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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Auto Alley: Required Reconnoitering

One of our city’s awesome districts worth seeking out, Automobile Alley, is easily accessible. Located downtown and just north of the central business district, it sports enough retail, dining, coffee and arts establishments to “drive” you to a new state of urban bliss. Contrary to the name, you don’t have to take a car, truck or an Explorer to explore this neon-lit, flourishing part of our city’s past, present and future.

Why is it called Automobile Alley? As you cruise past the brick storefonts and concrete- and stone-cast architecture you might notice signs reading “Buick,” “Vesper,” “Pontiac,” “Hudson,” and more. That’s because in the teens and 20s, this was home to more than 50 of OKC’s first “horseless carriage” dealerships, as well as other car service companies. (Luxury makes and Smart cars are still sold in the area today.) Pretty cool, eh?

And as if we haven’t piqued your curiosity enough, we’ve got a great feature in our VeloCity e-magazine on the district. Check it out, then put your right foot on the floor and head down to Auto Alley!

Automobile Alley, downtown, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LOVE to the heart, through the stomach

Is the way to your Valentine’s heart through their stomach? Dinner at one of Oklahoma City’s finest, Red PrimeSteak in downtown OKC or Ranch Steakhouse on Britton Road, would most definitely suffice. The 2014 Oklahoma City Visitors Guide also includes some excellent fine dining options that are sure to impress.

But, for showcasing your culinary skills at home, grab your favorite recipe and try cooking. Not sure where to get your ingredients? We suggest you check out one of these Greater OKC grocers. Finish with a delicious dessert and a toast to the night with bubbly from Byron’s Liquor Warehouse.

Red PrimeSteak - 504 N. Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, redprimesteak.com
Ranch Steakhouse - 3000 W. Britton Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73120, ranchsteakhouse.com
Byron’s Liquor Warehouse - 2322 N. Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, byronsliquor.com

Find even more great restaurant suggestions here and here.

food, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Show Your Sweetie Some Love

clientuploads/blog/TrochtasFlowers.pngFLOWERS: Though love languages differ throughout the year, it seems that everyone needs a little gift receiving on Valentine’s Day. Sticking to the classics, flowers and sweets, never goes out of style. Trochta’s has an environment to put you in the flower-gifting mood. Inside their greenhouse and shop spaces, the choices are endless. As an alternative to roses, orchids and tulips are beautiful and Trochta’s has vibrant varieties to choose from. Or, show your originality with a pot of succulents.

CUPCAKES: Cuppies & Joe hosts a warm and cozy environment to share a cupcake (or two!) with your special someone. Donnie Darko (pictured above) satisfies any chocolate craving.

CANDY: For retro and classic candy brands, visit Bricktown Candy Company. Grab a scoop of gelato while you stroll along the Bricktown Canal… hand-in-hand.

Trochta’s Flowers - 6700 Broadway Ext, Oklahoma City, OK 73116, trochtasflowers.com
Cuppies & Joe - 727 NW 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, cuppiesandjoe.com
Bricktown Candy Company - Suite 100, 100 E California Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, bricktowncandy.com

Check out other greater Greater OKC florists, bakeries and candy stores.

food, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Get Your Cultural Fix

There are other ways to experience different cultures and history in Greater Oklahoma City. Here are just a few ideas:

So get out there and start exploring, and let us know what you find by leaving a comment.

[Photos courtesy of Royal Bavaria, St. Elijah Food Festival, St. George Greek Orthodox Church]

arts and culture, festivals, food, nightlife, religion, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Ode to the Oldies

Oklahoma City is relatively new in comparison to some other states and certainly other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean we lack history. Here’s a quick look at some of places in Greater Oklahoma City that claim the title of “oldest” in their given category.

 

[Photo from BC Clark]

western heritage, arts and culture, education, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, shopping, Stockyards
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pubs Galore

So we’ve brought you up to speed on Oklahoma City’s newest distilleries and best brewers but where can you go to enjoy OKC’s tastiest local spirits and ales? Of course kicking back with a COOP DNR is always enjoyable in your own home but good drinks are more enjoyable with good friends. Here are some of our favorite pubs in OKC. As always this is far from an exhaustive list so feel free to throw out some of your favorites in the comment section.

