After serving Tulsans for nearly 60 years, Celebrity Restaurant is closing Saturday. That made Friday night’s performance extra special for the restaurant’s longtime pianist Mark Bryan.
Music has never been about the money or the fame for Bryan. In all his 30 years at the restaurant, it’s always been about a feeling – one he hopes won’t be gone for long.
“Music for me is just a way to connect with people,” Bryan said. “What really counts in life is love of people, and I have met the most wonderful people here.”
Bryan lost his sight at a young age, so for him life’s always been about more about what he feels. He said his career started with a song.
“There was a moment in my life when I knew what I wanted to do. And it was, believe it or not, when I heard Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ and he talks about in that song just singing in a small venue with ordinary people. It’s what I always wanted to do,” he said.
This is where he feels at home, tucked away behind his keyboard and lighting up the room.
Bryan knows the restaurant will go dark for a while – and he’s not sure yet where he’ll go – but he’s confident that the day the Celebrity Restaurant’s doors open back up, he’ll be right back where he belongs.
“You know what Tulsa, this is just us regrouping a little bit. I’m going to be here, I hope. I love you all, you’ve made a tremendous difference in one man’s life,” he said.
The restaurant will still stay open for private events over the next few months. The owners hope to re-open in the fall when they can get more staff.
Original posted at www.newson6.com