Ornate awning at Johnstone-Sare building
Introducing The Refinery

An Oklahoma Event Venue That’s Anything but “Plain”

Welcome to The Refinery, Oklahoma’s premier urban wedding venue, located in the historic Johnstone-Sare Building. In the heart of downtown Bartlesville, we’re housed in an industrial-era building where the earliest deals were made between the oil pioneers of this bustling boomtown and the indigenous peoples whose Nations make Oklahoma their home. Today, our Bartlesville wedding venue provides big city glamor with the ease and charm of a smaller town in a building that’s reminiscent of an oil refinery, sparkling at night and illuminating downtown Bartlesville. Surrounded by a gorgeous skyline filled with beautiful buildings by famous architects, including Frank Lloyd-Wright, it stands as a testament to the rich history of this Oklahoma Oil Capital.

Celebrate your special occasion at a venue
where the details make the difference.

Event set up with round tables and chairs with crystal lighting Apartment hotel room with tan furnishings and blue walls
About Us & Our Facilities

Enjoy an Authentic Event Experience in a Beautiful Historic Building

Nestled amongst the historic architecture of this legendary town, you can spend the evening or entire weekend in luxurious surroundings ideal for elegant weddings and elevated events. With wraparound views of historic skyscrapers from curved windows and our private rooftop, you’ll appreciate the architectural details throughout. Acres of vintage rosette tile, a grand four-story wrought iron staircase, brick walls and arches, industrial-style ducting—all lit with over 100 crystal chandeliers for an Instagram glow your friends will envy. The Refinery’s authentic details will not only reduce the need for additional décor; they’ll add texture and character to your photos that you’ll cherish until the end of time.

We offer the very best inclusive weekend wedding experience in the state of Oklahoma, from rehearsal dinner through reception. Let us be your family’s home away from home for your ultimate weekend wedding, private celebration or public event. Our five luxury apartments in the adjacent Jewel Box Hotel are available exclusively to our guests to serve as space to get ready, a place to relax, or as luxurious accommodations for overnight stays. They offer stylish comfort with mid-century modern touches juxtaposed against a 1904 backdrop. We also can host more intimate events, available upon request.

staircase detail of iron work
"Sare 2010" in tile on floor with large pink flower bouquets
Wedding dress on brick wall
The Johnstone-Sare Story

Celebrating Our Reinvention as The Refinery

Fire damage at Johnstone-Sare building Tile floors with Johnstone 1910 in tile
Our History

Our Venue has Risen from the Ashes – from Fire to Fabulous!

The Johnstone Building is a National Register listed property that was destroyed by an arsonist’s fire in late August of 2009 and burned yet again in December of 2009. It was built by one of the seminal town founders of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, William Johnstone, on whose wife’s allotment the entire central business district of Bartlesville was erected. William Johnstone drilled the first commercial oil well in Oklahoma just blocks from where The Refinery now stands.

The building was home to May Brothers Clothiers until the year of the great fire. In December of 2009, Clyde Sare and his daughter Crystal Sare intervened at the final demolition hearing, the day before the building was to be demolished, to save the building in the heart of downtown Bartlesville. Both of them would say that they had no idea what they were getting into, but that their hearts were in the project and that saving this piece of their hometown meant the world to them.

The building was re-named The Johnstone-Sare Building and christened such at the opening on December 31st, 2013. It was a big part of the beginning of revitalizing downtown Bartlesville, and it has since been stated by many that its original illumination on that New Year’s Eve signaled that the lights were on once again in a downtown that had been largely forgotten.

Owners of the Johnstone-Sare building by a Christmas tree
The Refinery Today

Continuing a Connection to the Community

The events business was born during the restoration when Crystal gifted the space to local charities for fundraising events. While there was no deliberate intention, it emerged from the ashes and the family’s love for Bartlesville – which inspired Crystal’s motto of “Love lives here”. Clyde Sare died during the restoration, but The Refinery at the Johnstone-Sare Building leaves a lasting legacy to his love for his hometown, wife and family.

Crystal and her mother Pat own and operate the Refinery at JSB with a dedicated team of the finest professionals. They feel that the local weddings extend their sense of family within Bartlesville, while destination weddings provide an outreach that shows the rest of Oklahoma and surrounding states the great beauty of Bartlesville – Crystal and Clyde’s hometown.