'This has been a long time coming': Reba McEntire opens Reba's … – USA TODAY

Reba McEntire, 67, is serving fans something new: dinner — with side of show business.
The country icon officially opened Reba’s Place in Oklahoma. The restaurant, based in Atoka, includes a bar and also serves as a venue for live music. Plus, it has a a retail store, according to its website
“This is been a long time coming I know a lot of us thought we were going to be able to open last October. But timing is everything. Everything happens for a reason,” McEntire said during the grand opening Thursday, which was closed to the public but was live streamed. 
“It was worth it. So please give all these folks here that have worked so hard. Please give them another big round of applause,” she said. “They are everywhere. So proud of y’all.”
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Reba’s Place is characterized by what McEntire described to People as a “down-home atmosphere” — which was on the list of requirements for her restaurant.
“We wanted music — on a small stage. Not big bands. Not big loud. It’s going to be something that people can remain eating, visiting, while the music’s going on,” she told People. “I will go in and do some music, singing, absolutely. It has to be friendly. It has to be great food.”
The two-story restaurant was built inside a Masonic Temple and opens to a central stage for live shows. And, its aesthetic is based in McEntire’s heritage. Decor includes a rotating collection of memorabilia from her personal archives, according to the website.
McEntire’s menu includes “scratch made versions” of popular dishes from the region along with favorites from New Orleans, Nashville and Mexico — and craft cocktails. The Reba’s Place website points to “highlights” including the “Fancy” steak dinner, chicken fried steak and street tacos along with “Reba’s personal favorite”: pinto beans and corn bread.
The kitchen is headed up by chef Kurtess Mortensen, previously of Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Mercantile, according to People. 
“I told them, ‘You got to have great iced tea. Great bread. I want chicken fried steak. Chicken fried chicken. I want beans and cornbread,'” McEntire told People. “I gave Chef Kurtess my recipe for my smashed potatoes with caramelized onions and garlic.”


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