Toby Keith Talks Bologna, Bullets and Troop Support to 11 News

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

He’s had a #1 single each year for the last 18 consecutive years, selling more than 33 million albums. Now, country superstar Toby Keith has left his mark on Colorado with the opening of the latest Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. It’s the 9th and largest of his restaurants, named after the 2003 hit single, “I Love This Bar.” Before he jetted off to a concert in Canada, he talked with 11 News Morning Anchor Stacia Naquin about the new restaurant, his latest album Bullets In The Gun and his unwavering support for our troops.

Stacia: Very excited to have you in Colorado. Why do you think Denver is an ideal place for your latest “I Love This Bar and Grill?”

Toby Keith: Denver was kind of an obvious spot I think… western motif, lot of motorcycle riders, lot of western cowboys…

Stacia: Bullets In The Gun… your 15th studio album… what’s different about this album?

TK: Being a writer and writing all these albums… my system is to write all year and then record at the end of the year and it’s the album. So, I think they’re all different. But it’s all stuff I wrote. So I can’t tell the difference. It’s just whatever I wrote last year kind of goes on the album.

Stacia: You’re well known as a huge supporter of our troops.

TK: Absolutely.

Stacia: Why is that still important to you?

TK: My father instilled in us at a very young age how important (he was in the Army)… how important they are to our country and our freedom and this great land we live in. And when 9-11 happened, I went on my first USO tour and thought – I need to give back. And I’m gonna go do it for two weeks. And I left and when I came back… I’ve done it for 2 weeks 9 years in a row now. I really love the geography lesson, the history lesson and getting to meet all those great heroes and watch them operate. We just don’t take care of them enough, I don’t think. So I try to do the most I can.

Stacia: For those of us who aren’t world-wide entertainers like you… what do you encourage the rest of us to do to show support for our troops?

TK: If you have anything to offer them, as far as entertainment at all… just visit the hospitals. If you have a bigger type of entertainment to offer, like a songwriter/singer, contact the USO. If not, just walk up in airports, malls, restaurants and shake their hand and thank them for their service.

Stacia: Back to the “I Love This Bar and Grill”… what’s your favorite thing on the menu, so we all know what to order?

TK: You’ve gotta do the fried bologna sandwich, if you’re gonna come here.

Stacia: It’s the Toby Keith Classic!

TK: Some guy asked me if the bologna was kosher. I said – if you’re gonna eat bologna, does it matter?

Stacia: Good point!

TK: I try to offer real Southern cuisine that you just can’t get everywhere. We have the other stuff… steaks and chicken sandwiches and all the other stuff. If you really want something different, a lot of people come in and eat it. And it’s something you can make at your house… you just don’t.

Whether you’re in the mood for a fried bologna sandwich or something else, check out Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in the Shops at Northfield Stapleton in Denver. Service members and vets can get a one-time free meal deal, including an American Soldier burger, choice of side and a non-alcoholic beverage. Click on the link below for a look at LIVE musical acts/events coming to the Denver location, as well as the restaurant’s menu. We’ve also included a link to the USO, so you can find out more about ways to show your support for the troops.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 24, 2011 at 10:09 AM
    Yes, it is government policy to "boot" veterans but it will not discourage most from signing up. Never quite understood that.
  • by SSG Dee Location: CS on Feb 24, 2011 at 09:53 AM
    I am glad he brought his restaurant to CO but it would have been better for it to be in the Springs where the Military really are. I for one will NOT drive to Denver to eat at his place free meal or not. I like Toby and his music but I honestly feel it is more a publicity stunt for him and a lot of other stars and singers to visit Iraq and other places for the military. Want to support them get them off the street into a place with a job as we have to many homeless and unemployed vets. They come back after war only to get booted by our government and most get hooked on drugs or alcohol or both. War is hell on ALL vets.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2011 at 07:55 PM
  • by MT on Feb 23, 2011 at 03:28 PM
    Interesting, he didnt come to COS because he is a business man at heart. It's about the $$, not the people.... When my husband was injured in Iraq and recovering at Landstuhl, we were invited to attend a Toby Keith concert. As much as he talks about supporting the troops, he was 2.5 hours late. Soliders were freezing in the rain with their IV poles, casts, external fixators exposed, etc.. Then he dedicated a song to the troops, you know the one, and guess what? he forgot the words to "American Soldier" and had to restart the song 3 times. On the 3rd attemt, he just let the crowd sing it. PATHETIC display of support in front of Soldiers and their Families. Lost respect for the man instantly. Never hear about that side of Toby though, do we?
  • by rey bray Location: security on Feb 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    I love and respect every solder for what they done for our Country, Colorado Springs is full of Bad Lawyers and Politicians that want make themselves look good and I'm really glad he choose Denver.
  • by Alli Location: COS on Feb 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    It would've made more sense to open the restaurant in COS; much closer to Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and the Air Force Academy. Most of the service members I know are not going to drive into Denver to go to a restaurant regardless of whether or not they can get a free burger. They'd rather go to a closer restaurant and pay for their meal. Seriously, whoever thought of the location for TK's restaurant did not have military personnel in mind.
  • by Sgt Mike Location: COS on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:20 AM
    Why not open a restaurant here? Oh yeah, the free meal deal. Bankruptcy!
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