Hiring Kinser and Knight, Live Oak owner Bill Smith said, is part of an overall re-branding of his venue/restaurant/bar.


Blake Barker, former general manager of Scat Jazz Lounge, has been hired as the new manager of operations, and Andrew Hawkes, former bar manager of T&P Tavern, is the new assistant manager of operations.



Contrary to rumors, head chef Mikel Steen is still behind the stove at the Live Oak. “I plan on growing old at the Live Oak,” Steen said in a press release.


And owner Smith will have the final say on everything, especially booking.


Kinser, he said, “is very integral to working out the dynamics of creating a venue where many people have the opportunity to bring in artists and events.”


Outside agencies, including the Weekly, are now free to bring their events to the Live Oak. Under previous management, the venue prohibited outside events.