If an “old-world” pub is your type of scene be sure to check out Tapwerks in the heart Bricktown. Living up to its name, Tapwerks has more than 212 beers on tap and boasts one of the biggest selections of local beers in Oklahoma City. Oh, and it has two floors. It is hard to beat two floors of lagers, ales and pub food.

Not in the mood for an old-world pub? RePUBlic Gastro Pub has a decidedly more modern flair.  Located in Classen Curve, rePUBlic emphasizes American craft beer which means there is never a shortage of your local favorites. The pub also has a plethora of flat screens making it a great place to catch a Thunder game. Not to mention, the food is pretty great too. The rePUBlic burger is a local favorite.

Opened in 2008, James E. McNellie’s Public House (locals just call it McNellie’s) features more than 350 beer selections and is the launching point for a lot of new local beers. Nestled in Midtown, McNellie’s has the feel of a pub you might find in Dublin rather than Oklahoma City. McNellie’s also boasts some great grub. You might be starting to see a pattern – we like good food to go with our good beer.

[Photo from RePUBlic Gastropub]

Bricktown, Classen Curve, food, Midtown, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Monday, December 30, 2013

Dine in Style

New Year’s Eve is known for its glitz and glamour. Why not throw on some of your best duds, grab that special someone and enjoy a lovely night out on the town? Oklahoma City has an extensive selection of unique restaurants and fine-dining establishments that are sure to start your night right. Here are a few suggestions for a perfect night out on the town.

Upscale Comfort Food
Does the chilly weather have you in the mood for some of your favorite comfort foods, but with a twist? Look no further than Cheever’s Café. They’ve got traditional American fare with a Southwest flair.

Euro-American and So Much More
A Bricktown staple for nearly 10 years, Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante & Bar has the best of everything – great drinks, fabulous entrees, delectable desserts and more – all set in a renovated warehouse just steps from all of Bricktown’s premier entertainment options.

Hip and Delicious
Another great Bricktown option for New Year’s Eve is the Melting Pot. Their fondue is fabulous and the prix fix menu they’ve set up for NYE is prix-ty awesome.

Great Steaks, Contemporary Atmosphere
Along Broadway Avenue in Automobile Alley, you’ll find RED PrimeSteak where you can have your choice of, well, steak. But it’s more than that. At Red Prime you will have steak worthy of being called your last meal of 2013. Trust us.

Dine In the Sky
As one of Oklahoma City’s newest dining experiences, guests at VAST will dine on a whole new level. More than 720 feet above downtown Oklahoma City, VAST occupies the 49th floor of the Devon Energy Tower. Here you will experience fine cuisine and the best view of the entire city.

Timeless Elegance
Looking for a classic dining experience? Look no further than The Coach House. The Coach House offers seasonal cuisine highlighting the best local produce and regional specialties prepared with classical perfection.

Maybe you’ve got something else in mind for your New Year’s Eve meal. Not to worry! Check out these other great restaurants! We’re certain you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

food, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

For Good Behavior

Consider it a reward for your excellent gift choices or an energy boost to finish out your list, but no shopping trip is complete without something sweet. Thankfully, several local shops are permanently parked next to a spot for a treat.

SHOP: Shop Good, located on 9th Street in Automobile Alley, sells thoughtful gifts and clothing with a give-back element. A portion of their products, like this Apolis Oklahoma City Market Bag, gives back globally. Other items like their in-house-designed tees and soy candles contribute to their local giveback organization. This year’s organization is Citizens Caring for Children, a non-profit that supports children in foster care.

clientuploads/blog/ShopGood_market_bag.jpg
image courtesy Shop Good

SWEET: Stop in next door to Shop Good to share a Sara Sara Cupcake with your shopping buddy. Go with one of their Sara Sara originals like the Judge Joe Cannon or the Sir Elton John. Follow it up with some egg nog from the milk bar.

clientuploads/blog/bakery-cupcakes.jpg

SHOP: DryShop in Midtown is one half blow dry bar, one half boutique. Their bright, modern shop brims with women’s clothing and accessories. Prepare for the chilly weather with a cozy wrap or this Blu Pepper motocycle jacket.
clientuploads/blog/DryShop_brownjacket.jpg
Images courtesy DryShop

SWEET: Directly next door to DryShop, build your own waffle at Waffle Champion, a recent addition to the Midtown restaurant scene. My advice: start with caramelized banana, lemon curd or their house huckleberry jam.

