Jami Custer of CherokeePhoneix.org reports on the opening of The Branch, a new fine dining establishment in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Brian Berry, a Cherokee Nation member and business owner, is opening The Branch this month, the only place in town where diners can enjoy seafood flown in weekly from the Gulf Coast.
“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 told CherokeePhoenix.org. “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.”
While the menu will still carry such beloved, pocket-friendly fare as hamburgers, hot dogs, and fish and chips, Berry said evenings at The Branch will include white table cloths and $50 steaks as well. Not only will there be the kinds of delectables and wine list standard to any top tier establishment, there will also be plenty of ambiance.
Since buying the property (Berry told the CherokeePhoenix that the purchase wasn’t planned, it was just a coincidental and seemingly fateful meeting between himself and the previous owner), Berry’s had the old restaurant (formerly known as Town Branch) gutted, switched the bathrooms, and put in a second bar—now there’s a coppertop bar and a wooden bar with a 12-beer tap. The Branch will also feature a double rock fireplace that opens up into both rooms, thanks to an old school house that had been donated to him.
As Berry sees a Tahlequah that is ready for a place like this, he also had some good advice for any future entrepreneurs out there. “Education gives you the confidence to do this kind of stuff, and I think it’s attainable by anybody. Protect your name, your good word and your credit. You do that and people will look forward to doing business with you.”
Yes, and eating at your restaurant, too.