The River Brewhouse opening pushed to Sept. 4
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH – The expected July opening of The River Brewhouse, a business venture under the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians’ Corporate Board, has been delayed and will now open on September 4.
“We do apologize for the delay in opening. With every major build like this comes unforeseen circumstances and things happening that you just can’t plan for,” said Randall Hendricks, UKB Corporate Board director. “However, we are doing our best to manage and mitigate those delays and we’re working as fast as possible to get the brewpub open.”
The River Brewhouse will feature custom brews, food and sports betting under one roof when it opens in the former Keetoowah administration building next to Walmart in Tahlequah. Demolition began on April 11.
It will also become the largest brewhouse in Oklahoma and measure 6,200-square feet with a max occupancy of 265 people. A ground floor and mezzanine area will boast a rustic look when completed.
The River Brewhouse has partnered with Broken Arrow Brewery for the endeavor and is working to coordinate all parties involved to finish the project.
“Our plumbers and electricians for the brewpub have to come together with the brewery company to make sure all of the equipment that ties in can coordinate and be placed accordingly, so we have to get all of our groups together,” said Hendricks, further elaborating on the delay.
For Phase I, The River Brewhouse will offer four custom drinks including an Amber beer, a pilsner, an IPA and a lager or an ale, according to Hendricks.
“There’s going to be four different types, so there’s something for everyone,” he said. “They’re going to develop our signature brews. After we hit Phase II and we’re up and running, we’re going to hook our tanks up and start our training process. We’ll slowly phase out the Broken Arrow Brewery logo and they’re going to transition us into being our own brand.”
In addition to custom brews, The River Brewhouse will have smaller food items that were once offered at the old Keetoowah Casino including hamburgers, fries, hot dogs and nachos.
Sports betting will take place throughout the building, including on the biggest screen in Oklahoma, said Hendricks.
“We’re going to have big screens everywhere and Bet4 Technologies is bringing in their software. There’s going to be centrally located kiosks at the tables to utilize to place bets.”
For those unfamiliar with sports betting, Hendricks said individuals can place bets on even “minute” details of sporting events. “Sports betting is, instead of betting on a win or a loss of a game per say, you could bet on the minute details of that game. If you’re watching a football game, you could even bet if they’re going to throw a pass or run during a play. It’s a lot of fun.”
Part of the profits from the business will go back to help fund the needs of the tribe.
“Tahlequah is a college town... I think that there are some things that are missing for the young adults and college-age students to do,” said Hendricks. “This is something that will provide a source of entertainment that isn’t already here. We want it to be an event destination.”