SHOP/SWEET: Uptown Kids is making it even easier to add a little sugar to your shopping trip. Their latest addition, Uptown Candy, just opened next door to their children’s shop in Classen Curve!
clientuploads/blog/uptown-kids.jpg
Image courtesy of Uptown Kids

restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A watery adventure

A long time ago in a land far far away . . . wait, no. Let’s start again. A little ways back (in the late 1980s and early 1990s to be more exact), things weren’t looking so bright in OKC. The exuberance and awesomeness that exudes from this great city today were just wishes in a well. The region had lost a large number of jobs with the oil bust of the 80s and not being chosen for the United Airlines maintenance facility in 1991 had folks feeling blue.

Thankfully, a group of visionaries put their heads together and came up with a plan called the Metropolitan Area Projects (or MAPS). While we’ve written about it in detail before, this time we’re going to focus on just one project – the Bricktown Canal, you know, the waterway that lines restaurants and shops in OKC’s hoppin’ entertainment district. It’s probably just as hard for us to imagine it not existing as it was for people to ever imagine its existence before MAPS. Back then (before 1999), the area where the canal flows was California Street running through a mostly abandoned warehouse district.

Lucky for us, Oklahoma City has a history of visionary leaders and they saw the potential. They transformed what was bordering on nothing to a really special something. Very few visitors make it to our city without taking a stroll down the canal (or hopping a ride on a Bricktown Water Taxi. And residents experience it year-round, perhaps on their way to a ball game at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, maybe before popping the big question or during a night on the town. Any way you look at it, the canal played a major role in cementing Bricktown as OKC’s entertainment district which had a major hand in our modern-day renaissance.

Bricktown, live sporting events, MAPS, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Stroll along, stroll along like we know you do

Last week we told you about some great ways to get in some two-wheeled action around town, but maybe you prefer to stay grounded on your own two feet. Not to worry. We’ve got some great ideas for a leisurely urban stroll.

Myriad Gardens
If you’ve been checking out “The Better Life” for long, you know we are huge fans of the Myriad Gardens located in the heart of downtown. And when it comes to hoofing it, it’s one of our favorite places to explore and a great place to get a little exercise in. Take three laps around the outside and you’ll have gone a mile. 

Bricktown
OKC’s entertainment district is a great place to get in a walk combined with some splendid people watching. Located just east of downtown, you can walk along the Bricktown Canal down into Lower Bricktown or stay up on the streets and peruse past some of OKC’s most hopping restaurants and bars.

Automobile Alley
Great shops. Delicious restaurants. Historic buildings out the wazoo. Take a walk down North Broadway Avenue between Northwest 6th and Northwest 10th Streets to experience all Automobile Alley has to offer. We also suggest you head east off of Broadway down Northwest 9th so you can check out the super cool 9th Street District.

Martin Park Nature Center
Take a walk on the wild side through. Tucked away off of Memorial Road in north OKC, Martin Park Nature Center is 144 acres of wild-feeling, urban awesomeness, and with 2.5 miles of gentle hiking trails, you can get in a serene stroll without having to venture outside the city.

Oklahoma River
The Oklahoma River has transformed from a drainage ditch into one of OKC’s most glistening sites, and it makes the perfect path for walking. There are 13 miles of trails along the River (both on the north and south sides) so you’ll have plenty of space to stretch those legs.

