulf Coast, a 12-beer tap and an upstairs outside dining area. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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The Branch – the eatery formerly known as Town Branch – will be a new upscale restaurant in Tahlequah, Okla., offering seafood flown in weekly from the Gulf Coast, a 12-beer tap and an upstairs outside dining area. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
By JAMI CUSTER Reporter TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen and business owner Brian Berry is expecting to open his new fine-dining restaurant The Branch, formerly the Town Branch Eatery, in mid-April. The Branch is located at 505 N. Muskogee Ave., and will offer everything from hamburgers and steak to seafood. “It will definitely be an upscale restaurant. It will be the only restaurant in town that will have fresh seafood flown in on the weekend from the (Gulf) coast. It will be a menu like no menu in Tahlequah has to offer,” Berry said. “If you want a nice glass of wine or drink, or if you want to order a $100 bottle of wine, this is probably the only place in town that you’ll get that.” He said beside it offering an upscale dining experience, The Branch is something families can be excited about when dining out. “…You will find hamburgers, hot dogs on there and a daily lunch special like fish and chips, things that everybody can afford, but it will be a fine dining steakhouse every evening with white table cloths. The hamburgers will still be on there, but if you want a $50 steak it will be on there too,” Berry said. He said an added bonus to the food will be the atmosphere. “There is a lot of history down there as you look over the creek and look at the Seminary Hall. It has something that none of the other places have.” Berry said the purchase of the property wasn’t a planned one, but a coincidental meeting between him and its previous owner. “I wasn’t looking for it. It was just a chance meeting that had happened, and I got excited after I bought it and went down and decided what I was going to do with it.” Since buying it, he’s had the restaurant gutted, floors resurfaced, bathrooms switched and there are now two bars instead of one – a coppertop bar and a wooden bar with a 12-beer tap. But the prize of the restaurant is the double fireplace. “There is an extensive rock fireplace that opens up into both rooms that came out of an old schoolhouse that was donated to me. I probably couldn’t afford to even buy that rock if you could even find it.” Another addition was an upper balcony, which Berry predicts will probably cater more to the college crowd. Fifteen years ago, Berry said this restaurant would be beyond its time. Tahlequah wouldn’t have been ready for a high-class restaurant, but it is now, he said. He said people currently leave town for fine dining, but when The Branch opens, they won’t have to. The Tahlequah native said owning a business isn’t new to him. He’s been a partner in a law office and operated a plant nursery. Berry said the only advice he would give about opening a business is to have a good education and protect your credit. “…education gives you confidence to do this kind of stuff, and I think it’s attainable by anybody,” he said. “If you’re asking for advice, protect your name, your good word and protect your credit. You do that and people will look forward to doing business with you.”
jami-custer@cherokee.org • (918) 453-5560
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