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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

OKC districts 101

Plaza District

You don’t have to read our blog very long to figure out local districts are a big deal in Oklahoma City. Whether you are getting funky in the Plaza, living it up in Bricktown or getting adventurous in the Adventure District there is a corner of the city that is perfect for you.

We will be the first to admit that getting to know the districts in OKC can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Getting to know your Midtowns from your Uptowns might take some time. Luckily that is why we are here. Over the next month or so we will be giving you in-depth looks at each district. Until then here is a quick snapshot of each district:

  • Adventure District- the most aptly named district in OKC, home to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Remington Park, Science Museum Oklahoma, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and more.
  • Asian District- a vibrant enclave of Asian culture in the heart of OKC. You’ll find some of the best Asian food in the region here.
  • Automobile Alley- Just north of Downtown, this district used to be the primary location of the city’s car dealerships. Today it is home to local dining and shopping.
  • Boathouse District- home to future Olympians, this district features stunning architecture and is an outdoorsmen’s dream.
  • Bricktown- this former warehouse area is OKC’s prime entertainment district.
  • Classen Curve- located in NW OKC this district features great shopping and dining.
  • Deep Deuce- the center of urban living in OKC.
  • Film Row- what was once home to the film distribution industry for the region is now one of the metro’s quickest developing districts.
  • Midtown- the perfect mix of local retail and historic homes.
  • Paseo Arts District- eclectic art and great restaurants are the name of the game for this district.
  • Plaza District- the epicenter of funky local retail in OKC.
  • Stockyards City- this district is a blast to the past and pays homage to the metro’s western heritage.
  • Western Avenue- an eclectic mix of local restaurants and bars, retail shops and boutiques, antique and furniture stores and fine art galleries make up Western.
  • Uptown 23rd- anchored by the historic Tower Theater, you'll find great locally-owned restaurants and bars, as well as fun boutiques
Classen Curve, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District, Plaza District, Stockyards, Adventure District, Uptown 23, Asian District, Western Avenue, Automobile Alley, Bricktown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Get down Uptown

UpTown 23 Mural

Perhaps no district is considered a better testament to OKC’s renaissance than Uptown 23rd. Stretching from Broadway Ave. to Pennsylvania Ave. and in between 22nd and 24th Streets, Uptown 23rd is considered one of the biggest cultural hubs in OKC: It’s home to several of our most acclaimed restaurants, favorite local landmarks, entertainment of all kinds, shopping, events and more! Locals and visitors alike agree that Uptown 23rd is one of OKC’s most vivacious areas and something everyone owes themselves to experience.

Check out this video for more on Uptown 23rd.

Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Live music in OKC

There’s a certain voice to OKC. It wavers in a rekindled vibrancy, as an old man that’s come back to his church choir. Wherever you go here, there’s someone around the corner singing gospel about the best and the worst parts of life and experience.

Back in 1919 over on Second Street, the Aldridge Theater opened and hosted the best jazz musicians in the nation. Now, the building is gone and that music spills onto the streets. Every last Saturday of the month, the historic Deep Deuce District lives again in the Deep Deuce Sessions, a music walk where artists invade local venues and fill the air with gospel, jazz and acoustic sounds.

The Jones Assembly is OKC’s newest spot for music and food, opened in 2017. Pulling big name artists and offering classy food and drink options, this young establishment does its home district of Film Row proud. Down on 23rd Street, the historic Tower Theatre stands proud again with its neon marquee. Sporting a history back to 1937 as an original movie house, this renovated venue hosts up-and-coming regional artists from hip-hop to Americana.

Swing over to the Plaza District where it bleeds with color and creativity. If the Plaza Walls are this district’s bare heart, then Saints Bar and Lounge is its illustrious voice in Saints Sessions. Every Thursday evening, talented, local acoustic and jazz musicians play at this intimate setting where the people are friendly, the drinks are strong and the music is stellar.

At Bleu Garten in Midtown OKC, culture stays local with table games, great drinks, seasoned food trucks and live, local music every Thursday night. With its outdoor setting, Bleu arguably has one of the best atmospheres in town. On the lively Bricktown canal, Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar is a true star of the city, with pizza by the slice and drinks galore. Open Thursday through Saturday, blisteringly skilled musical performers get their kicks taking requests and razzing audience members.

Just outside the Paseo District lies The Blue Door, a venue that offers a different experience than all the bars and restaurants. The Blue Door doesn’t offer drinks or food (although drinks are BYOB): it offers a quiet, close-knit listening room for the veteran and novice musician alike. Named simply after the color of its doors, this venue makes folk, rock and blues its cornerstone.