Automobile Alley, Bricktown, downtown, free, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We dig Downtown

There is always a plethora of awesomeness happening in Greater OKC – and in particular in downtown OKC. New restaurants, new shops, new ways to spend your time. It can be difficult to keep track of it all. Thankfully we’ve got some friends over at Downtown OKC who are experts in that area. You can check out their website for great info on any and everything Downtown OKC. And if you really want to stay in the know, we suggest you sign up for their weekly “What’s Up Downtown” newsletter.

downtown, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We Pity the Phở (who doesn’t visit the Asian District)

OKC is full of great districts where you can shop, play and eat. From Bricktown to the burgeoning Film Row and Plaza District, OKC has several growing (and exciting) pockets. One of the metro’s true hidden gems though is the Asian District. Located on Classen Blvd., between Northwest 23rd and Northwest 30th Streets, the Asian District serves as the hub for Asian culture in our community.

Amazing restaurants and supermarkets appeal to the metro’s large Asian population as well as hungry tourists and locals who crave a taste of the Orient. Of course we are a little biased so don’t take our word for it. A reporter from the New York Times drove all the way to OKC in 2007 to try the famous food in the Asian District. You can read his experiences here. Also, check out GreaterOKC.tv for a more in depth look at the Asian District.

Asian District, food, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



And I Would Walk (or Drive) 100 Miles …

While we love Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as a whole is a diverse state with a little something for everyone. Within just 100 miles of OKC you can find everything from sand dunes to mountains. Here is a quick rundown of some of our favorites within 100 miles of OKC:

arts and culture, family-friendly, parks, restaurants, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh Say Can You See . . .

. . . All those fireworks in the sky? Come July 4th, you will certainly have your pick of the litter in terms of fireworks displays. From Bricktown to Frontier City to surrounding communities, the sky will be afire with the boom and sparkle of pyrotechnics. When it comes to gazing upon the firework frenzy, you can certainly go the traditional route and set up in lawn chairs in a parking lot near the festivities. However, we also have a few outside-the-box suggestions if you’re a fireworks-watching rebel. Each of the following have great outdoor spots (except for Vast where we must demand that you stay inside, seeing as it’s on the 50th floor of OKC’s tallest building) where you can enjoy food, drinks and a great view of the sky’s shenanigans.

Café Do Brasil & Bossa Nova at The Top
440 NW 11th Street

Captain Norm’s Dockside Bar
103 E. California

Deep Deuce Grill
307 NE 2nd Street

Earl’s
216 Johnny Bench Drive

Fuzzy’s
208 Johnny Bench Dr.

Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar
1 Mickey Mantle Dr.

Packard’s New American Kitchen
201 NW 10th Street

Vast
333 W. Sheridan Ave.

The Wedge Pizzeria
230 NE 1st Street

Yucatan Taco Stand Tequila Bar & Grill
100 E. California

festivals, food, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Than Just Kicks

Route 66 (also known as the Will Rogers Highway) once paved the way from Chicago to L.A. and back, and was one of the original parts of the U.S. Highway System. This “Main Street of America” wove together towns and cities and was a symbol of a uniquely American brand of freedom and opportunity. For this reason, Route 66 is commonly known as “The Mother Road.” These days, however, even finding the route can sometimes be a mother. Not so in the Sooner State! Did you know Oklahoma holds the longest section of Route 66? BOOM!

And in the metro, though it shifted somewhat over the years, the Route is fairly easy to follow, entering from the west at Northwest 39th street, turning south on May to Northwest 23rd, then over to Lincoln Boulevard and going north until hitting present-day I-44. The Capitol, the Milk Bottle building, the Tower Theater, the Will Rogers Theater, Ann’s Chicken Fry, the Western Trail Trading Post and the Gold Dome are all along 66, and there are plenty of other things to see and do on the way. Just outside of town to the northwest in Arcadia, the Round Barn and Pops delight the 66 traveler. Further to the west, Elk City is home of the National Route 66 Museum.

