Chef Chris McKenna is no stranger to the Oklahoma City culinary scene. A native of Edmond, McKenna has turned out eye-catching and palate-pleasing dishes at OKC favorites such as Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, Packards New American Kitchen, Oso on Paseo and Clark Crew BBQ.
McKenna’s latest project is the Joinery, a multi-faceted and multi-leveled hotspot for Italian-American cuisine, craft beer and cocktails, plus entertainment at Oklahoma’s first golf-simulator bar, “Good. Good?” The concept is the newest offering from the Community Through Beer Group, which also owns Social Capital, as well as Edmond’s the Patriarch and 1884.
Located in the heart of Bricktown in downtown OKC, many people will recognize the Joinery’s location as the home of TapWerks Ale House for 20 years. Each of the four floors now boasts a separate bar and craft beer program.
The main floor offers full-service dining and drinks in a space that feels familiar but noticeably reimagined. Steaks, chops and shortribs accompany Italian-American classics like shrimp and pancetta carbonara and chicken Parmesan. Made-from-scratch desserts are a great way to end a meal, along with local Eote coffee.
If you walk downstairs from the main floor, around a couple of corner and through just enough doorways to make you feel like you are searching for a speakeasy, you’ll find what is essentially just that: a dimly-lit room with tables, comfortable couches and continuous booth seating. The full menu is served downstairs and accommodates diners later into the evening than on the main floor. There is, however, a catch … the door is passcode protected, so you’ll want to be extra polite to the hostess if you have any hopes of snagging a spot.
Up one level from the main entrance, you will find the golf bar, “Good. Good?” with a smaller menu based on the downstairs lunch fare and an almost entirely local beer list.
The bar features five Full Swing PGA-certified Simulators offering more than 35 course options, including TPA courses featured on the PGA tour. The simulators are more than just entertainment; their technology can help you improve your golf swing without actually having to hit the greens.
On the top floor, you will find space for private parties and corporate events, hosting up to 160 guests. With its own bar and catering kitchen, clients can work with the chef to customize their events to their specific tastes.
I visited the Joinery a couple of weeks back to check out chef McKenna’s new menu. Housemade meatballs with tomato sugo, whipped ricotta and grilled bread were a great shared plate, or could easily have served as a meal for one. I opted to share so that there was room for the burrata caprese, with cherry heirloom tomato, crispy basil, baked pancetta, basil oil and balsamic reduction. We sampled a couple of cocktails, and enjoyed them so much that we decided to repeat our original selections for the second round.
The Joinery is open seven days a week, with hours varying between each floor.