This old man doesn’t speak the words the same way as once, nor does he bellow as loud as he could in younger years, but he still finds a hunger for harmony. Etching an echo in kindred hearts, the man and his chorus, the city and its people, keep making this music, onward and ever upward.

food, live music, nightlife, Oklahoma City history, Paseo District, Plaza District, restaurants, Bricktown, Uptown 23, Deep Deuce, festivals, Film Row
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Better know a district

OKC Skyline

You don’t have to read our blog very long to figure out local districts are a big deal in Oklahoma City. Whether you are getting funky in the Plaza, living it up in Bricktown or getting adventurous in the Adventure District there is a corner of the city that is perfect for you.

We will be the first to admit that getting to know the districts in OKC can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Getting to know your Midtowns from your Uptowns might take some time. Luckily that is why we are here. Over the next month or so we will be giving you in-depth looks at each district. Until then here is a quick snapshot of each district:

  • Adventure District- the most aptly named district in OKC, home to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Remington Park, Science Museum Oklahoma, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and more.
  • Asian District- a vibrant enclave of Asian culture in the heart of OKC. You’ll find some of the best Asian food in the region here.
  • Automobile Alley- Just north of Downtown, this district used to be the primary location of the city’s car dealerships. Today it is home to local dining and shopping.
  • Boathouse District- home to future Olympians, this district features stunning architecture and is an outdoorsmen’s dream.
  • Bricktown- this former warehouse area is OKC’s prime entertainment district.
  • Classen Curve- located in NW OKC this district features great shopping and dining.
  • Deep Deuce- the center of urban living in OKC.
  • Film Row- what was once home to the film distribution industry for the region is now one of the metro’s quickest developing districts.
  • Midtown- the perfect mix of local retail and historic homes.
  • Paseo Arts District- eclectic art and great restaurants are the name of the game for this district.
  • Plaza District- the epicenter of funky local retail in OKC.
  • Stockyards City- this district is a blast to the past and pays homage to the metro’s western heritage.
  • Western Avenue- an eclectic mix of local restaurants and bars, retail shops and boutiques, antique and furniture stores and fine art galleries make up Western.
  • Uptown 23rd- anchored by the historic Tower Theater, you'll find great locally-owned restaurants and bars, as well as fun boutiques
Bricktown, Classen Curve, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District, Plaza District, Adventure District, Stockyards, Asian District, Uptown 23, Automobile Alley, Western Avenue, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ready for the uptown funk?

Uptown 23 Street Art

Teeming with flavor, color and life, Uptown 23rd is one of the latest neighborhood revitalizations gaining a well-deserved reputation. Uptown 23rd is one of OKC’s oldest retail corridors with historic buildings such as the Gold Dome building, a Buckminister Fuller-inspired geodesic dome on the corner of Classen Avenue and Northwest 23rd Street. The attractions in Uptown are casual, accessible and largely owned by local proprietors.

Must-visit bars and restaurants in the area include Big Truck Tacos, Cheever’s, Pizzeria Gusto, known for their authentic Neapolitan pizza; The Drake, a seafood restaurant served family style; the Pump Bar, a former Texaco station turned bar that serves up drinks in a friendly atmosphere; and the 70s-themed Rockford Cocktail Den. You can also test your detective skills at The Escape OKC, a live-escape game where you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles of a locked room.

The most recent additions to 23rd’s thriving restaurant and bar scene include the Bunker Club, Scottie’s Deli, UR/BUN and more.

The jewel of 23rd might be the Tower Theatre. Built in 1937, the theatre was one of Oklahoma City’s premier movie houses for nearly four decades but closed in the ‘80s. It was renovated last year and reopened as a live music venue and has attracted popular acts from across the country.  

Whichever district you are visiting, find out even more about what to eat, enjoy or experience there online at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at www.visitokc.com

concerts, live music, nightlife, restaurants, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Various venues

The Criterion

The ‘Peake isn’t the only place to see a show around here. In addition to a plethora of smaller bar/restaurant venues, a number of schmedium-to-mid-sized live music venues have recently come on line, joining stalwarts like the Zoo Ampitheater, the Diamond Ballroom and indie-focused venues Opolis and 89th Street Collective.

The Criterion – a brand-new building in east Bricktown, this 4,000-capacity venue is across the street from the Steelyard development in a suddenly hot quarter of OKC’s premiere entertainment district. My Morning Jacket, Explosions in the Sky and Lil Wayne have played here recently, with performances by The xx and Jason Isbell on the upcoming calendar, among others.

The Tower Theater – a lot of excitement has surrounded the resurrection of one of the “grand old dames” of OKC’s early movie house scene. The main space has room for 700 standing on the main floor and an additional 264 (seated) in the balcony, and a smaller “studio” space handles 100 standing or 50 seated. The venue’s Studio Series has sold well, with only a few tickets for select shows available.

