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Firing Your Way to Grilling Greatness

It’s taken awhile for Oklahoma to warm up this year. Temperatures in the low 30s lingered into April.

Rib Crib

Despite the late spring, we’re back on target this month and the high heat is coming as summer awaits and people uncover and dust off their grills and smokers.

In our annual section on outdoor cooking, we get away from the norm of hamburgers and hot dogs and explore weird foods, like fudge, that you can grill over the coals.

Tasty sausages, in their raw state, can pose challenges on the grill. We show you how to be the best with brats. We also examine the advantages of the main types of charcoal grills.

Also included are short takes on grilling with skewers and a debate over hickory and mesquite as woods that add flavor to your food as you cook it.

We have a quick rundown of some new barbecue equipment on the market.

Experts weigh in on what makes a good homemade barbecue sauce. There’s even a glossary of sauces by region of the country and the world.

 Opinions vary, but those differences make for robust discussion about a favorite Oklahoma pastime – outdoor cooking.  

9. What Wood You Prefer?

It’s a non-debate debate – or a debate non-debate: distinct and resonate vs. sweet and subtle … mesquite vs. hickory. Regardless of an outright victor, those who grill and smoke love to flavor meat by burning wood.

The battle between hickory and mesquite, like most disputes in the outdoor cooking world, is good-natured. The rarest of species is someone who likes barbecue but refuses to eat because food has been grilled or smoked with chunks from a certain tree.

Jose Todd, assistant manager at Howler’s Famous Barbecue in Pawnee, favors mesquite because “it is a stronger, bolder taste than hickory. Wood-wise, it burns slower. You get a smokier taste.”

He adds – while chewing on a piece of brisket to examine the flavors – mesquite “is not sweet, so you can actually taste the meat; it doesn’t overwhelm the meat.”

In another corner is Andrew Timmons, executive chef in charge of research and development at Tulsa-based Rib Crib.

“I always use green hickory,” he says. “It’s not harsh or bitter and it’s readily available. It provides a good color and smoke ring.

“It provides better heat, too; it will burn the longest because it’s the hardest of the hard woods.”

The great news is that the home grill master doesn’t have to pledge allegiance to the tree. It’s OK to switch back and forth. The Barbecue Po-Po won’t come after you.


Grilled pineapple slices with honey on crumpled paper. selected focus.

Hamburgers, hot dogs and some vegetables comprise a typical backyard barbecue. However, if you see your grill as just a cooking surface with wood and charcoal as the heat source, your options become limitless.

Bananas, lettuce, eggplant, tofu, watermelon, pineapple, peaches, tomatoes, pizza, quesadillas, edamame, nuts, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, bacon, polenta, lobster, avocados and chard are among scores of items you can plop on the grates.

Nick Corcoran, pit master at Tulsa-based Burn Co. Barbeque for seven years, could perform standup comedy with the shenanigans in his lair and some of the foods he’s grilled.

“What we do for a living is absolutely ridiculous because I have access to the best meats and food that you can get,” he says. “We have fun and play around with anything.”

Corcoran has grilled schnitzel, elk sausage, squirrel, lamb and alligator.

“Probably the most unusual thing I’ve done on the grill is fudge – salt-candy-bacon fudge,” he says. “It didn’t go over too well, but I liked it and ate most of it myself.”

OKC’s Scotty Irani, of the In the Kitchen With Scotty, recalls foods at beach parties while he was in culinary school in Rhode Island.

“Grilled oysters and clams are phenomenal,” he says. “The trick is to find those big, gnarly, thick mollusks, then toss them on the grill until they open. Knock out some garlic-herb butter, shuck the clams and oysters, spoon in the butter and place them back in the shells on the grill to cook.

“Can you taste it? I know you can.”


Traditionalists in the outdoor cooking world eschew electricity (pellet cookers) and propane (gas grills). They go for charcoal and wood and fire.

The equipment they use, however, may vary. Dillon Stockard at Everything Barbecue in Oklahoma City runs down the advantages of various types of charcoal grills.

• Barrel – “The cooking surface is large. It’s a vertical style and you have several tiers, so you can get a lot of food on there,” Stockard says.

• Brazier and kettle – Each of these basic grills is essentially the same (charcoal pan, grill and lid). The former is rectangular; the latter is (surprise) shaped like a kettle. “People love the nostalgia of either. It’s the grill that people saw their grandpa or father using.”

• Crank-style – Hasty-Bake of Tulsa patented this type. “You have the versatility to easily move the charcoal around,” Stockard says.

• Kamado or egg – The names are interchangeable, with Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe well-known for this style. “It’s a complete, three-in-one cooker – grill, bake and smoke. Most also have a lifetime warranty.”

In addition, Stockard says the materials of the cookers make a difference.

“The advantage of metal comes in smoking meat,” he says. “Metal provides a drier cooking environment, so you get a more pronounced smoke ring and bark.”

Ceramic cookers “are fantastic if you want to grill basic burgers, steaks, chicken or sausages because of the moisture, flavor and heat retention,” he says.

6. Fowl Weather Ahead

What makes chicken and other winged meats popular today – the relatively low fat content – is also what makes grilling them a fair or fowl proposition.

Beef and pork have enough fat to make hamburgers and bratwurst juicy. However, poultry and flying game can dry out quickly on the grill because there’s nothing in them to keep the meat moist.

The key is getting the moisture in ahead of time with brines and marinades. For instance, brining chicken or turkey breasts for 1½-2 hours renders plump, tender, juicy meat hot off the grill.

Chef Scotty Irani, who runs his In The Kitchen With Scotty line of products out of Oklahoma City, says prepping fowl for the charcoaler is vital.

“When grilling game fowl, keep in mind that these birds – duck, pheasant, quail, dove, grouse – are going to be ‘dry,’ plus you’re using a ‘dry’ way of cooking them,” he says. “To counter-balance that, marinating or brining is always a good idea. Wrapping in bacon or classic ‘larding’ makes a tasty bird bite, too.

“Always make sure you’re grilling these guys to proper internal temperature – 165-170 degrees – especially if they truly are wild game fowl.”

5. sausage success 

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Charred on the outside. Uncooked meat on the inside. This dreadful state of affairs is why many people shun grilling raw bratwurst and sausages.

However, a little patience, a lot of experience and strategic charcoal placement produce casing after casing of ground, flavorful goodness.

“The key is heat control,” says Jeffrey Yates, deli manager for 10 years at Siegi’s Sausage Factory in south Tulsa. “Let them slowly warm up for even browning.”

Nick Corcoran, pit master at Tulsa-based Burn Co. Barbeque, makes sure he has direct and indirect sources of heat. He warms up and browns the brats away from the coals before finishing them over the fire.

“The casing will firm up and the sausage will firm up,” he says. “I know this sounds kind of funny, but as they become plump, they become bouncy as well. I’ve dropped one of the ground and it bounced up.”

Yates uses a feel test before pulling the sausages off the grill.

“When they’re nice and firm and tight, you know it’s done,” he says. “If tiny holes in the casing split open and clear juices come out, then they’re done.”

Puncturing the casing is a no-no because it keeps the meat moist and zesty, so a thermometer is out of the question. However, Corcoran suggests making one of the brats “a sacrificial lamb and cut into it. The others are going to be like it, so you’ll know if they are ready or need more time.”

Yates, whose favorites are ones with any type of cheese in them, says “sausages sometimes get a negative connotation because people think they’re just fancy hot dogs. They’re not. There are a lot of excellent, gourmet sausages out there.”

4. The Art of the Sauce

tomato sauce on white background

Just like foodie disputes over the best way to prepare fried chicken or which type of gravy is best, the art of making barbecue sauce is highly subjective.