Outside of the Oklahoma City metro, our friends over at OK Tourism have a great article on top sights in Oklahoma along “America’s most beloved highway.” Take the opportunity to join folks like Sir Paul McCartney (who drove the route in 2008, stopping at Nonna’s for dinner), and experience this great and accessible cultural icon for yourself!

family-friendly, free, museums, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Alfresco Awesomeness

No matter what time of year, you can enjoy amazing meals at great OKC restaurants. But to step it up a notch this summer, we’re going to give you a list of some of the many places you can dine while taking in some stunning views of the city. There are hundreds of restaurants across the metro with outdoor seating, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites in a variety of locations. No matter what you’re craving – Mexican, sushi, steak, burgers, dessert or an ice cold beverage – Oklahoma City’s outdoor dining options include everything under the sun.

Big Truck Tacos – Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Thurs. 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. – Sat. 7:30 a.m. - midnight; 530 NW 23rd Street
Kitchen No. 324 – Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch; Mon. - Sun. 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.; 324 N. Robinson
Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Co. – Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; 1900 NW Expressway
Sushi Neko – Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - midnight; 4318 N. Western
The Wedge Pizzeria in Deep Deuce – Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5 - 10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5 - 11 p.m., Sat. noon - 11 p.m., Sun. 5 - 10 p.m.; 230 NE 1 Street
Paseo Grill – Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sat. 5:30 - 10 p.m.; 2909 Paseo
Yucatan Taco Stand Tequila Bar & Grill – Lunch/Dinner; Sun. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.; 100 E. California
Cuppies & Joe – Dessert/Coffee; Tue. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; 727 NW 23 Street
Iguana Mexican Grill – Lunch/Dinner; Mon. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.; 9 NWth 9 St.
Bravo! Cucina Italiana – Brunch/Lunch/Dinner; Sun. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; 13810 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Nonna’s Euro-American – Lunch/Dinner; Tue. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; 1 Mickey Mantle Drive
Buffalo Wild Wings – Lunch/Dinner; Daily 11 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.; 4130 NW Expressway

Got a favorite? Let us know! With so many great options, this is a subject we can’t cover just once. So let us know your favorite places and you can help us share the OKC eatery love.

food, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Be Wowed on Western Avenue

Whether you’re looking to find new places to explore – a great new restaurant to try, a cool shop to, well, shop, and so much more – Western Avenue is a unique entertainment district in OKC with it all. Western Avenue’s shops and businesses are vibrant aspects of OKC living. You can have a bite at any number of yummy restaurants – Café Nova, Café 501, The Coach House, Deep Fork Grill, Earl’s Rib Palace, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria, Iron Starr Urban Barbecue, Musashi’s, Pearl’s Oyster Bar, RePUBlic Gastropub, Sushi Neko, The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro, VZD’s Restaurant & Club, West or The Lobby Café & Bar. Maybe you’ve already got dinner in mind at home. No problem. Check out Big Sky Bread Company or the Savory Spice Shop to help you round out your meal. If you’re in the market for some retail therapy, Balliets, Liberte, On a Whim, Ruth Meyers, Spencer Stone Company and Uptown Kids have you covered. So go on. Spend some time on Western Avenue. You won’t regret it.

food, restaurants, shopping, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art Awesomeness

Oklahoma City is home to a pretty awesome downtown art gallery – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The Museum in itself is something to brag about. But we are here to share a few things about the Museum with you that perhaps you didn’t know – and that perhaps might make it even more awesome for you (if that is even possible). Did you know that the Museum offers adult travel tours to other cities to check out art throughout the region? In the past art enthusiasts have headed with Museum staff to places like Dallas, Houston and even New York City. And we bet you didn’t know that kids as young at 15 months can take classes at the Museum to begin experiencing art in a variety of ways, from painting to sculpture to puppets. Or how about the fact that you can experience dinner in the Museum Café followed by a movie in the adjacent theatre, all for one low fixed price? See, we told you our Museum was awesome.

arts and culture, family-friendly, movies, museums, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy birthday to us!