The Jones Assembly – set to open July 29 with The Wallflowers and Better Than Ezra, this renovated, 100-year-old, 20,000-square-foot space on Film Row (just south of the 21C Museum Hotel) features a 1,600-capacity performance venue as well as a true dining destination. Lake Street Dive and JJ Grey & Mofro have also been announced.

ACM@UCO Performance Lab – this performance space in Bricktown hosts plenty of touring acts in addition to ACM@UCO gigs (which is itself a pretty cool story, speaking of music), seating 200 sitting and 500 standing. The Lab has hosted Dr. Dog, Sean Lennon, Okkervil River and Ben Taylor recently.

Adventure District, Bricktown, concerts, Film Row, live music, Uptown 23, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Delmar Gardens

Uptown 23 Street Farmers Market

Located in the heart of the Farmers Market, Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park offers a cozy place for friends and family to congregate, enjoy the best food trucks in Oklahoma City and even play some yard games (we call next on corn hole).

The Farmers Market District is steeped in history and is quickly becoming a great destination for shopping, eating, concerts and even some brewing. Delmar Gardens is an outstanding spot to wind down after a day of fun in the district. The best part … they even allow your furry friends, assuming it is a dog (we didn’t ask them about their ferret policy).

P.S. If you are a long-time OKC resident the name Delmar Gardens might seem familiar to you. It is a callback to the metro’s first amusement park.

family-friendly, Farmers Market District, Uptown 23, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Uptown funk

Uptown 23rd

Uptown 23rd is home to one of the latest neighborhood revitalizations in Oklahoma City and is gaining a well-deserved reputation for a fun place to dine, drink and shop. The attractions in Uptown are casual, accessible and largely owned by local proprietors. Architecture buffs should also note that it is home to the historic Gold Dome building, a Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic dome on the border of Classen Avenue and Northwest 23rd Street.

Must-visit bars and restaurants in the area include Pizzeria Gusto, known for their authentic Neapolitan pizza; The Drake, a seafood restaurant served family style; the Pump Bar, a former Texaco station turned bar that serves up drinks in a friendly atmosphere; and the 70s-themed Rockford Cocktail Den. You can also test your detective skills at The Escape OKC, a live-escape game where you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles of a locked room.

Have additional recommendations for the Uptown 23rd District? Let us know in the comments!

bar, nightlife, restaurants, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are we thankful for? Local Districts

Louie\\\'s in Midtown

Partying in the Plaza and Paseo. Singing in the Stockyards. Boogieing in Bricktown. You get the picture, in Oklahoma City we love our local districts. Ask a random stranger walking down the street and they will probably agree with us, local districts are something we should definitely be thankful for in OKC.

The local districts have done a great job of carving out unique niches with eyes towards the future while celebrating their history. Food, shopping, music and fun are great ways to sum up these Oklahoma City hotspots.

  • Adventure District- A zoo, science museum, race track … yeah, this district is appropriately named.
  • Asian District- Oklahoma City has a rich Asian heritage and it is on full display in this district. Of course you already knew that if you are a fan of Pho.
  • Automobile Alley- Especially stunning this time of year with the fabulous light display.
  • Boathouse District- Just when you think the river couldn’t get any better, it does.
  • Bricktown- OKC’s original district success story.
  • Deep Deuce- This district is bursting with history and is quickly becoming the hub for urban living.
  • Film Row- An up-and-coming district that was once the center for film distribution in the region.
  • Midtown- This district is a great microcosm of Oklahoma City’s modern-day renaissance.
  • Paseo Art District- A hub of arts, history and great food.
  • Plaza District- A great place to get funky with food, local shops and live entertainment.
  • Stockyards City- Our city’s Western heritage come to life.
  • Western Avenue- Trendy food and shopping in abundance can be found on Western.
  • Uptown 23rd- Already home to some of OKC’s favorite restaurants this district is one to watch the next couple of years.
Bricktown, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District, Plaza District, Stockyards, Adventure District, Uptown 23, Asian District, Western Avenue, Automobile Alley, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Find your own adventure in Oklahoma City

Stingray Bay at the Zoo - Adventure District

This week on The Better Life Blog we’re going to go exploring in some of Oklahoma City’s districts that offer local flair to appeal to various interests, whether those interests tend towards artsy, uptown and up-and-coming, historical, family-friendly and outdoorsy. While multiple unique districts that reflect the city’s culture have been redeveloped and polished in recent years, this week we’ll focus on three of them – the Adventure District, the Plaza District and Uptown 23.

If you’re coming to Oklahoma City for a visit or are just moving here, chances are the Adventure District is one of the first places you’ll visit. Start with some of our more visible attractions, even if you don’t yet call the collection of attractions in that area by that name.

