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KEY Oklahoma City

This time of year was made for Maker’s Cigar and Piano Lounge. With its gas log fireplace, live music, invigorating cigars, and warm spirits, a spring trip to Oklahoma City would be incomplete without a visit to this cozy cigar bar.

It’s exactly how proprietor Clinton Greenhaw envisioned it when he visited his first cigar and piano bar in Chicago over fifty years ago. Greenhaw began playing the piano at age 12. He started smoking cigars five years later. But it wasn’t until Greenhaw’s military unit was stationed in Chicago in the late 1950’s that he discovered the magic of cigar and piano bars.

The young Army soldier frequented several Chicago cigar and piano bars, but his favorites were the Briefcase and the Library on State Street. Greenhaw would eventually return to Oklahoma, where he ran his family’s grocery business until retiring in 1998. It was those early memories that led him to open Maker’s Cigar & Piano Lounge.

Shortly after retirement, Greenhaw spotted the Oklahoma Hardware Building, an old but sturdy warehouse in the Bricktown Entertainment District. In 2000, Bricktown was in its infancy. Along with business partner Mark Myers, the pair have transformed the bare warehouse dock into a warm and inviting atmosphere that attracts local residents and hotel guests alike.

Maker’s combines the perfect mix of ambient and task lighting, chinese red paint, and pendant lighting (adorned with earth-tone beads), setting the perfect tone for the cigar bar. The rich, leather sofas situated around the fireplace are a popular destination within the lounge. In fact, several marital proposals have taken place there.

Seven years later, Maker’s Cigar & Piano Lounge continues to thrive in Bricktown. Maker’s survived the smoking ban passed by the state’s legislature in 2006. (When patrons ask Greenhaw where Maker’s non-smoking section is located, he politely points outside.) Greenhaw’s favorite cigar is a Graycliff from the Bahamas. He likes the flavor and draw of this particular cigar.

Maker’s prides itself in having some of the most knowledgeable bartenders in town, and on serving some of the finest liquors in the world. Greenhaw once refused to serve a patron who asked the bartender to mix Louie XIII Cognac with Diet Coke. “I lost out on a $135 sale,” smiles Greenhaw, “but you don’t mix cognac, you sip it.”

Maker’s features live music every night beginning at 8 p.m. The cigar bar is open seven days a week at 11 a.m., and is located at 25 S. Oklahoma Avenue in Oklahoma City. For more information, contact (405) 606-9000.

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