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Hal Smith Restaurants Receives Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence Award

on April 13, 2018


Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston presented the Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award to Hal Smith Restaurants on Friday, April 13th. The award honors businesses in Oklahoma that are making positive impacts in their communities. Hal Smith Restaurants received the award in recognition of its entrepreneurial spirit in creating profitable employment for its fellow Oklahomans and for fostering a positive business atmosphere. The award was presented by Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston in a ceremony held at the company's Redrock Canyon Grill in Norman, Oklahoma.

Hal Smith began his career in the restaurant industry as a working partner in Crosstimbers Restaurants. In 1992, he ventured out on his own and founded Hal Smith Restaurants, a restaurant management company headquartered in Norman. Since that time the company has developed both multi-unit and single-unit concepts, including Charleston’s Restaurant, Red Rock Canyon Grill, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, Krispy Kreme, Ted’s Café Escondido, Louie’s Bar & Grill, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, The Garage, Upper Crust, Pub W, and The Legacy Grill.

“Hal Smith is the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit from beginning his career as an employee of a local restaurant to now operating nearly 80 restaurants in seven states and employing more than 6,000 employees,” Labor Commissioner Melissa Houston said. “Hal Smith Restaurants have become a staple in communities across the state, and I am honored to recognize them with the Mark Costello Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award.”

"It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized in this way. I am proud of the contributions and impact Hal Smith Restaurants have provided to the community,” said Hal Smith.

The Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma Award was established in 2012. In 2016, Commissioner Houston re-named the award in honor of the late Commissioner Costello who created the entrepreneurial excellence award to recognize and honor Oklahomans who helped expand job opportunities in the state.