Terrible twos, here we come! OK, probably not – we’re pretty sure that toddler terrors don’t translate to blog years. Thank goodness! And just in case you’re not following our train of thought, we’ll state it as plainly as can be: THE BETTER LIFE BLOG IS TWO YEARS OLD! That’s right, kiddos, for two years – or 730 days or 104 weeks – we’ve been throwing OKC knowledge your way. From places to eat to ways to stay active, from cheering on the home team to finding your inner artist, from random factoids to a fierce weekly events calendar, we have been giving you the 411 on the 405.  

We just wanted to give a big ol’ shout out to our awesome readers. We hope that this place has been an incredible resource for living the good life in OKC. And we can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you in the future.

running, Thunder, arts and culture, calendar, community, food, live sporting events, outdoor recreation, restaurants
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
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Too Deep (Deuce)

Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, the Deep Deuce District (located at Northeast 1st Street and Central Avenue) may be small but its historical significance runs deep. In the 1940s, it was Oklahoma’s premier African-American jazz and business district, and was home to jazz legends such as Charlie Christian, the Blue Devils and Jimmy Rushing. Today the neighborhood is still bopping, but to a slightly different beat. It is now an urban neighborhood home to local favorite restaurants such as Deep Deuce Grill and the Wedge Pizzeria, as well as housing like The Deep Deuce Apartments and Level Urban Apartments, with more on the way. Each year the area hosts the Deep Deuce Music Festival and features jazz and blues bands, and local artists. So if jazz, blues, art or a cool modern vibe is your thing, you won’t want to miss this historical district. 

Bricktown, community, downtown, housing, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Can't Watch at the 'Peake? No Sweat.

Whether you have lived in OKC all your life or just moved here you already know that we take our Thunder basketball seriously. So serious in fact, finding a seat in Chesapeake Energy Arena can border on difficult, especially during the playoffs. Don’t fret, the party isn’t just happening in the arena. You can find a ton of Thunder faithful enjoying the game all over town. While we can’t highlight every great place to watch a game, here are three places that will get you headed in the right direction.

Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery has an upstairs that is a sports lover’s dream, tons of amazing high-def TVs, plenty of seating and great food. What more can you ask for as you watch the Thunder march through the Western conference?

If TVs and a great beverage selection (350+ beers) are what you are looking for, RePUBlic Gastropub is a good start. Heck, they even have TVs in the restrooms so you will never miss a Westbrook dunk.

Want to get closer to the action? Head down to Bricktown where just about every establishment will be packed with exuberant fans watching the game. Who knows, you might even bump into a player or two after the game.

Bricktown, Classen Curve, restaurants, Thunder
Posted by: The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How the West Was Fun

With more than 100 years of history under its belt, there is no better place to go experience Oklahoma City’s rough-and-tumble past than Stockyards City. Located just southwest of downtown, Stockyards City is home to the Oklahoma National Stock Yards—the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market.  Originally called “Packingtown,” the area was developed as a meat processing and packing plant in 1910, and by 1915 the area was booming with cowboys and cattle drives.

By 1961, the packing plant closed and was replaced by a cattle auction. More than 102 million head of livestock have passed through the iron gates of the Stockyards since that time, and the auction is still in operation today.

Even though the days of the cattle drive are over, the area still serves up its unique Western heritage to cattlemen and greenhorns alike. The original business district is intact and still sells its wares to Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers, and many of the area’s stores and restaurants are among OKC’s oldest establishments. Stop in at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse for food that has won the approval of everyone from U.S. presidents to Sir Charles Barkley since 1910, and rustle up some authentic cowboy gear at Langston’s Western Wear, which was established in 1916.

restaurants, shopping, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Rustle Up Some Cowboy Grub

Oklahoma City has some of the world’s best cowboy grub around, so put on a feedbag with some of these Okie-food favorites:

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is an Oklahoma City-staple with a history as rich as its decadent homemade desserts. This restaurant, which opened in 1910, was won in a high-stakes dice game between the owner and a local rancher. Be sure to try the T-Bone “Presidential” Steak, which won the approval of President George H.W. Bush while he visited Oklahoma City.

