Hard Rock Tulsa opens ‘Track 5’ honky tonk saloon
Leaders from the Cherokee Nation, Tribal Council and Cherokee Nation Businesses tour “Track 5,” a new honky tonk saloon and live music dance hall inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CATOOSA – The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa recently celebrated the grand opening of “Track 5,” a honky tonk saloon and live-music dance hall.
“We like to say ‘Track 5’ was inspired by Oklahoma’s rich honky-tonk roots. It’s a fabulous bar. It’s over 7,000 square feet; two levels with a VIP mezzanine; a 1,200 square-foot dance floor, making it one of the largest dance floors in Tulsa; 36 (beer) taps; and a national stage. We can pretty much have live local stuff to national stuff (acts) you would see over in ‘The Joint,’” Martin Madewell, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa senior director of marketing, said.
“Track 5” replaces a venue that “was successful in its day,” but Madewell said it was determined casino patrons “deserved something better.” The tent structure had been there since 2003 and was about 35,000 square feet with a small dance floor and stage that hosted local country entertainers.
“They deserved a better aesthetic. They deserved a Hard Rock experience, and so we wanted to take what we had and make it better, and that’s how ‘Track 5’ came about on the country end of the casino. We like to say we’re country meets rock ‘n’ roll, so ‘Track 5’ is really the staple of the new casino. It’s going to take honky tonk to a new level in Tulsa,” Madewell said. “Really, country in this market is dominant. If you look at the number of sold-out country shows we’ve had at ‘The Joint’ combined with the success of the former venue, it was really a no brainer…to put in a honky tonk of this caliber.”
Country singer Tanya Tucker opened the “Track 5” stage on Feb. 1, and the honky tonk opened to the public on Feb. 2.
As for the “Track 5” name, Madewell said marketing managers were looking for something “authentic” and played on Oklahoma’s “honky tonk roots.” He said the song “Tulsa Time” by country artist Don Williams was the fifth track on his 1978 album “Expressions.”
“It’s an iconic song, but the story goes a little bit further. As we were researching we had a coincidental finding that some legendary country artists – George Strait, Kenny Rogers, Leon Russell, Don Williams, Waylon Jennings – all had a fifth track on their albums that was titled something about Oklahoma or something about Tulsa,” he said. “So, it was really kind of an eerie finding, and once we saw that we just knew ‘Track 5’ was going to be the name.”
Madewell added that all “Track 5” music shows in February would be free to celebrate the venue’s opening.
The non-smoking venue is part of a 65,000-square-foot expansion that started constructed in April 2018. The two-level casino also features 450 electronic and table games, two bars and Tulsa’s newest poker room. Bands will play live music Wednesday through Sunday.
For more information or to see upcoming music lineups, visit www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com