Blue Rose Café Opens on the Arkansas

Assistant Publisher

Photo By Barbara Sherman Oliver, provided by the Blue Rose Café

Tom Dittus has done it. The Blue Rose Café is now open at 19th and Riverside Drive overlooking the Arkansas River in Tulsa.

The project is a group effort between Dittus and partners, the City of Tulsa, the River Parks Authority and the Tulsa District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Blue Rose is essentially the first step of river development within the City of Tulsa and it is a big deal.

Dittus held a night Jan. 31, the night the first wave of snowstorms hit. He planned on a soft opening from there with music over the first weekend. However, the snow and ice did not stop anyone. The place has been packed since.

The brand new Blue Rose building is nearly all glass, providing dramatic views of the river and the park. It is built up on peers above the 100-year flood plane and has approximately 2,000 square feet of outdoor patio space that hang out over the river. The whole footprint is about 5,500 total square feet.

The restaurant is family friendly with a kid’s menu. The main menu is “classic Blue Rose with a twist of Cajun,” says Dittus. Highlights include blackened chicken, any burger on the menu and the music line up is what Tulsa would expect from the Blue Rose, plenty of local Okie music, blues, classic rock and more.

The existing parking was insufficient for the expected amount of traffic and a new larger lot is being built. The parking expansion project is scheduled for completion at the end of the month. Overflow parking exists at 17th and Riverside Dr.

Dittus also owns Elwood’s restaurant about 30 yards to the north along the path. Elwood’s restaurant is named after the Blue Rose mascot. “It is open at 11 a.m. daily and serves a great deli menu that is receiving great reviews,” boasts Dittus. Elwood’s also has music. The two restaurants are stand-alone entities.

The Blue Rose construction project received some financial assistance through Vision 2025 funds. Organizers are not commenting on total cost as of yet and are still working on what sort of economic impact the restaurant will have on Tulsa. The restaurant already employs as many as 50 people.

The quality of the new building and the business inside coupled with the huge attraction it has already brought has the potential to be a catalyst for further river development.

The City of Tulsa has put out a request for proposal for the west side of the river directly across from the Blue Rose and southward. The Tulsa Community Foundation has an out for its properties on the east side of the river, which are east of Riverside Dr. from 28th to 41st and includes the Blair Mansion at 28th and Riverside Dr.

The Tulsa Metro Chamber announced that it is actively seeking funding for Zinc Dam upgrades and two low-water dams with intention to incite implementation of the Arkansas River corridor master plan.

These projects are in their infancy stages, but there is action and Tom Dittus is demonstrating the potential of it all.

Updated 03-18-2011

Back to Top


email (we never post emails)
  Textile Help

Back to Top

Contact GTR News

About Post Author