Photo by Greg Watermann

Country superstar Toby Keith will slip into Tucson April 13 to help the folks at the months-old Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in the Tucson Mall celebrate their grand opening.

His appearance here is not surprising. Keith will be hanging out in Florence about 75 minutes to the north to headline Country Thunder that night. It would have been strange not to see him at his namesake bar and grill, which he does not own.

But his visit, beginning around 2 p.m., is a private event open to VIPs, the press and some winners of contests hosted by country radio stations KIIM-FM 99.5 and KYWD-FM 97.1. Chances are you might not even see the big guy at the sprawling monument to all things country and Toby at 4500 N. Oracle Road.

Next Saturday’s grand opening includes live music beginning around 1 p.m. and concludes with a ribbon cutting at 3. Among the bands performing is the Cooper Meza Band, which also is playing Country Thunder. Frontman Andrew Cooper said he and bandmate Matthew Meza will jet back to Florence after the opening.

Keith takes the Country Thunder stage at 9 p.m. April 13 at Canyon Moon Ranch, 20585 E. Price Road, off Arizona 79, in Florence. Click here for tickets and details.

  Toby Keith's in the Tucson Mall opened in late December.