Located at the crossroads of Interstates 35 and 44, the Adventure District offers outdoor and indoor attractions for all ages. Here are a few things you can do there:

And here’s an old-but-new attraction that you might not know about – The American Pigeon Museum and Library, 2300 NE 63. It initially formed in 1973 as the American Homing Pigeon Institute and purchased the land where it is now. But its new facility opened in 2014 and has since welcomed visitors from around the world with its collections of art, history, memorabilia and more celebrating the American homing pigeon.

While you’re there, visit some of the Adventure District’s partners nearby, including the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, and the historic Harn Homestead Museum, 1721 N Lincoln Blvd., both places where you can learn more about Oklahoma heritage, territorial life and its people’s pioneering spirit; and Lincoln Park Golf Course, 4001 NE Grand Blvd., for tournament-level golf at one of two 18-hole championship courses.

Adventure District, family-friendly, golf, museums, Plaza District, Uptown 23, western heritage, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Go uptown for OKCís latest revitalization project

Uptown 23rd at dusk

Uptown 23 is a work in progress, but there is plenty to see and do when you get there. Located near NW 23 and Classen, Uptown 23 is one of Oklahoma City’s oldest retail corridors. It has long been home to the city’s Asian District, anchored by the grocery store Super Cao Nguyen, which is worth a trip to get your fill of Asian cuisine and ingredients.

Now the area is teeming with new development and restaurants going east from there to Broadway/Interstate 235. The restaurants appeal to any taste – tacos, hot dogs, pizza, Vietnamese food, barbecue, fine dining, fish and even a bar located in an old gas station – and new ones are being opened regularly. It’s truly a place to watch and includes the historic Tower Theater currently undergoing renovations into a live music venue set to open next year. (Read more here and here.)

Whichever district you are visiting, find out even more about what to eat, enjoy or experience there online at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at www.visitokc.com, which has all kinds of lists in general, and, more specifically, for the Adventure District, the Plaza District and Uptown 23.

Asian District, live music, restaurants, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Made in Oklahoma

Made in Oklahoma Coalition

Ooooooo-kla-homa is both where the wind comes sweeping down the plains and local companies and organizations thrive. If you are a frequent reader, then you know that an entrepreneurial spirit flows through the veins of our great state (and we might be more than a little proud of that).

One of the organizations ensuring the success of Oklahoma businesses and farms is Made in Oklahoma (MIO). In fact, what started out as an organization of less than a dozen Oklahoma food manufacturers in 2000 has grown into a 40-member coalition that employs more than 20,000 Oklahomans and generates more than $3 billion in sales annually. MIO is a great example of what can be accomplished when businesses pool resources. From produce and baked goods to essential oils, dog treats, handmade furnishings and more, you might be surprised to find out what is truly Made in Oklahoma.

To get a glimpse of some of the products available, visit the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market Tuesday-Sunday or Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Farmers Market in the Horticulture Pavilion on any Saturday throughout the year. Expect to find fresh delicious produce, herbs, honey, farm-fresh eggs, meat, cut flowers and much more. A farmers market is held in Oklahoma Department of Agriculture parking lot from noon to 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday and monthly in the Uptown 23rd neighborhood. Made in Oklahoma products are always in supply at Plenty Mercantile and the Red Dirt Emporium.

The MIO Coalition also offers numerous mouth-watering suggestions to use all those tasty items. Some of our favorites include candied bacon, fried okra salad, the working man’s quiche and so many more.

Oklahoma, shopping, Uptown 23, farmers market, local goods
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Takiní It to the Streets

From noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 30, part of Northwest 23rd Street will turn into a pedestrian’s paradise. Why, you ask? An initiative called Open Streets is repurposing the area into a fun, safe place to experience local businesses, healthy communities and active transportation. Open Streets OKC is reclaiming Northwest 23rd between Western and Robinson Avenues for non-motorized activity. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, run or play along the route and discover community organizations and businesses along the way. The event is family friendly, so bring the kiddos for an afternoon of healthy fun!

family-friendly, festivals, parks, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Moving on Up to Uptown

We’ve told you about Oklahoma City’s modern-day renaissance. It’s been awesome to see the projects from these initiatives come to life. But it’s been equally as awesome to see how the momentum has spread throughout the city – paving the way for even more rejuvenation. One of the latest areas to land back on its feet is Uptown. Not sure where Uptown is? It’s the stretch of Northwest 23rd Street between Broadway and Western Avenues. And it’s filled with great places to eat – Big Truck Tacos, Cheever’s, Cuppies & Joe, Tucker’s Onion Burgers and others – cool stores, and more. The next time you’re looking to shake things up, we suggest you head over to Uptown and see what the buzz is all about.

[Photo: Uptown 23rd]

food, restaurants, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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