The one-story, 11,000-squarefoot building, initially presented to OCURA commissioners in April, showed the brick building with an entrance facing south toward a parking lot.
The back of the space would have faced the Bricktown Canal with a small patio on a grassy lot between two other popular eateries, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and Earl’s Rib Palace.
OCURA commissioners dismissed the original plans last month, saying that the front entrance should face the Bricktown Canal, rather than the parking lot. They also suggested rethinking the narrow walkway between the building and Toby Keith’s to the east.
“The more we thought about it, the more we liked that idea,” Hogan said.
Shaving off some square footage will widen the walkway between the buildings to about 20 feet. A glass curtain wall set back into the building will be covered partially by a cantilevered roof. The new design calls for a 10,000-square-foot single-tenant structure, rather than the original multitenant proposal.
“By shrinking the building down a little bit, and with the entry where it is, it just made a lot more sense to have one tenant,” Hogan said.
That tenant would be the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, which would operate the restaurant named for the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar. It already operates its neighbor named for a country superstar, Toby Keith’s.
Commissioners praised the new design, including a patio and front entrance that will allow for greater integration between the Durant restaurant and the canal.
“I’m impressed with what you’ve done,” said Larry Nichols, OCURA chairman. Last month he compared the original walkway, with its 17-foot-high walls and no windows, to a canyon.
Hogan said he hopes to break ground on the project in the next 30 to 45 days. Construction should take about nine months.
Although Durant has been named as a part of the project, Hogan said an operating agreement must be signed, followed by a lease. He said he hopes to have those completed soon so that he officially can announce his famous tenant.