View master

Two
dedicated elevators in the lobby whisk diners up to Vast. On the 49th
floor, 726.2 feet above street level, visitors enter a lobby, then take a
right into the bar. Dining areas open on both sides of the bar, with
views to the south, southeast and southwest.

No
matter where you sit, you have a view. Those stopping for a drink can
sit at the bar or in plush cowhide chairs near the windows.

Behind
the bar, and on the back of booths in the dining room, golden
glass-enclosed LED lights cast a soft glow over the space; slender LED
lights hang over the bar like stars in the sky.

Two
boxes with dining tables stand on each side of the bar visible through
large windows; the walls of those spaces are lined with cowhide.

Visitors
walk past the boxes to the dining rooms, which are more or less mirror
images of each other. Tables line the windows, and a raised platform
houses tables and booths.

No
white tablecloths exist at Vast. The heavy wooden tables are topped
with leather place mats, and custom linen and silverware are balanced on
arched chunks of black granite.

“In
putting all these pieces together, we bought classic, slightly modern
china, glasses and silverware,” says John Williams, whose Williams &
Associates Hospitality manages the restaurant. “The vibe is modern in a
very sophisticated way so that it will be relevant for a while.”

Seven styles of custom chairs are placed throughout the dining room, private dining rooms and banquet spaces.

“We paid a lot of attention to seating,” Williams says. “We didn’t just pick a chair because it looked good.”

The seating selections include ones from Italy and Eames chairs.

To
create an iconic space, Williams worked with Gensler, Devon’s design
team, which he credits, among others, for creating the unique design and
flow of the space.

“We started with lines on paper,” he says. “Our role was to make sure the restaurant worked functionally.”

Some
of those functions included building a kitchen on the 49th floor to
serve the restaurant and the 50th floor’s banquet spaces. The space had
to be equipped to offer adequate electricity, water and gas at the top
of the tower to meet the needs of a bustling kitchen.

“Kitchens are hard, especially 49 stories up,” Williams says.

Just off the dining room is another feature Williams says this market needs: private dining rooms.

“Let’s
say you want to have 50 of your best friends up after a Thunder game
for cocktails and late night snacks,” he says. “You could rent this room
to do that and order from the Vast menu.”

Those
nine rooms can be subdivided for smaller, more intimate gatherings. All
have views except for one, which sits behind frosted glass. The rooms
are equipped with dividers that lower from the ceiling to provide a
nearly soundproof space.

The
dining room can hold 135, with 40 seats in the bar. The private dining
rooms combined can hold 200. The largest contiguous banquet space can
seat 240, and the entire 50th floor has the capacity for 400.

Williams
says it has been a lot of hard work, but a thrill to open a restaurant
in the tallest tower in Oklahoma City, and bring a new level – literally
– of dining to this market.

“It’s
a very special place in a very special building in a very special
city,” he says. “This is just one more piece of the positive puzzle of
Oklahoma City.”

Patrick Williams, left, is executive chef at Vast, and John Williams, right, is president of Williams & Associates Hospitality.

Photos by Mark Hancock

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