With every grilling or smoking expert comes a different opinion on what is needed in a good sauce. Oklahoma Magazine talked with barbecue masters in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and got their preferences.

Nick Corcoran,
pit master, Burn Co. Barbeque,
metropolitan Tulsa

“Around here, we like sauce that’s thick, ketchup-based and sticky – something that you can put on a bun and not have it run off. I always use high-quality ingredients, like blackstrap molasses as a great addition to the ketchup base. Technically speaking, good barbecue shouldn’t need sauce, but, if you do use it, it should be used during the cooking process.”

Chuck Gawey,
owner, Albert G’s Bar-B-Q, Tulsa

“We put a lot of TLC in our sauce. You don’t want anything too, too sweet or too, too tangy or too, too hot. You want something versatile. I had a guy tell me that he puts our sauce on everything, including eggs. That’s what we want.”

Tomas Lopez, chef,
Iron Star Urban Barbecue, OKC

“It’s the sweetness, tanginess and spices altogether. It’s also important to have smokiness and something sweet, like molasses or brown sugar. Onion powder is a good addition, and I like some hot spice for a little kick.”

Brent Swadley,
third-generation owner,
Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, metropolitan OKC

“No. 1 is starting with the best ingredients. We only use Heinz ketchup as the base. We make our sauce fresh. Oklahomans generally like a sweet sauce, but some like it tangy, too, so that’s why we have four sauces. You want the sauce to complete your barbecue. It shouldn’t overwhelm the food. It should cling to the meat, not thickly cover it. It should drape the meat like being on the back of a spoon.”

3. A sauce gloss

Some states and regions in America, along with other countries, claim to produce the best barbecue sauces, which have tomatoes, vinegar or mustard as their bases. Here’s a look at various types.

Alabama White – As the exception to the rule, this state’s white barbecue sauce has mayonnaise as its base, mixed with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, white vinegar and sugar.

Australian – Down Under, the sauce is served as a condiment, not as something swabbed on meat during cooking. Generally, it’s ketchup or tomato paste diluted with Worcestershire sauce and mixed with paprika and that most Aussie of all staples, Vegemite.

Chimichurri – Common to Argentina and Uruguay (and in some parts of Brazil), this uncooked sauce is red or green, depending upon the use of tomatoes. It blends parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, vinegar and red pepper.

Chinese – Tomato puree is mixed with ginger powder, sherry, soy and hoisin sauces, five-spice powder (cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and peppercorns), pineapple juice and garlic for a distinct taste.

East Carolina – Thicker than its West Carolina sibling (see below), this sauce still relies on vinegar and is mixed with crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper (among other spices).

Florida – Since this state is home to many citrus fruits, it’s no surprise that grapefruit juice is a primary ingredient – mixed with brown sugar, red onion, garlic, tomato paste, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

Kansas City – Makers of this sauce like to double down on its key ingredients: tomato sauce and ketchup, blended with brown sugar and molasses.

Korean – Onion, Asian pear and kiwi fruit provide the sweet and loads of garlic provide the sour. Soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil are other key elements.

Lexington/Piedmont/West Carolina – Known by all three names, this sauce uses ketchup, is thin and has lots of vinegar.

Memphis – This sauce is heavy on the tomato base and zesty spices, which makes it thick, sticky and tangy.

Oklahoma – Minced onion and garlic, crushed celery seed, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, paprika and either melted butter or olive oil give the Sooner State’s sauce a unique flavor.

Pacific Northwest – Pick your favorite fruit jam, jelly or marmalade from Oregon or Washington, then mix it with your favorite style of barbecue sauce.

South Carolina – The classic mustard-based sauce has lots of the prepared yellow condiment for even the smallest of batches. Honey and brown sugar provide some balance, but the tang goes up again with apple cider vinegar, chipotle pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

St. Louis – This blend of styles (tomato, mustard and vinegar) has some sweet (brown sugar) and heat (cayenne pepper).

Texas Mop – Ketchup or tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and chili powder are among the flavors in the Lone Star State type.


Shish kebab on skewers with onions. On the black wooden table.

Often overlooked by backyard chefs is the humble skewer, which can bring a complete meal – meat, vegetable, fungi, starch and fruit – straight from the grill to each person.

The prep time is about the same. If they arrive early enough, you can let guests choose what they want on each skewer – such as two cubes of chicken, two potato wedges, three chunks of bell pepper, two mushrooms and a slice of pineapple.

“It’s a different way to eat than what people are used to doing with the grill,” says Dillon Stockard of Everything Barbecue in Oklahoma City. “It’s something nice to try. It’s easy, too – bite-sized food and you don’t have as much cleanup.”

Bamboo skewers are good because of their biodegradability and quickness to cool, so you can remove the hot food without burning your fingers. However, they don’t do well with high heat and can easily break or splinter.

Metal skewers stay hot and you can’t hold them with your bare fingers, but they last a long time, provide superior heat in the middle of a chunk of meat and should be washed after each use.


Grilling food over coals is as old as Homo erectus, so just about everything needed for barbecuing has been invented in the past 1.8 million years. However, some recently released products might grab people’s attention.

Dillon Stockard with Everything Barbecue in Oklahoma City touts some items that have made their way to the back porch.

  • Kamado Joe has added features to its ceramic cookers, namely an air hinge, which uses a compressed spring to make easy lifting of the 125-pound lid, and a long-lasting gasket (seal) made out of ceramic and woven mesh with a life span of 10-plus years. Conventional felt, nomex gaskets last about five years.
  • Several companies, responding to publicized instances of wires breaking off grill brushes and getting into food, have produced scrapers made out of bamboo or another hardwood. “You use it when the grill is hot; the tapered front conforms to the grates,” Stockard says.
  • Smokin’ Brothers and BBQ Hack – makers of pellet grills and accessories, respectively – have a griddle that reaches 400 degrees with the hood down and 350 degrees with it open. It quickly substitutes for the grates and indirect heating surface and fits over the center-mounted fire box. 

The Best of the Best 2017

The Best of the Best 2017

The Best of the Best 2017

[dropcap]Whether[/dropcap] you’re looking for a qualified aesthetician, top-of-the-line barbecue restaurant or unique clothing boutique, Oklahoma has an overwhelming number of options. Each year, we ask our readers to weigh in on The Best of the Best – the places, people and companies you prefer. Over the past few months, we collected thousands of votes to find your best options, no matter what you’re seeking. The readers have spoken, and we are happy to honor the following as The Best of the Best in what they do. Sit back, read and relax – we did the heavy lifting for you.

Photography for section covers by Miller Photography

Select a Category

Places and Faces


Local artists are the cornerstone of culture in our state. P.S. Gordon, a New American Realism painter, has found national success with his art. Utilizing different forms of media on her canvas, Cynthia Brown is another beloved Tulsa art icon. Wendeline Matson combines modern culture and childhood nostalgia for a unique artistic style.

OKC artists like Stephanie Brudzinski convey words of hope in her art, with natural, spiritual and peaceful themes. Ryan Cunningham embodies the spirit of the modern West, and Desmond Mason traded in his NBA jersey for the canvas with his original multimedia artworks.

Charity Event

Philanthropy events combine charity and revelry and showcase the giving spirit of Oklahomans. Tulsans voted the Philbrook Wine Experience, which benefits Philbrook Museum, to the top; this biennial fundraising weekend has become one of the top 10 wine events in the country. Many enjoy the Red Ribbon Gala, benefiting Tulsa CARES; the event is all about rejecting the stigma that surrounds an HIV/AIDS diagnosis and instead focusing on prevention and education. Carnivale, benefiting Mental Health Association Oklahoma, includes fine dining and dancing to help raise money for MHAO’s many programs.

