Development Moving to Tulsa’s Deco District

Out & About in Greater Tulsa By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

NEW BUSINESSES: Smoothie shop Urban Nutrition and Fig Leaf Boutique are two businesses that recently opened in the Philtower in downtown Tulsa’s Deco District. Urban Nutrition opened in January, and Fig Leaf Boutique, located next door to Urban Nutrition, opened in December.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

It’s easy to walk past beauty without appreciating it once you’ve become accustomed to seeing it.

Thus the phrase, stop and smell the roses.

Humans have an all-too-easy tendency to lose our thankfulness for wonderful things we come into contact with regularly. Obviously, we can’t stop and gape in thankfulness constantly, with the enthusiasm of an out-of-town tourist. However, it is still possible to regularly take notice of the beauty around us, no matter how often we see it.

For us Tulsans, we have many beautiful scenes around the city and beyond. A certain area that comes to my mind is our astounding city center, filled with some of the most eye-catching, gorgeous art deco architecture in the country.

That roughly three-block stretch of Boston Avenue may not take long to walk, but the amount of beauty found in that small stretch of land is worth a regular eye gaze.

Surprisingly, this beautiful portion of downtown has been slower to draw restaurants and shops in comparison with its neighboring districts to the north and east.

However, things are beginning to change, it seems, and not a day too soon, says William Franklin, co-owner of specialty shop Decopolis.

Franklin and co-owner Chris McDaniels opened the shop at 6th and Boston at the end of 2012 and have been waiting ever since for more development to take place.
“So, now to see some of it starting, we feel like ‘finally!’” says Franklin.

I took a stroll down Boston Avenue one recent brisk weekday morning to see for myself what some of these developments are.

I started at the southern end of the district, where sits The Vault restaurant, near 7th Street and Cincinnati Avenue, in the mid-century modern former First National Auto Bank building.

I headed north on Boston and took a left at 6th Street to explore the new shop that opened at 525 S. Main St. On my way there, I noticed a person walking his dogs in the park nearby. That sight is going to become more common as more residential enters the district, but more on that later.

Jules Boutique opened in December and is located on the ground floor of the Park Center Building; its entrance faces 6th Street. The shop offers women’s clothing and accessories, flowers, gift items, with men’s clothing items coming soon.

Rumor has it that a yoga studio is planned to open in the adjacent storefront.

I next took a peek at the shops in the Philcade Building: Made, The Threaded Fox and Okie Crowe. The fourth space is currently empty after Picklesworth recently vacated it. I will be mourning the loss of that unique sock and stationery shop for some time.

Across the street on the northeast corner of 5th and Boston is the Philtower. New boutique Fig Leaf opened Dec. 1 next to smoothie shop Urban Nutrition, which took over the former location of Jennifer Juice.

Fig Leaf Boutique sits in the former location of Galvanize Salon, which moved to a storefront facing 5th Street in the Atlas Life Building. Fig Leaf has exterior windows to draw in street traffic as well as an entrance inside the Philtower. In addition to women’s clothing and accessories, Fig Leaf offers spray tan services.

Also in the Philtower, Tavolo Caffe and Market opened in November.

On the west side of Boston at 5th Street is Decopolis, which reopened in January after moving to its new location.

It looks as if the Deco District will soon see an increase in 24-hour use as many residential projects are either in discussions or underway, including the Meridia Building, at 6th and Boston; TransOK Building, 2 W. 6th St.; Adams Building, 403 S. Cheyenne Ave.; Palace Building, at 4th and Main; and others.

Additionally, the district could see upwards of three hotels coming to the area as well as a number of hotels in nearby districts.

“We get a lot of people in our store coming from nearby hotels who don’t have a car and are just wandering around looking for shops,” says Franklin.

All we have to do is get them here. The beauty of downtown Tulsa will do the rest.

Updated 01-25-2016

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