Raised in small-town Oklahoma, Blake Shelton knows that country isn’t just music. It’s a way of life. And one that he embraces. He has never lost his love of his small rural upbringing. So much so that when he was asked to consider opening the restaurant Ole Red, he was firm on one stipulation: it had to be in his hometown of Tishomingo.
It was always Oklahoma
In a CBS News interview, Shelton talked about his new business. In addition to his new venture, he was also about to release his 11th studio album. But the interview was about more than just his career and his accolades. It was about how country is his way of life.
The nomadic American in search of new horizons and bigger opportunities is a story woven into our cultural fabric. It’s what drove the pioneers westward to the Pacific. And whereas many people relish leaving their small-town roots, Shelton always knew it was just a detour. For him, Oklahoma will always be home.
“I took a break from [my hometown] to go give Nashville a shot. I don’t know how to not be in Oklahoma. You know, I don’t know how to not go huntin’ and fishin’ every year. It’s just how I’ve – how God built me,” Shelton said.
And almost 25 years later, that shot paid off.
He’s earned an empire of wealth and fame, and even taken on Hollywood with his presence on The Voice. Of course, The Voice proved to be a seminal in his personal life as it did in his career. Meeting Gwen Stefani on the show has now created a very public relationship for the star. And strange though it may sound, running into Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani on a Friday night in Tishimongo is a regular occurrence.
One wouldn’t expect that in a town of just over 3,000 people. But one also likely wouldn’t expect to find a name-recognition restaurant and a mega country star on its stage. And yet, both of those are true.
If you take country roads about 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, you’ll find the small town of Tishomingo. You’ll also find Shelton‘s new restaurant and bar, Ole Red. And for its opening night, there was superstar Blake Shelton on stage.
“I’m just gonna play as many songs as I can until I drink too much or my voice blows out, one of the two,” Shelton told the crowd that night.
He said his partners wanted to do the restaurant in Nashville, but that didn’t satisfy him. He was firm that Oklahoma have the first bite of the apple.
“They wanted to do it in Nashville which – duh, no brainer, right? And I went back and forth. And I finally said, ‘OK, I’ll do the restaurant. I’ll partner with you guys with one condition. We gotta do one in Tishomingo, Oklahoma first,'” Shelton said.
And do it they have. If you want some down-home food in true small-town America, Ole Red’s is definitely the place to be.