The arts are ever-important in Oklahoma, and the Renaissance Ball, benefiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, helps to raise funds for new programs and exhibitions. Another art event is the 12×12 Art Fundraiser, benefiting the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, which helps artists realize their potential through education, exposure and funding. Lastly, Red Tie Night, benefiting Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund, works to raise awareness of and education about HIV/AIDS.

Bruce Rinehart, Best Chef (OKC)


The chef is the captain of the ship at any restaurant, and Michael Minden of Michael V’s in south Tulsa receives high marks for his culinary mastery. Justin Thompson, who helms the ship at Juniper, Prhyme, Tavolo and other area restaurants with Justin Thompson Restaurants, has established himself as a powerhouse in the Tulsa restaurant scene. Trevor Tack of the McNellie’s Group has taken on and succeeded at leading one of Oklahoma’s most beloved restaurant groups.

Patrick Williams utilizes local and fresh ingredients at Vast. Bruce Rinehart of Rococo serves up East Coast cuisine with a smile, and Brittany Sanger leads the charge at The Jones Assembly.


A business is only as great as the CEO who leads it. Jake Henry Jr. of Saint Francis Health System has championed his employees for 15 years and continues the legacy of excellence at Saint Francis. There are only superlatives to describe the leadership style of Chet Cadieux of QuikTrip, and Phil Albert of Pelco Structural LLC combines reliability and strong leadership to inspire employees. Paula Marshall of The Bama Companies leads by example and curates a culture of positivity.

In OKC, Bill Cameron of American Fidelity Assurance and First Fidelity Bank strives to improve and enhance client and employee relationships every day. Robert A. Funk of Express Employment Professionals creates a stable and encouraging work environment for his employees, and Clay Bennett of Dorchester Capital Corporation and the Professional Basketball Club LLC, the ownership ground of the Thunder, has contributed greatly to the OKC community over the years.

Company to Work For

Certain companies in Oklahoma make coming into work the best part of the day. Cherokee Nation Businesses invest in their citizens and give back to the community in numerous ways, and the Saint Francis Health System keeps its employees happy and well-prepared. The Williams Companies believes every voice counts, no matter your rank. Manhattan Construction Co. encourages collaboration and innovation, and ONEOK manages to make every employee feel appreciated in a massive work environment.

In OKC, the Chickasaw Nation puts faith and responsibility into the hands of its employees and citizens. There are also no complaints about the well-oiled companies of American Fidelity Assurance Co. and MidFirst Bank.

The Flaming Lips, Best Local Band (OKC). Photo by George Salisbury

Local Band

Local bands showcase the immense artistic talent in the state. The Fabulous Mid Life Crisis Band has become one of the most popular bands in Oklahoma since 1995, jamming out with classic rock and easy listening. Lovers of “MMMBop” rejoice; Hanson is voted one of Tulsa’s favorite bands. The Paul Benjaman Band combines rock, jazz, funk, bebop and swing for an electric listening experience.

OKC proudly boasts the legendary band The Flaming Lips as a top local favorite, along with Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road, who produces an eclectic sound that the band describes as “heartland acoustic.” Finally, The Groove Merchants have won over the OKC voters with their mix of subtle jazz and top 40 hits.


Local Icon/Landmark

Local landmarks become symbols of a town’s culture and vitality. The Tulsa Golden Driller stands tall in the heart of the city and has become an iconic subject of clothing and art for local vendors. The Center of the Universe attracts residents to relax and enjoy a quirky local landmark, and the Blue Whale of Catoosa has a rich history and passionate following.

In the heart of OKC is the Devon Energy Center, standing tall over the city and housing numerous businesses. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum honors those lost during the 1995 bombings. The Bricktown District is the perfect destination for food, shopping and relaxation.

Local Park

It’s often a good choice to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy an afternoon at the park. Tulsa’s Woodward Park boasts 45 acres plus a botanical garden and arboretum. Guthrie Green’s sprawling lawn and pavilion is a popular downtown spot in a sea of concrete, and Riverside Park offers lovely views of the river plus trails for exercise.

Myriad Botanical Gardens, Best Local Park (OKC)

You could get lost all day in Myriad Botanical Gardens, a 17-acre green addition to downtown OKC. Lake Hefner Park is a popular spot to lounge and bird watch, and the Will Rogers Gardens are open year round and offers 30 acres for exploration.

Local Radio Personality 

Whether on the commute to or from work, the right radio personality can turn your day around. Wake up with Lindsey Bauer on MIX 96.5 KRAV, whose bubbly personality and hilarious commentary will start your day off right, or settle in with Dan Potter of NEWS 102.3 KRMG, who keeps you updated on the latest local news. And for all things sports, turn to The Morning Animals at 97.1 KYAL.

OKC listeners tune in to Jeff Roberts on Magic 104.1 KMGL for his quirky personality, great tunes and sports talk. Chris Plank at 99.3 KREF also has the latest sports commentary and never fails to keep it real, while others listen in to Jack and Ron of 96.9 KQOB, a popular duo in the radio business for over 20 years. Bobby Bones of 101.9 KTST Twister serves up hilarious antics and killer tunes with his group of radio personality pals.

Local TV Personality

You need a familiar, trustworthy face delivering your news every day. Karen Larsen at KJRH, Channel 2 is an award-winning journalist and Tulsa’s top pick for a local TV personality. Chera Kimiko, also at KJRH, Channel 2, has become a familiar and beloved personality in Tulsa journalism, and voters trust her for accurate and entertaining content. Craig Day at KOTV, Channel 6 delivers you accurate and up-to-date news at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily.

Paul Folger has been with KOCO, Channel 5 for nearly 10 years and keeps residents in the know during the evening news. Linda Cavanaugh at KFOR, Channel 4 was the first female co-anchor of the evening newscasts at her station and has won numerous awards for her work. Emily Sutton, another KFOR, Channel 4 employee, is a prized member of the station’s 4Warn Storm Team and keeps residents aware of time-sensitive weather information.


In a state as weather-fickle as Oklahoma, the local meteorologists have a challenging job. Tulsa’s favorite is Travis Meyer at KOTV, Channel 6, who’s been in the game for over 30 years and established himself as a reliable source. Brett Anthony at KJRH, Channel 2 is a face to trust when severe weather strikes, as is Mike Collier, who also works at KJRH, Channel 2.

OKC residents look to David Payne at KWTV, Channel 9, who’s been advising the masses for over a decade. Jonathan Conder at KOCO, Channel 5 has the readers’ trust and votes in OKC, as well, and others rely upon the reports of Mike Morgan at KFOR, Channel 4.

Celebrity Attractions, best performing arts organization (Tulsa). Photo courtesy Celebrity Attractions

Performing Arts Organization

Performing arts organizations bring art and culture into a city, entertaining all who attend. Celebrity Attractions is Tulsa’s premier presenter and producer of national touring shows, bringing in Broadway hits like The Little Mermaid and, in 2018, Hamilton. Tulsa Ballet is one of the nation’s most revered ballet companies, with artists flocking from across the world to join the elite ranks. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center is the heart of Tulsa’s entertainment, and the Tulsa Opera is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected opera companies.

OKC residents adore the Oklahoma City Philharmonic for their skilled performances from world-class professionals. The Oklahoma City Ballet never fails to impress with their impeccable choreography, costumes and technique. Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is constantly producing and creating exciting shows for OKC residents.

Small Town

Oklahoma is teeming with small town gems waiting to be explored. Jenks offers up quaint shopping options, plus the RiverWalk Crossing and the Oklahoma Aquarium. Voters choose Owasso for its historical museum and plethora of entertainment and dining options, and Bixby has seen a substantial population growth in recent years with new entertainment options popping up constantly.