Iron Starr Urban Barbeque offers a modern spin on traditional comfort foods with its Oklahoma barbeque with traditional smokehouse flavor. Named after Belle Starr, Oklahoma’s notorious outlaw, this restaurant stays true to its traditional roots by with its down-home atmosphere. Order the fancy macaroni and cheese for the ultimate comfort-food treat.

Onion burgers are an Oklahoma specialty with origins dating back to the 1920s, and you can’t get much better than the selection at Tucker’s Onion Burgers. Tucker’s serves up this Oklahoma classic in a casual setting with a focus on fresh, regionally-grown ingredients. Not a fan of beef? You can get an all-natural turkey burger or choose from its selection of salads to round out your meal.

food, restaurants, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rainy day adventures

It’s springtime and that generally means we get a healthy dose of rainy days. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend your time cooped up and bored. Throw on some galoshes, grab an umbrella and follow our lead to some excellent rainy day adventures.

  1. Eat something yummy. So what if it’s raining? Sounds to us like great time to explore OKC’s awesome restaurant scene.
  2. Catch a flick. Everyone loves the rainy day activity of hitting up the movies. But we’re here to help you think outside the box. So this time around, why not check out the showings at The Paramount or the Oklahoma City Museum of Art?
  3. Wander the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. When you’re inside, it doesn’t matter what’s happening outside – you’re in a tropical paradise.

Got a favorite rainy day activity? Tell us about it!

downtown, food, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For You, Foodies

Still trying to figure out how you’ll spend Friday night? We have an idea. Here in OKC, we have all sorts of great things. Just to name a few: food trucks, music, a vibrant urban environment and community spirit. And all of these things will converge this Friday, March 29, at the H&8th Outdoor Food Market. Hosted by Elemental Coffee, this night food market will take place at Hudson and Northwest 8th Street from 7 p.m. until midnight. So grab your buddies and your wallet and head down for some fantastic grub in an awesome atmosphere.

[Photo courtesy of H&8th Night Market]

festivals, food, music, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Winter

You may have noticed that winter here in OKC can bring some interesting temps. A lovely weekend with highs in the 60s, sometimes followed by a blizzard during the week. We want you to be able to take advantage of it all. Sled down a hill while the snow sticks around, and crack open a cold one on your patio (or on the patio of a nearby watering hole) and enjoy the spring-like temps.

So about that cold brew . . . Oklahoma City beer connoisseurs can satisfy their thirst while keeping things local. The Sooner State boasts a number of fine breweries, including COOP Ale Works, Mustang Brewery, Redbud Brewing Company in Oklahoma City, and Battered Boar Brewery in Edmond. Based elsewhere in the state, but readily available in the metro, are products from Krebs’ Choc Beer Company and Tulsa’s Marshall Brewing Company. If you don’t already have a favorite outdoor spot for enjoying a tasty beverage, we suggest you try out any of these or these.

nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The ABCs of OKC

A – In the 1920s, Automobile Alley, located just north of Downtown Oklahoma City, was home to 52 of the city’s first 76 auto dealerships.
B – Greater Oklahoma City is home to five local Beer Breweries.
C – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosts the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly glass.
D – One of the biggest (and best) surprises for people new to OKC is the Diversity of cultures that abounds.
E – In Elmira, New York, the average apartment rent is $1,037, compared to $739 in Oklahoma City. Crazy for a place you’ve never heard of, right?
F – Here in OKC, we have the opportunity to experience all Four seasons.
G – The Grand Event Lawn at the Myriad Gardens is a great place to toss a Frisbee, enjoy a picnic, catch an outdoor concert and so much more.
H – It’s basketball season in Oklahoma City and that means lots of opportunities to watch our beloved Oklahoma City Thunder – and one of our personal favorite players, Hasheem Thabeet, or as we like to call him the “Tanzanian Terror.”
I – Easy access to Interstates helps keep the average commute time in Oklahoma City down to 20 minutes or less.
J – “Jewelry is the gift to give . . . cause it’s the gift that’ll live and live.” That famous jingle for BC Clark plays each year during the holidays and was written by Oklahoma Citian Ray Ackerman.  
K – Kayaking is just one of the great activities you can participate in at the Oklahoma River in the Boathouse District.
L – The city of Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889 during the “Land Run”.
M – You might have heard of a little something called “MAPS.” That stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and has led to more than $5 billion in private investment in our city.
N – The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of OKC’s gems, and sees more than 10 million visitors come through its doors each year.
O – On the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol sits an operating oil well. 
P – The first ever Parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.
Q – Go on a nature Quest at Martin Park Nature Center.
R – Do you enjoy Rollerblading or Running? Then you’ll love the more than 140 miles of walking, running, bicycling and skating trails that snake throughout Oklahoma City.
S – From the Santa Fe Depot in downtown you can hop on the Heartland Flyer, an Amtrak train that’ll take you as far south as Fort Worth, Texas.
T – With 27,000 employees, Tinker Air Force Base is the largest single-site employer in the state of Oklahoma. And it’s right here in Greater Oklahoma City.
U – Did you know that UPS is one of Oklahoma City’s major employers?
V – Velocity is a digital magazine all about OKC!
W – Strangely enough, two of Oklahoma City’s airports, Will Rogers World Airport and Wiley Post Airport were named for two Oklahoma gents, Will Rogers and Wiley Post, who just happened to perish in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935. 
X – Want to hear the lovely music of a Xylophone? (You knew we were going to use that for X.) Check out of a performance by the OKC Phil – that’s the philharmonic.
Y – You want to live in Oklahoma City. It’s true.
Z – Catch an Oklahoma City Barons ice hockey match and you’re sure to spot a Zamboni.

Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, restaurants, arts and culture, community, downtown, live sporting events, museums, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dates on a Dime

Heads up, ladies and gents, because the day of love is upon us – Valentine's Day, that is. If you haven't planned a sweet night for your fine fella or your gal pal, have no fear! There are still plenty of options that won't dive too deep into your savings account. Here are a few ideas to keep you out of the doghouse and in good graces with your special someone.

No time to order a custom bouquet? Head to Whole Foods for the timeless gift of fresh flowers – and with the Whole Trade seal, your blooms are guaranteed to be ethically grown and sustainable. While you are there, pick up a treat that is sure to earn you some bonus points with your sweetie. Whether you opt for a decadent dessert or something that's lighter in calories, the Whole Foods bakery uses the freshest ingredients to stock its shelves daily. There are even gluten-free treats, so anyone with a sweet tooth is sure to fall in love.

And who says you need reservations to dine in style on Valentine's Day? Opt out of candlelight and dine under the stars on the patio of Big Truck Tacos, or grab some all-American grub at S&B Burger Joint. If you are the type of person that likes to DIY, you could even make a picnic dinner to enjoy on the Grand Event Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens.

And if your language of love involves gifts galore, think outside of the box – literally. Help your other half discover their inner artist with a class from City Arts Center or the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. If a class is too much of a commitment, mix it up with an instant date night provided by Wine and Palette's step-by-step painting experiences. Not the artistic type? Take your adrenaline level up a notch with OKC Riversport's Adventure Saturdays. The Boathouse District's new features, such as the Air Express Zip Line and the SandRidge Sky Trail, will get your blood pumping as you take in one of Oklahoma City’s most exciting districts.

arts and culture, downtown, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wild, Wild West

Born from the single gunshot that launched the historic Land Run of 1889, Oklahoma City’s history and heritage is uniquely Western. And the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is the ideal place to experience the legacy of the American West. With more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts, it’s home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Western art in the world. The museum is a can’t-miss destination with fine art, pop culture, Native American objects, historical cowboy gear, an amazing gift shop and tasty dining.

You should also check out ... historic Stockyards City where you can pick up some Western wear of your own, enjoy one of OKC’s most famous restaurants – Cattlemen’s Steakhouse – and see a live cattle auction.

... the Red Earth Museum in downtown to see more than 1,400 traditional and contemporary Native American art pieces including traditional and contemporary fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles, jewelry and beadwork.

arts and culture, museums, restaurants, shopping, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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