Jenks Grows its Range of Offerings

Managing Editor

STATE OF THE CITY: Mayor Kelly Dunkerley provides an overview of current and upcoming construction and development projects coming to the city of Jenks during his State of the City, held in November at The Hive.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

Jenks Mayor Kelly Dunkerley’s November State of the City provided a rosy look at city-wide development projects in 2016 with a similarly-bright outlook for the coming year.

The city saw eight groundbreakings take place in 2016, including local businesses joining Main Street, the replacement of Jenks Public Schools’ High School Dining Hall, the Downtown Commons park and Jenks Crossing, a more than $30-million project to include apartments and commercial space that is to be located southwest of Highway 75 and 111th Street.

In downtown Jenks, The Hive, which opened in October 2015, has seen a successful 2016 as an art gallery and incubator space. Currently, The Hive’s three artists in residence are local artists Chris Hopkins, Allison Keim and Christopher Westfall. The Hive also houses the offices of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce and 3,000 square feet of gallery space.

During 2016, The Hive saw more than 3,000 attendees and eight art shows, all of which were free and open to the public.

“We are always looking for more artists and art groups to collaborate with,” says Nick DeMoss, vice president of communications and programs. Interested artists can email

Art shows have been scheduled for 2017 but are yet to be announced. Individuals can visit to find the most up-to-date information on upcoming shows and events.

In downtown Jenks, the city’s efforts to improve some of its alleyways were on display when the Jenks Chamber of Commerce hosted the Alley Bash in August, with food trucks, four live bands and an art show at The Hive.

Currently taking place in downtown Jenks is the construction of the Downtown Commons. The park will be a green space, with a stage, food truck hook-ups and restrooms.

“We have learned the importance of ‘place’ in the public’s decision of where they want to live,” Dunkerley said. “We want to provide that ‘place’ and an experience for visitors to Jenks.”

Currently, Jenks sees its downtown festivals bring in more than $1 million in economic impact annually. Dunkerley expects to see the park increase that impact and strengthen downtown businesses by encouraging visitors and residents to spend more time in downtown Jenks, he continued.

Thrive apartments is set to open its one-and-two-bedroom units in January.
Since opening FlyingTee and various other local businesses including Trader Leaf tea shop and Robin’s Roast Coffee, RiverWalk Crossing, next year, will welcome Maryn’s Taphouse and Raw Bar and Andolini’s Pizzeria.

“RiverWalk’s progress, made possible by the Creek Nation’s investments there, have made it an undeniable draw for visitors from the region. We’re seeing the development really come alive again,” notes Chamber President Josh Driskell.
Maryn’s Taphouse, a venture by Corey Crandall, owner of George’s Pub, will offer wines, craft beers, and a full food menu, including oysters.

Regarding the decision to bring Andolini’s to Jenks, co-owner Mike Bausch says, “We want to go into communities where our brand matches a walkable environment and where people enjoy our pizza choices.”

So, when Jenks officials approached the company, “saying that everything about the RiverWalk is changing; we are getting local businesses, local coffee roasters,” says Bausch, he and his brother, Jim, were listening.

This will be the company’s largest location to date, including a private room with audio-visual capabilities. The restaurant will offer the same signature Andolini’s pizzas found at its other locations as well as gelato and is expected to open in April.

Regarding the restaurant’s exterior, “we like the look of the natural brick at our Cherry Street location. You’ll know from both inside and the parking lot that it’s Andolini’s,” Bausch says.

Construction is moving forward on Simon PremiumOutlet Mall and is expected to open June 2018.

The Oklahoma Aquarium will unveil its Sea Turtle Experience exhibit, featuring two 300 pound turtles and reef sharks, in March.

According to the aquarium’s website, the 65,000-gallon tank will be surrounded by a boardwalk and can be experienced from three viewing levels-including an underwater observation area.

The aquarium will add educational components that emphasize the endangered status of sea turtles, their important role in the wild, and how humans’ actions can impact sea turtles and their ocean habitat.

In 2017, as these commercial projects continue and more are added, the city will be ever more focused on public safety, Dunkerley said, and easing traffic congestion. One anticipated project planned to begin in June is the widening of Main Street into four lanes from Elm Place to Highway 75.

Updated 12-13-2016

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