OKC voters love to take trips to Yukon with its outdoor activities, especially the Chisholm Trail Crawfish Festival every June. Guthrie boasts fascinating architecture, and its Historic District has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The little-known Byng is a small but mighty powerhouse and a perfect small city to explore.


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A Dramatic Change

Two upholstered chairs featuring metal accent bands are comfortably placed near the fireplace and the large living room sofa. A glass-topped coffee table is a special feature in this setting. Photo by Alyssa Rosenheck.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] Tulsa couple was well on their way to building a new home. The design plan for the residence was established. They were working well with their interior designer, Mel Bean, owner of Austin Bean Design Studio.

Then, by chance, they discovered an older home near Utica Square that spoke to them, much louder than a whisper. Its multi-level, rambling style had an appealing charm. It did need updating, but the couple decided this home could be as impressive and comfortable as the one on the blueprints that they had approved.

The Midtown location and the possibilities the home offered for renovation won over the original new home plans.

“The exterior did need updating,” Mel says. “It was dark and disjointed. We softened the exterior by painting the brick and wood white and enhancing the landscaping, enlarging the walk to the front door, adding a curve to the threshold and a small seating area near the entrance.”

While the interior of the home also needed a fresh look, the couple loved the neighborhood and decided this home could achieve all they wanted in a new “old” residence.

The entry makes an impressive statement. The couple have professional interests in geology, and the entry sets the stage with a welcoming console featuring mementos of geological history.

The couple’s interest in earth science is complemented with a variety of materials used in the furnishings and accessories. Among the materials are chrome, glass, metal, steel, stone, subway tile, copper, selenite and Calcutta gold marble. Wood floors, stained a medium dark brown, anchor each room to add a pleasing contrast to the pristine white theme. Guests to the home could have an interesting treasure hunt for the variety of materials and textures.

A soft touch was added by featuring a mixture of fabrics, including velvet, rugs fashioned of a wool and silk blend, soft leathers and straw-hued raffia for a master bedroom headboard.

A few structural changes were necessary, Mel notes. An awkward column was removed to provide more space to create a larger kitchen and family room for infomral meals and entertaining.“This is a very approachable, casual room designed for easy living,” Mel says

The kitchen got a facelift. New cabinet doors give the existing cabinets a contemporary updated look, enhancing the all-white theme. A new Wolf range and a custom designed hood look impressive. No longer a drab setting, the room is a great area for informal dining. The perfect splash of color is an antique patterned rug accenting the large commercial range.

The dining room overlooks the spacious front lawn and is an elegant setting for entertaining. The centerpiece is a dramatic selenite chandelier that, Mel says, “glows beautifully in the room.” The table for eight is flanked with white upholstered chairs.

The formal living room exudes a serene look. The custom fireplace is a major focal point, dominating one end of the room. Its dark bronze surface is accented with gold tones. A gray rug in a wool and silk blend is designed in a geometric pattern, and a chrome-and-glass coffee table enhances the seating area. Two lounge chairs, covered in navy velvet, invite seating near the fireplace.

While the room makes a beautiful first impression, Mel says it is “not too formal to be comfortable.” The design of the room and the placement of the furnishings invite conversation with guests.

Many of the rooms in the home overlook the garden areas, with nature adding its own color palette to the interior design.

Throughout this spacious home, the interior color palette is restrained and based on crisp white walls and some white upholstery accented with shades of blue and gray, adding the “pops of color” that Mel likes to use in interiors.

The home took seven months to complete, from the purchase of the home to moving day. Mel desribes it as “a wonderful project.” The clients were organized, delightful and trusting of the design firm to bring their dreams to fruition.

“The before and after photographs make this look like a brand new house,” Mel says.


Casting Calls for All

Oklahoma has a vast collection of community theaters. Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Oklahoma has a vast collection of community theaters. Photo by Brent Fuchs.

[dropcap]It[/dropcap]’s a popular notion in American history that the Puritans fled England to escape religious persecution. While the story has a grain of truth, the full reasons they were driven from their country are much more sinister.

While in power, they murdered a king, outlawed dancing, canceled Christmas and – most dastardly of all – closed the theaters.

Lucky for us today, theater is alive and well in the New World. And few places have more dedication to the arts than Oklahoma’s collection of community theaters.

“In my opinion, community theater is our national theater,” says Sara Phoenix, artistic director of Theatre Tulsa. “It really doesn’t exist in the same varied forms in any other place in the world. It is an American treasure. And in the American spirit, community theater is all sorts of things. It’s small clubs of all-volunteer groups producing in theaters or community centers in towns across the country, all the way to large civic theaters doing work that rivals anything you see on Broadway. It’s the heart in it that makes the difference.”

Since 1969, the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association has served amateurs, students, theaters and professionals with resources, educational events and opportunities to connect with others in Oklahoma’s flourishing theatre community. Over the decades, the organization has grown from 16 theaters and 30 individuals to 32 theaters and more than 100 members, as well as youth members and university theaters. The work of OCTA and Oklahoma’s theaters is invaluable to the state, says Sally Barnes, the association’s treasurer and past president.

“Research has shown that communities that invest in the arts reap the additional benefits of jobs, economic growth and a quality of life that positions those communities to compete in a 21st-century creative economy,” she says.

Chuck Tweed, production director of Oklahoma City’s Jewel Box Theatre since the 1970s, calls himself “a perfect example of the old adage ‘Find a job you like, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’” Tweed agrees with Barnes that theater and the arts are essential to communities.

“Oklahoma needs the arts – badly,” he says. “We entertain, teach life lessons, make you laugh and cry, and let you come into the lives of characters who affect you.… It is only my opinion, but, without the arts, we cannot grow to our full capacity. They feed us.”

Tweed says one of the best parts about participating in community theater is the connection forged with others.

“The actors form a family bond with other actors that last forever,” he says. “You work with them again at other theaters, see their shows and support each other through good and bad times.”

Joanie Elmore, managing director of Theatre Bartlesville, says the importance of community theater cannot be overstated.

Photo by Brent Fuchs.

“Community theater has a huge impact on all the actors and volunteers that participate, and the impact on the audiences is almost immeasurable,” she says. “Creative skills are learned and performed, new skills are acquired, camaraderie and community spirit are experienced, and large opportunities for personal and community growth are facilitated. The show themes deeply affect the audiences and the participants and can change the fabric of the society that they are presented in. Some communities are never the same after certain shows because, with community theater, new heights and depths within the community itself can be reached with theatrical expressions of culture.”

Elmore says those who want to become involved in community theater need the “heart of a volunteer”– a true commitment of time and spirit. Tweed has a different warning for aspiring thespians.

“It is addicting! You will never fall out of love with theater,” he says. “To give to an audience every performance is so rewarding. Not from an ego experience, but that you made a group of people laugh/cry/think/reflect on themselves and life.

“I would just like to encourage people to take the risk of getting involved. It could change your life!”

And as William Shakespeare wrote, “Nothing will come of nothing.”

Actors from jewel box theatre in OKC rehearse for A production of bus stop.
Photos by Brent Fuchs.

Perchance to Dream

For many who fantasize of treading the boards, just the thought of taking steps toward the stage can be daunting.

In addition to spending decades nurturing the confidence and skills of young artists as a debate and drama teacher at Norman High School, Betsy Ballard has been involved in every aspect of Norman’s community theater scene since the 1980s. If you’re nervous about getting involved, she says, go slow.

“Get on the lowest levels you can bear,” Ballard says. “Go sell tickets. Work the concession stand. Get in on the edges.”

And if you’re not scared? Ballard encourages neophytes to find every audition and just go.

