By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The grand opening of The Lost Highway Bar, originally called the Bali Hai Lounge, will take place on Saturday, July 16, at 7 p.m. at 1613 N. May Avenue Oklahoma City. The event celebrates this new neighborhood full service bar with music, festivities and giveaways.
Oklahoma City residents Christopher Simon and Scott Pepper recently purchased the venue. The original building was constructed in 1946 as a neighborhood shopping center.
In a press release sent to The City Sentinel and others, the new owners said they wanted to create a place that has the feeling of an “everyday neighborhood bar,” but also ”incorporates a retro modern style that will serve as a gathering place for the community.”
With over 20 years of experience in the bar industry, Simon also owns the landmark HiLo Club on N.W. 50th and Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City.
Knowing how important local watering holes are to members of any community, Simon became focused on opening a bar in the Stanley Heights addition, adjacent to the historic Miller, Reed Park and Linwood neighborhoods, in northwest Oklahoma City.
“We wanted to open a bar that served the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as those that wanted to have a great experience between the Wheeler and Plaza Districts, while helping to revitalize the May Avenue corridor,” said Simon.
“Golden Tee, darts, a ‘kickass’ juke box as well as friendly bartenders will help to make a memorable experience,” he added.
“Blending Oklahoma history and a mysterious, unknown element was important to us, so you feel like you are ‘traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind’ – very Twilight Zone,” Simon continued.
Before following his dream of opening a bar, co-owner Scott Pepper was project manager for Lockheed Martin and Boeing. He also worked with musical acts in the 90’s through his own record label.
Simon and Pepper have decided to open their new venue with one possibly controversial feature.
“We are a smoker friendly bar for the time being,” said Pepper. “We have installed two of the best smoke eaters out there, with three ceiling fans and an exhaust fan. We also have 15-foot high ceilings.
“I know smoking is against the grain at this time, but I’m a firm believer in freedom of choice and believe people should have the option to have a smoking bar just as they should have nonsmoking options.”
Pepper said, “Incorporating local artistry and music, we wanted to create an environment for everyone – a journey into the wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Lost Highway Bar.”
“We want people to enjoy the time they spend here, yet still experience the idiosyncrasies that Oklahoma has to offer.” Pepper said.
The Lost Highway will be open seven days a week from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.