Toby Keith Brings His Bar & Grill to Houston

Full disclosure: I had to Google "Toby Keith" in order to write this article.

Yes, I knew he's a country singer. And I knew he was the guy in that "Red Solo Cup" song. But that was about the extent of my knowledge. I don't really listen to country music (if that makes me a bad Texan, so be it), so my understanding of the genre and its players is lacking.

I went first to Wikipedia, and here is what I learned: Keith is from Oklahoma. He's feuded with the Dixie Chicks over their dislike of former president George W. Bush. He does a lot of philanthropic work. He's one of the wealthiest celebrities in the United States. He's very patriotic. He does not appear to have any culinary background, but he recently opened his 20th Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill (after his song "I Love This Bar"), here at the West Oaks Mall in Houston.

Here is what I learned from the Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill -- Houston website:

  • Toby's favorite is the fried bologna sandwich.
  • There is such a thing as a macaroni and cheese triangle.
  • Real salads are covered with meat.
  • It is acceptable to name food items after songs like "Should've Been a Cowboy" and "She's a Hottie."
  • The waitresses at the restaurant are called "Whiskey Girls" after Toby's song of the same name.
  • The bar is shaped like a guitar. A 95-foot guitar.
  • The 27,000-square-foot restaurant also features a concert hall and a dance floor bigger than the (large) home I grew up in.
  • There are probably more song jokes on the menu, but the only Toby Keith song I know is "Red Solo Cup," and there do not appear to be any red Solo cups in the restaurant.
  • At any rate, the restaurant is now open in the West Oaks mall, which is in definite need of a few new businesses to revitalize the space. With the addition of

    Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill

    , destined to bring in rollicking crowds to dance to the dulcet tunes of B-list country and western singers, perhaps the mall will return to its former glory. Hopefully it's not

    a little too late


    Okay, I know that song, too.

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