“There is a group someplace that needs what you’ve got,” she says. “You’ve just go to find them. There are all types of productions, all types of gifts.”

And if you can’t find it?

“Make it,” Ballard says. “Make it and they will come.”


Life Behind Bars

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

[dropcap]While[/dropcap] many people may think of handcrafted mixed drinks as being the domain of bars in New York or Los Angeles or restricted to stuffy rooms, the cocktail scene is alive and growing in Oklahoma. We talked to four bartenders about the newest trends in drinks, how they got into the business and what they love about bringing the craft of cocktails to customers.


A Heck of a Party in OKC

You might not expect to find Anna Mains, the co-owner of Rockford Cocktail Den, DEKORA! and Knucks Wheelhouse, behind the bar that often. Far from being more work, however, her shifts behind the bar serve as a retreat.

“There’s something invigorating about working behind the bar,” she says. “I have had days where I am in hands-down the worst mood, stressed beyond any sort of stress I ever thought I could handle, and the moment I walk behind the bar and I start making drinks and I start interacting with guests and I see people having a good time, my mood is always completely transformed.”

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Mains had worked at restaurants while in college, but it wasn’t until she moved to Oklahoma City and began bartending at in the raw that she started on her current trajectory. When the owners wanted to sell the location, she and her husband purchased it and rebranded it as DEKORA!

While the performance of DEKORA! led to new projects, Mains didn’t become interested in creating a cocktail-focused bar until she was staying home after having her first child.


Pina Colada

  • 1.5 oz pineapple infused Cana Brava Rum
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • 0.75 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz Coco Lopez or sweetened coconut milk
  • 1  egg
  • 2 dashes orange flower water
  • Shake hard and dump into hurricane glass. Garnish with pineapple, pineapple fronds and an umbrella.


“I enjoyed a cocktail, but it kind of seemed like something to me that was cool, but not anything that was applicable to what we would see in Oklahoma,” she says. “All of a sudden, especially in the first couple of months, I was at home a lot and started reading all the cocktail books, and it kind of grabbed me. I realized it was something I wanted to learn more about, and I really wanted to be able to take all these things that were going on across the nation and bring some of the fun cocktails to Oklahoma City.”

From there, Mains conceptualized and founded Rockford Cocktail Den, which provides those types of cocktails in a relaxed environment. She is also working with Proprietors LLC, the group responsible for high-profile cocktail bars such as Death & Co. and Nitecap in New York and Honeycut in Los Angeles, on a new project in Oklahoma City.

Mains is excited about the new project, but she says it will probably be her last for a while because she has realized how much she enjoys working behind the bar.

“In my eyes, we’re kind of in the entertainment industry,” she says. “I am a horrible actor. I am a horrible singer. I can’t entertain people that way, but I can make sure that when you come into my house, my bar, I’m going to throw you a heck of a party, and I’m going to make sure I go above and beyond to treat you special and make sure you’re going to enjoy your time there.”



A Taste for the Classics

Dressed in a tie, herringbone vest and pinstriped pants, Jamie Jennings looks exactly like the person to teach others about classic cocktails.

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.
Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

“People have been drinking for so long, everything has been made,” says Jennings, bar manager at Hodges Bend in downtown Tulsa. “All these crazy drinks people are making these days are based on some historical drink. So if you can understand the history and the past, then you’re set.”


Lion’s Tail

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (liqueur)
  • 2 tsp Gomme syrup (2:1 Simple syrup is an acceptable substitute)
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass.
    Garnish with lemon wheel.


While Hodges Bend doesn’t ignore signature drinks (Jennings estimates the bar has created 50 or 60 signature drinks since the business opened in 2014), the focus on classic drinks helps guide what’s available to the customer. All employees at Hodges are taught how to make classics before trying anything original.

Jennings’s search for inspiration for drinks goes beyond the classics, and he actively seeks new recipes to study and try.

“With today’s technology, I have access to a lot of stuff that has been scanned into libraries and books dating back to the 1870s and 1880s, and we have a pretty solid library here at Hodges that we can go to,” he says. “I have a lot of really good, regular customers who will bring us old books that they have found and let us work through them before we give them back. I’m always reading old literature, especially based on bartending.

“I think we take this very seriously, and  people don’t always realize that. This is a serious thing. Bartending is not going anywhere, and we want to specialize in it, so we do take our time to study.”

Jennings started his career as a hotel bellman who started cleaning and setting tables because he wanted to watch football games in the bar. That turned into an offer to bartend, and he worked at several different taverns before landing at Hodges Bend.

While he enjoys working behind the bar, he says he doesn’t anticipate remaining a bartender and sees himself perhaps in the kitchen at some point. He enjoys working with food for the same reason he enjoys mixology.

“I love it because, in the end, a good bartender understands balance and so does a good chef,” he says. “It’s about balancing your citrus, your spirit, your sweet and your bitter, and it’s the same thing in the kitchen. I think they have a lot of commonalities, and it’s all about balance at the end.”



A Bartender and Sommelier

While Lesley Nelson, bar manager at Torero, may be skilled at crafting cocktails, she’s at least equally proud of her unofficial title of “Tulsa’s Youngest, Hottest Sommelier.”

“I’ve held that title for almost three years,” she says with a laugh.

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.
Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

While Nelson has developed many skills, she says wine was her first passion. Starting as a server for a chain steakhouse, she moved behind the counter and worked at a wine bar before stints at Hodges Bend and Saturn Room, which led to her new position at Torero. In addition to serving as bar manager, she is certified with the Guild of Sommeliers and helps customers pick out wines as well as creating the wine list and educating the staff on the subject.

Toreo-Bartender-0032Nelson is also a certified specialist of wine with the Society of Wine Educators, a different organization that focuses on knowledge and standards instead of service.



  • 1.5 oz rum (blend of tobacco infused Brugal Anejo, Hamilton Saint Lucia and Smith & Cross)
  • 0.75 oz lime juice
  • 0.75 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.75 oz grilled pineapple syrup

Shake and strain over crushed ice in a rocks glass. Add more ice and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

[/pullquote]Though wine may have been her first love, she developed an equal passion for mixology.

“Bartending just came really natural to me,” she says. “I was good at memorizing drinks, and I liked it a lot.”

Like many other bartenders focused on mastering the craft, she studies classic drinks, reads anything she can get her hands on and tries mixing drinks from classic recipes, though she admits the results sometimes require some work.

“I’ll see a cocktail that’s something I’ve never seen before,” she says. “Some crazy, obscure recipe, and I’ll try to make it good. And usually they’re not that good, and that’s where I’ll tweak them and make them good.”

Nelson says she enjoys working behind the bar, and appreciates the respect the profession is given as more interest is being given to craft cocktails. That increased interest helps push her to improve.

“People consider bartending a career now,” she says. “All over the U.S., there are career bartenders, basically. There is a lot that goes into it if you want to be good, and even the consumers now know a whole lot more about what everybody’s serving now. You’ve got to be able to know what you’re doing to impress customers or get them interested in what you’re doing.”



The Accidental Bartender

Chris Barrett didn’t intend to become a bartender. Originally, he was hired to wait tables at a restaurant in Bricktown, but offered to help as a barback because he started work on Valentine’s Day weekend, where the crowds made going through training difficult.

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

He did a good enough job as a barback that the owner asked him to fill an open position as a bartender – but that doesn’t mean his start behind the bar was completely smooth.

“I remember on the first day of training, the owner overheard the bartender teaching me the most basic of things (I think it was how to make a martini), and he asked me if I had ever bartended before,” Barrett says. “When I said no, he got this [panicked] look on his face then said reluctantly, ‘Well I guess you gotta learn somewhere.’ I did learn, and I’ve been bartending ever since.”


