Country crooner Toby Keith held a grand opening celebration Wednesday at his newest western-themed restaurant in Auburn Hills, which joins six others across the US. I Love This Bar & Grill was filled with Toby Keith fans, some of who waited anxiously in line sporting traditional cowboy hats and boots for a meet and greet with the star. Auburn Hills Mayor James D McDonald presented Keith with a plaque during the opening ceremony.
"A lot of people from the south moved up here after World War II to work on the assembly line, so some of the older people that live here that have ancestors that go back south will remember some of these recipes," Keith said in a one-on-one session with Metromix. His favorite menu item? The grilled cheese sandwich with fried bologna and barbecue sauce. "The barbecue sauce is from Oklahoma, and it's fabulous."
I Love This Bar & Grill sports a country theme with an air of Americana. The highlight of the restaurant is the giant, guitar-shaped bar with a red, white and blue pattern, but Ford's influence is clear in the decor.
"I was a Ford truck man for six or seven years," Keith explained.