Story by Haley Humphrey
Photos courtesy of The Jones Assembly
There are innumerable places to visit in Downtown Oklahoma City that fit different tastes. A new hot spot can be found in the Film Row district. The area of businesses, restaurants and lofts that were once home to major film conglomerates has experienced many renovations and new additions. Oklahomans and out-of-towners wanting to experience a modern atmosphere that acknowledges its past need look no further.
A historical recap of Film Row will have people walking down memory lane with David Wanzer, designer of the urban area, and Bradley Wynn, planner of expanding the landscape to form a district.
According to Steve Lackmeyer, writer for NewsOK, Wanzer and Wynn were heroic in pulling Film Row out of the dust in 2003. The area became dilapidated through years of drugs and prostitution and was overrun by the homeless population in the 1980s. Wanzer and Wynn had a vision in mind but they could not do it alone. They gained support from Oklahoma City Council members like Ann Simank, who was the city councilwoman at the time, and organizations like DEADCENTER Film Festival that brought artistic interest back to the grounds where Hollywood stars once walked. Soon, word spread to property owners who got on board with their own revival ideas. One of OKC’s biggest transformations was in full swing.
Since 2006, Film Row has progressed to new heights. Each development located on Sheridan Avenue has a unique flair to share with the public. One of the newest additions is The Jones Assembly, which opened its doors in July 2017. The multi-functional space was named for the Fred Jones Manufacturing Company, which was established in 1922 in the same building. Fred Jones brought the first Ford dealership to Oklahoma City and The Jones Assembly finds the history endearing.
“We’ve had a lot of fun playing off that; we use phrases like ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ or ‘time to assemble,’” Annie Tucker, marketing coordinator for The Jones Assembly, said.
The members of The Jones Assembly have achieved keeping the automobile history alive in the location where Fred Jones’ Model Ts flourished. From the brick and garage doors to the lights and original markings, almost every piece that makes The Jones unique, has been repurposed.
The plan to bring diverse music to OKC was effective with the vast, authentic space, which has housed 12 concerts and counting. However, the space needed food to tie it all together. The Jones Assembly menu has a range of choices. From light dips and spreads to wood-fired pizzas and scallops, they have something for nearly every palate. The desserts are designed to accommodate chocolate or banana lovers, with the restaurant making its own homemade vanilla wafers.
Tucker insisted customers should not leave The Jones until they have tried the okra, served with their Jones sauce that is “spicy, tangy and creamy,” a triple threat that Oklahomans cannot resist.
The 21-and-older crowd is encouraged to try a cocktail with their decadent meals. The Jones serves original cocktails upstairs in their restaurant, while downstairs they put their own twist on the classics. The main difference being the catchy names not found on the menu in the upstairs lounge.
“Every dish, every cocktail, every dessert, every concert we book and every design element was extremely thought out,” Tucker said.
The Jones Assembly is a whirlwind of music, food and history in one restaurant experience.