Scotch Yer Nose

  • 1.5 oz. blended Scotch
  • 0.75 oz. Pedro Ximinez sherry
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. honey syrup
  • 3-4 basil leaves
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters

In a shaker, muddle the basil with the honey syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a basil leaf.


Twelve years later, Barrett still hasn’t stopped. Now serving as bar manager and head bartender at Ludivine, he’s long past learning how to make basic drinks and creates his own.

His methods for working on a new creation vary – sometimes he starts with a spirit he likes and tries to create a drink to highlight its features, and sometimes he starts with one of the non-alcoholic ingredients.  Either way, he says he goes back to the classic cocktails, considering how and why they work.

“Most recently, though, we’ve been developing concept cocktail menus at Ludivine,” he says. “We start with a concept, then decide on the names of the cocktails that fit that concept and then create a drink that, to us, fits the name. It’s working backward from a name to a cocktail.”

Barrett doesn’t see the cocktail resurgence as anything truly new and compares it with other skills you’d find in a restaurant.

“The word ‘mixologist’ dates back to the 1800s when creating drinks was a highly respected craft,” he says. “But I tend to agree with Anthony Bourdain’s view of cooking being more of a craft than an art. Cooking, mixology and bartending are crafts with immense room for creativity.”

Barrett’s favorite cocktails run to the classics: the Martinez, The Last Word and the Vieux Carre. At home, he says he’s more likely to drink straight liquor or something simple, such as a Manhattan, martini or Negroni. If he has guests, though, he’ll make something fun for them.

“But I don’t drink much at home anyway,” he says. “I’d rather go to a bar.”


Our State’s Great Comfort Foods

Photo by Mary Beth Ede.

[dropcap]“[/dropcap][dropcap]Feel[/dropcap]-good food” encompasses a whole scrumptous spectrum of quality fare, mainly because the idea of comfort food means something different to everyone. To some it’s mom’s stew, to others it may be that one diner’s fried chicken, and to you it might be a warm brownie fresh out of the oven. Regardless of your definition, the food you choose to eat on rainy days, after a breakup or just because you can offers a comfort unlike anything else. We searched far and wide across Oklahoma to find the state’s best “feel-good food,” and we found it. Oh boy, did we.

A Quick Bite of Heaven

Feeling a bit of the mid-day blues? Whether you’ve spent the morning fighting crowds while doing your holiday shopping or just need a bit of comfort to help you through the afternoon, these quick bites are sure to fix your mood.

Photo by Mary Beth Ede.
Photo by Mary Beth Ede.

Meatloaf Sliders – Lucky’s

A twist on the traditional slider, these mini-burgers aim to please. Topped with jalepeno coleslaw and catsup glaze, you’ll find yourself eating all three faster than you can say “meatloaf sliders?!” 

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Fish and Chips – Picasso Cafe

For a taste of the sea, the beer-battered cod, seasoned fries and caper remoulade at Picasso Cafe is just the ticket. Small yet mighty, this dish will fill you up and keep you smiling.

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.
Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

Skillet Fried Chicken – Celebrity Restaurant

This fried chicken is the real deal. Cooked in a cast iron skillet and seasoned to perfection, it’s a popular choice at Celebrity.

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Sante Fe Chicken Sandwich – Cafe 501

This sandwich is a stunner: begin with tortilla crusted chicken, monterey jack cheese and roasted corn-avocado salsa, pile on the chipotle-mayo, then place it all on some fresh focaccia and garish with tri-colored tortilla chips.

Just Got Dumped?

In our humble opinion, the only way to heal a broken heart is through good ol’ food therapy. Drown your sorrows in sweet and savory options that will make you forgot about you-know-who and think solely of the scrumptous sustenence in front of you.

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Skillet Cookie – Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse

Ooey, gooey deliciousness that will melt in your mouth. Hello, sugar high!

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Turtle Brownie – Lucky’s

Heaven on a plate: vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, candied pecans and a heaping chunk of delicious brownie. What’s more break-up friendly than that?

Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.
Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer.

Roasted Chicken and Mac and Cheese – Tallgrass Prairie Table

Get farm-to-table perfection with this creamy carb and chicken combo. Delish!


Fighting for Food

Iron Gate provides its guests with meals every day of the week. no one has been turned away hungry since its opening in 1984. Photo by Natalie Green.
Iron Gate provides its guests with meals every day of the week. no one has been turned away hungry since its opening in 1984. Photo by Natalie Green.
Iron Gate provides its guests with meals every day of the week. no one has been turned away hungry since its opening in 1984. Photo by Natalie Green.

[dropcap]With[/dropcap] the holidays approaching, many of us are looking forward to feasting with our families. But for plenty of Oklahomans who don’t have enough to eat, it’s just another time they’ll go hungry.

According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, the number of Oklahomans suffering from food insecurity outpaces the national average, with more than one in four Oklahoma children relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern iteration of food stamps more commonly known as SNAP, to meet their nutrition needs.

“I have been working with non-profits for more than 20 years, primarily in international relief and development,” says Cari Ogden, vice president of community initiatives for the Oklahoma City-based Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “ … I’ve witnessed desperate conditions while living and working in Eastern Europe and Africa. But it wasn’t until the path of my life led me to food banking that my eyes were opened to similar conditions here in our own country. Hunger is very real right here in Oklahoma City.”

[pullquote]We live in a remarkable country, yet there are still many in every state that simply cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.”[/pullquote]Enough food passes through the doors of the RFBO every week to feed 126,000 Oklahomans. The food bank serves as a repository for donated goods that ship out to more than 1,300 charities and schools in 53 Oklahoma counties. The goods go to food pantries, senior feeding centers, boys’ and girls’ clubs, and other organizations feeding the state’s hungry citizens. During fiscal year 2016 alone, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma distributed 52 million pounds of supplies.

Volunteers play an integral part in the continued success and growth of Iron Gate. Photo by Natalie Green.
Volunteers play an integral part in the continued success and growth of Iron Gate. Photo by Natalie Green.

Ogden is particularly concerned about some of the Oklahomans that fall into the limbo between qualifying for SNAP and the financial ability to realize food security.

“Many Oklahomans simply make too much money to qualify for SNAP benefits, but not enough money to keep food on the table for their family,” she says.

According to Ogden, that’s where food banks like the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and their partners come in — to fill that gap.

“We envision a hunger-free Oklahoma,” Ogden says, “where everyone has access to food, regardless of circumstance. Oklahoma consistently ranks among the hungriest states in America, where one in six struggles with hunger every day. The majority of those served by the Regional Food Bank are chronically hungry children, seniors living on fixed incomes and working families who have difficulty making ends meet.”

Photo by Natalie Green.
Photo by Natalie Green.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma serves as a food distributor for 24 counties. Eileen Ryan Bradshaw, executive director for the food bank, notes that the conditions that lead to hunger in Oklahoma are not unique to the state; they are instead intricate and more widespread.

“We live in a remarkable country, yet there are still many in every state that simply cannot afford to feed themselves and their families,” Bradshaw says. “It is a complex issue that encompasses education, wages, transportation and equality. The North Texas Food Bank had a billboard that illustrated the dilemma. It showed a woman’s face with the line ‘Paycheck on the first, pay rent on the second, hungry on the third.’ That is the new reality for so many of the working poor.”

Goods from these two food banks often wind up in places like Iron Gate LLC, a soup kitchen in downtown Tulsa. For two hours every morning, Iron Gate’s kitchen serves hot meals to around 600 hungry people, says marketing coordinator Tori Lieberman. In addition, the organization runs an emergency grocery pantry for families in need.

