The Ramada Lounge in Enid, Oklahoma
Gets a Medicare Jet-Setters Groovy Rating
Where do you go when you do not want to be alone and crave a little laughter and conversation? Suppose you desire to talk to someone about a problem or share some good news, where do you go? Maybe what you are needing is to feel like you belong somewhere. Where do you go? The answer to all the above questions is simple. You go to the Ramada Lounge in Enid, Oklahoma, owned by Marilyn Johns.
Marilyn created the atmosphere and the culture at the Ramada Lounge by infusing it with her big heart and love of humankind. Her regular customers proudly proclaim they are the Lounge Lizards.
Marilyn began working at the Ramada Lounge in 1985. In 1993 she became the owner. Running a bar is in Marilyn's DNA. Her Mother-In-Law was the bar manager at the Elks. The day Marilyn turned twenty-one, she went to work at the Elks bar. Marilyn remembers when her MIL gave her some advice. She told her, "Don't make a career of bartending just to get you out of debt."
Bartending became her passion. Forty-one years later, Marilyn says, "I still love it as much as I did in the beginning."
Marilyn considers the Martini her specialty drink. Even the most snobbish of Martini drinkers say she makes a great one! Just like James Bond, her Martinis are shaken, not stirred. She has a unique way of making sure they are so cold that there will be ice crystals floating on top. When I stopped by this week, I asked Marilyn to make me one. Understand, I am not a martini drinker. I just asked, "Marilyn, make me the one you like."
With a knowing smile on her face, Marilyn presented me with my cocktail. I took my first sip. I am now a Martini fan. I must confess, I did not stop at one Martini for the evening. They are like potato chips, pretty impossible to have just one.
Marilyn is also an accomplished chef. She has turned the holidays into feasts at the Ramada Lounge. She will have tables of amazing foods to represent the holiday, and she does it for free. If you happen to wander in on St. Patrick's Day, your mouth will water with the aromas of Irish Stew, Potato Bread, and Apple Dublin Cake made with Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Mardi Gras is Marilyn’s favorite. She decorates the bar, so you feel you are in New Orleans. The buffet will consist of Turtle Soup, Jambalaya, Etouffee, French Bread, and King Cake.
Each holiday has a drink special to enhance your experience and turn it into magic.
At the Ramada Lounge, there is always something fun happening. They offer karaoke on Thursday and Saturday nights. Karaoke is a fun way to enjoy some musical talent or add your voice to the evening.
Darts are also available. Once the COVID-19 eases up, they will start up their dart league again.
Do you want to cheer or moan about your favorite football team? During football season, the lounge is open on Sundays to watch the games and enjoy Bloody Mary's and beer specials.
Not only is the Ramada Lounge a sanctuary for many people, but Marilyn also contributes to the Enid community in many ways.
For many years now, Marilyn and a crew of Lounge Lizards go house to house gathering food for the Horn of Plenty.
Every year the Ramada Lounge raises money for Relay for Life. They host a Relay for Life night and play a lot of different games to raise money. The favorite game is bra pong…if you do not know what that is, get up and go to the Ramada Lounge and ask about it.
In the last four years, the Ramada Lounge has sponsored the 4 R Kids Mud Volleyball event. Scroll through the pictures, and you will see the muddy fun they have while supporting a great cause.
Every April is child abuse prevention month. The lounge adopts wooden children. If you drive downtown Enid, you will see these artistic cutouts on the courthouse lawn. The adoption money goes to the Garfield County Child Advocacy Council for child abuse awareness.
Marilyn ended our conversation by saying, "I love my job. I love people. I enjoy being in a motel bar because of the diversity. Like now, we have harvest crews from Minnesota, and they are a hoot."
With a tear in her eye, she added, "I've been so fortunate to work in this little bar. It has blessed me in many ways. The best part is I have made wonderful life-long friends that I consider family. I've served in some cases, three generations of a family. Thank you. They are my family."
Now a few testimonials from the Lounge Lizards:
Luana and Ron:
There is so much to love about the Ramada Lounge and Marilyn.
I have been enjoying going to the lounge for over a decade. My friends MADE me go. I'm so glad they did. I've made many friends, and some are family. The bartenders and waitresses welcome everyone from everywhere! It's our "Cheers" if you will. They have the best drinks with the best prices in town. It's a true lounge with carpet, granite, newly resurfaced tables, lots of fun decor, and mood lighting. Marilyn makes sure the salty snacks are readily available, and the bar is stocked with a plethora of beverage choices. In the summer, it's the best place to cool off after a long hard day, especially if you work in the heat. Come say, hello! We all love harassing new people!!
This is a place much like the TV show "Cheers" bar. Even though it is in a hotel, the clientele is mostly locals. Everyone knows who you are and your story. The patrons are friendly and approachable. It's a safe place to drink and talk about your day's events. The owner is Marilyn Johns. When you walk in the door, she knows your beverage of choice and your name. On special events such as Cinco DE Mayo or St. PATRICK'S DAY, she prepares homemade gourmet foods typical of the special day we are celebrating. Not only is the food great, but it's at no cost to the ones partaking. Every Thursday and Saturday evening, you can test your karaoke talent. You'll find some talented singers there to listen to, or you can join in and sing your favorite song. Every day from opening at 4 pm till 6 pm there's a drink special on beer, wine, or well drinks. Tonight, which is Wednesday, I had a bourbon and lemon-lime cocktail for $3. The decor is based on Marilyn's theme of Lounge Lizards. The interior is tastefully done, and the seats are comfortable. If there were to be a new version of "Cheers," this would be the place they would need to use to make it. The hours are 4 pm till 2 am Monday through Saturday.
I was asked what I love about The Lounge.....well, it's hard to put into words. It's more of a feeling I get when I walk in. Whether it's for work or to meet up with friends. My co-workers and boss are family, and our customers are as well. It's a comfort thing. That's the best I can put it into words. I feel comfortable when I walk in.
I love the wonderful, all accepting spirit of The Lounge. Being a Lounge Lizard means you have a big, fun-loving family, which means a lot to me since they are the only family I have left. I can't say enough about Marilyn, one of the best friends anyone could ask for. She's one of the most creative and astute businesswomen around, and she's the glue that holds The Lounge together and besides, you've only to make one of her holiday parties; Fat Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day and delight in her delicious food and drinks to know you've found the best place ever to "revel" in.
I would like to say I've been working at the Lounge for 12 yrs. Marilyn is the best boss I've ever worked for. She cares so much for her employees & customers. I love the family we have created at the lounge & it's my happy place.
Connie and David Duffy:
We love the lounge of course and foremost because we love Marilyn. It is our little CHEERS in Enid AMERICA. Always feel safe and always enjoy seeing ole friends and meeting new friends. Marilyn is always having fundraisers and helping our community and that's not just a bar. That's an owner who loves her community. Our late nights have gotten earlier but we still enjoy every minute we can spend at THE LOUNGE.
The Ramada Lounge is located at 3005 W Owen K Garriott Rd, Enid. It does allow smoking; however, they have an excellent filtering system. To find out more about the Lounge, go to https://www.facebook.com/The-Lounge-Ramada.
The Ramada Lounge gets a Medicare Jet-Setters Groovy Rating.