Reba’s Place is officially open for business.
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The restaurant in Atoka, Oklahoma, near McEntire’s hometown of Chockie, held its official grand opening on Thursday (Jan. 26). The celebration featured a special acoustic concert by McEntire, which was live-streamed on her Facebook page. The set included her hits “Can’t Even Get the Blues No More,” “I’m a Survivor,” “Consider Me Gone,” “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” and “Fancy.”
“This has been a long time coming,” McEntire said she from the intimate stage to a packed house of fans and restaurant staff. “I know a lot of us thought we were going to be open last October, but timing is everything–everything happens for a reason.”
She then recalled how it took seven years after signing her first record deal in 1975 to have her first No. 1 hit with “Can’t Even Get the Blues No More” in 1982. She compared that journey to the one she went on to open the doors of Reba’s Place.
“So here we are today at the grand opening, [it] might not have been October but just like ‘Can’t Even Get the Blues’ it was worth it,” she said emotionally. Her boyfriend, actor Rex Linn, was also spotted in the crowd and was among the first to stand up and cheer when McEntire asked everyone to give a round of applause to the hard-working staff.
“That’s what this whole place has become–a big happy family, so thank y’all so very much for all the hard work you’ve done,” she praised.
McEntire was introduced to the stage by Janie Dillard, senior executive officer at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, who worked with the singer to bring this vision to life.
“Her hands are all over this property,” Dillard said of McEntire, noting how the singer helped picked out every dish on the menu to fine details like the draperies and color palette. “She’s very involved. She’s a savvy businesswoman…she’s been so engaged…we don’t have a call without her being on there. I’ve never had the opportunity to work to be able to work with somebody that’s so involved.”
The superstar partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and The City of Atoka to create the space, which includes a dining room, a stage for live shows, and retail space.
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)