“In our history, no one has been turned away hungry,” Lieberman says. “Iron Gate’s mission is simple. We feed the hungry of Tulsa – every day. We feed people in three ways: through our soup kitchen, grocery pantry and the Kids Pantry. We call those who eat at Iron Gate our ‘guests’ because we invite them to eat with us. Our philosophy is we are all guests on this earth and guests treat one another with courtesy, kindness and respect.”

Despite the common perception that soup kitchens cater exclusively to the homeless, Lieberman says this is not correct, and that the poverty that breeds food insecurity is much more widespread than people would like to believe.

Photo by Natalie Green.
Photo by Natalie Green.

Lieberman explains that the majority of guests coming to Iron Gate “have homes, apartments or stay in shelters. It is not homelessness that pours through our door every day, it’s poverty and hunger.”

Ogden says that food banks need food, friends and funds on a year-round basis. Financial distributions stretch a long way – four to five meals on the dollar, according to her and Bradshaw – with the most-needed food donations being canned meat; vegetables and fruit; rice and beans; and peanut butter.

“All of us know someone that is hungry, even if we don’t realize it,” Bradshaw says. “People are often embarrassed to admit that they cannot afford food. It is a problem that can be fixed – there is enough food, we just need to keep working on the issue. We can solve it, together.”

Want to help out?

To join the fight against hunger, information on how to volunteer
or donate can be found below.

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

Iron Gate LLC


Aiming High

Clockwise from left: Annie Oakley Society Oklahoma Chair Judy Hatfield, Leadership Team Member Mary Ellen Alexander, director Diana Fields, Leadership Team Member Freda Deskin and Whitney Tatum. Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Clockwise from left: Annie Oakley Society Oklahoma Chair Judy Hatfield, Leadership Team Member Mary Ellen Alexander, director Diana Fields, Leadership Team Member Freda Deskin and Whitney Tatum. Photo by Brent Fuchs.

[dropcap]Sharp[/dropcap] shooter. Leader. Pioneer. Celebrated markswoman of the Old West Annie Oakley was all of these and more.

Many female innovators today channel Oakley’s courage and spirit, inspiring the Annie Oakley Society at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City to bring together some of the state’s – and nation’s – exceptional women with a mission to preserve our history.

“Following in the footsteps of one of America’s most illustrious female trailblazers, contemporary women leaders under the leadership of myself and Lynn Friess established the Annie Oakley Society,” says former Oklahoma First Lady Cathy Keating, the group’s founder and national chair. “The Annie Oakley Society comprises women leaders and philanthropists who, like Annie Oakley, play significant roles in shaping our communities and creating new horizons. Through their efforts, they demonstrate an undying determination for excellence and support for the American character preserved and promoted through the museum.”

According to Keating, the society’s mission is two-fold: to ensure continued outstanding education regarding the West through programs at the museum, and to recognize women who “embody the spirit of Annie Oakley.” Past recipients of the society’s honors include retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, singers and Oklahoma natives Reba McEntire and Kristin Chenoweth, U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard and Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci. The philanthropic efforts of the society have raised approximately $3.5 million for educational initiatives at the museum through its annual luncheon.

“We are passionate about keeping the West alive in the hearts and souls of future generations,” Keating says, “and the luncheon is the vehicle for the Annie Oakley Society to do that.”

Speaking of the Old West legend for whom the society is named, Keating greatly admires this female luminary of the past.

“Annie Oakley was a female entrepreneur, pioneer, educator and sharp-shooter who lived by the phrase ‘Aim high,’” Keating says. “We honor women who closely model the legacy Annie Oakley left behind. Like Annie Oakley, we value education, and, through that shared value, the Annie Oakley Society supports educational programming on the diverse history of the American West.”


The Annie Oakley Society Luncheon

The Annie Oakley Society Luncheon, the annual fundraiser for the organization, will take place Oct. 13 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. This year’s luncheon will recognize Donna Shirley, president of Managing Creativity and past manager of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with the Annie Oakley Society Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award will honor Jo Rowan, chairwoman of Oklahoma City University’s School of American Dance and Arts Management and founder of OCU’s dance program. Tickets to the luncheon are $150 for non-members of the society. The public is encouraged to attend, but reservations are recommended by visiting the museum’s website at www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/annieoakley/. For questions regarding membership or reservations, call the Annie Oakley Society’s director at 405.478.2250, ext. 233.


Laugh Out Loud

Photo by Janelle Azevedo.

[dropcap]Even[/dropcap] in the most serious of situations, Oklahomans love to laugh.

Recall, if you will, the Tigernado phenomenon of 2015 or the passion with which many Oklahomans play the drinking game based on the weather reports by Oklahoma City meteorologist Gary England. Even better: check out the big name comedians and local legends performing around Oklahoma or showcased at Tulsa’s upcoming Blue Whale Comedy Festival, at multiple venues in the Brady Arts District Sept. 8-11.

Oklahoma has a growing comedy scene, and many comedians who may have moved out of state in the past for better opportunities are now staying local to build their careers. To get a better look at the state of stand-up in Oklahoma, we asked local comedians about their inspirations, their styles and the status quo of the state’s comedy scene.

Vanessa Dawn 

Vanessa Dawn of Tulsa got hooked on comedy because of a dare. She grew up watching BET’s Comic View and such comedians as Dave Chappelle, D.L. Hughley and Chelsea Handler, but she didn’t take the mic herself until her father said he didn’t think she’d do it.

“So naturally, I signed up for open mic the very next week,” she says.

Dawn describes her comedy as laid-back, observational and relatable. She encourages others to look beyond the comedy clubs to help nurture and grow the Oklahoma comedy scene.

“The comedy scene in Oklahoma has grown rapidly in the past several years,” she says. “While the number of comedy clubs is limited, there are several other venues where one can go practice their craft. There are plenty of open mics in Tulsa and the Oklahoma City area. In order to expand the comedy scene, it is necessary to promote shows. Once the people know there’s a big show, they usually show up, but there is not yet the same support for some of the smaller shows.”

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Jessi Kyle

Audiences might be surprised to know that irreverent comic Jessi Kyle of OKC used to fear public performances.

“What inspired me to take improv was wanting to help me with social anxiety and public speaking,” she says. “Through that, I learned that I can actually be funny from time to time, so I tried stand-up and have been performing ever since! I have so many comedians that I love, but never thought it was something I could do until that first improv class.”

In the ensuing five years, Kyle’s blend of true-to-life comedy and slapstick has earned her the title of a “delightful nut.” She says that while Oklahoma needs to find ways to provide more paying gigs for comedians to bring it in line with other large cities (and keep comedic talent at home), there are definitely benefits to the state’s comedy scene.

“The best thing about the Oklahoma comedy scene is that all comedians have ample opportunity for stage time,” Kyle says. “In larger cities, you may go to an open mic and not even get a chance to get up on stage, and if you do, you are most likely just getting three minutes. Here, we are able to get ample amounts of stage time every night of the week and really experiment and work on material. Also, the showcases we create as a communication truly amazing and unique.”

Photo courtesy C.R. Parsons.
Photo courtesy C.R. Parsons.

C.R. Parsons

As a child, C.R. Parsons was addicted to vinyl albums by classic comedians – Bill Cosby, Jerry Clower, Flip Wilson, Moms Mabley and the like.

“I just loved their storytelling,” he says. “And yes, that does mean I’m OLD.”

Parsons’s classic mix of one-liners and personal storytelling has earned him the moniker of “everybody’s alter ego.” He has definitely tried a bit of everything over the course of his life and careers, from songwriting to sky diving – all experiences that feed into his comedic style. He says the recent renaissance of comedy in Oklahoma is promising and the state’s comedians should unite.

“I have seen spectacular things happen with the comedy scene over the last five years,” Parsons says. “Five years ago, there was one club with one open mic night and very few people trying comedy. Since that time, we have seen so many shows pop up, but there’s almost not a night that you can’t find comedy in Tulsa. I know the same thing is happening in Oklahoma City, as they have a very strong group there as well.

“If there is one thing that we could do better, I would say it would be seeing ourselves as one comedy community instead of split comedy communities between Tulsa and OKC, and having the big cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City reaching out to smaller towns providing live comedy in more places more often.”

Photo by Mandee Johnson Photograph.
Photo by Mandee Johnson Photograph.

Leah Kayajanian

Norman native Leah Kayajanian came of age in the budding Oklahoma comedy culture. While such comedians as Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman have served as influences, she says her primary comedy inspiration has come from other Oklahoma comics.

“Before I tried doing stand-up myself,” she says, “I made a few trips to the open mic at the Loony Bin and saw a friend of mine, Nathan Anderson, perform. If I hadn’t gone to watch him, I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to try it myself. From that point on, the comedians that started doing stand-up around the same time I did in OKC became my family, and we were all so excited about performing at the time (an adrenaline rush that I miss now that I’m 10 years in) that we wrote and wrote and wrote and pushed each other to be better.”

Kayajanian describes her comedic style as biographical, with an emphasis on the ridiculous situations inherent in her life. She now lives in Los Angeles and regularly performs several times a week, and audiences may recognize her from Comedy Central’s Road to Roast Battle.

Andrew Deacon 

A self-described “sucker for wordplay and puns,” Tulsa’s Andrew Deacon started performing comedy after witnessing the creativity and tenacity of comedian friends.

“What first inspired me was how difficult the process is, without seeming difficult to the audience,” he says. “Comedy is deceptive that way. You spend so much time writing jokes, many of which will never see the light of day. You force yourself to go the open mic instead of driving past like you did last week. You have to get on stage, alone with your insecurities, self-doubt and whatever other problems are with you at that moment. You practice brand new material in front of audiences over and over and over again. You bomb, A LOT.  At least a couple of times a week, you think, ‘I’m insane for wanting to do this, right?’ You are insane for wanting to do it, but it pays off eventually.”

Deacon notes that the comedy scene in the region is expanding — using the Blue Whale Comedy Festival as an example — but says there’s always more to be done.

“What we as comics can do to improve is continue working to get better at writing and performing,” he says. “We need to work on how we promote our shows, grow our audiences and continue to be supportive of one another.”

Photo courtesy Shawna Blake.
Photo courtesy Shawna Blake.

Shawna Blake

Shawna Blake isn’t the first comedian lured to a career by “comedy therapy.” A combination of directionless creative energy and a bad breakup led her to take her first comedy classes at downtown Tulsa’s The Comedy Parlor. For the past two years, she’s been a regular in the Tulsa stand-up scene and still uses comedy to work through real-life situations.

“I make a lot of bad decisions and do a lot of things in my life for the story, and getting on stage allows me to tell those stories,” she says of her comedic style. “I’m basically just myself with the volume turned up on stage. I’m very self-deprecating and honest.”

Blake believes that people underestimate the amount of comedic talent currently in the state.

“I think the comedy scene in Oklahoma is better than a lot of people realize,” she says. “There are a lot of talented people doing a lot of cool things all the time. I’ve only been plugged in for about two years, but even in that time I’ve seen new people start doing comedy and bring great energy into starting podcasts, running new rooms around town and getting more people turned onto what’s happening locally in Tulsa and OKC, Stillwater and Tahlequah.”

Photo courtesy Zach Smith.
Photo courtesy Zach Smith.

Zach Smith 

The recent winner of the Funniest Person in OKC contest, Zach Smith has performed stand-up since 2009. Growing up, he idolized classic comedians like Cheech and Chong, Steve Martin and Bob Newhart.

“They were so smart, weird and funny,” Smith says. “I’ve always wanted to aspire to that. Something new, fresh and smart, which is extremely hard to do as it turns out.”

Smith describes his comedic style as a blend of one-liners and storytelling, with the occasional foray into working the crowd. He says that in the seven years since he started doing stand-up in Oklahoma City, the comedy scene has expanded greatly.

“I remember when I first started doing stand-up in OKC, there weren’t very many of us doing it,” he says. “Maybe 10-15 that were performing on a regular basis.… Now in OKC alone, you can see up to 50 different comics hitting different mics throughout the week. The only way to really expand it is to have more comics, more audiences and more places to perform.

“Being a ‘small’ scene, we have to somewhat worry about oversaturation. But the better we get, the more audiences will take note. We need to brand ourselves individually as comics but also as a comedy scene. The guys in OKC Comedy have been doing an amazing job of spreading the word of what we are doing here.”

BradChad Porter and Spencer Hicks. Photo courtesy BradChad Porter
BradChad Porter and Spencer Hicks. Photo courtesy BradChad Porter

BradChad Porter, Spencer Lenox Hicks, and Cameron Buchholtz (OKC Comedy)

BradChad Porter, Spencer Lenox Hicks and Cameron Buchholtz work as independent comics, but they are also the founders of OKC Comedy, a booking and promotion company that has helped bring bigger acts – think Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress and Doug Benson – to the state. The group also focuses on nurturing local comedic talent.

Porter’s earliest influences, he says, were comedy luminaries Steve Martin and Kermit the Frog. Hicks also was inspired by the likes of Martin and Mel Brooks before moving on to heavies like the late Mitch Hedberg and Bill Burr. Both Porter and Hicks agree that the Oklahoma comedy scene has a lot to offer.

“Oklahoma has an amazing comedy scene, and it seems like no one knows about it,” Hicks says. “I’ve been to shows in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, and I would put our up-and-coming comedians against theirs any day of the week. There is so much talent here. OKC Comedy has a mission of booking nationally known comics and putting a local comic on the show. It provides exposure for our comedians while the nationally known comic puts butts in seats. I think if more people knew what was happening, they’d be impressed.”

Photo courtesy Ryan Green.
Photo courtesy Ryan Green.

Ryan Green 

“I tell stories,” says Tulsa’s Ryan Green. “The longer I can talk, the happier I am. Stand-up is like being at a party where no one but me is allowed to talk.”

Like many other comedians, Green’s first stand-up experience came from a real-life trauma of sorts.

“While recovering from surgery to remove a kidney stone, I had nothing to do but talk to people that visited me,” he says. “I ended up telling the story of my hospital visit so many times that it felt like a stand-up routine. So I made it a stand-up routine. I was hooked from the first laugh.”

He says the hospitality and diversity of comedians in the state are some of the strengths of Oklahoma comedy.

“Oklahoma has a very welcoming comedy scene, and it spans a wide variety of styles,” Green says. “It could be improved by more well-attended open mics or maybe just more advertisement. For beginners, it can be very difficult to get stage time in front of an actual audience rather than just other comedians waiting for their turn.”

Photo courtesy Landry Miller.
Photo courtesy Landry Miller.

Landry Miller

Growing up, Landry Miller was enchanted by the chemistry of performers with their audiences on sitcoms and late-night talk shows. He started testing the comedy waters before he even reached his teens, at which point he says he got laughs wherever and whenever he could.

“I spent my entire teenage life doing stand-up at churches, coffee shops, open mics, anywhere that would let a youngster tell jokes, as well as hosting private events,” the Claremore comic says. “I also branched into writing sitcoms, plays and sketch comedy. About a year-and-a-half ago, I moved back from an attempt at college and wasted no time falling in love with and becoming involved with the Tulsa comedy scene.”

Describing his own comedy style as theatrical, Miller says that Oklahoma is on top of the comedy game – but audiences don’t seem to be aware of it.

“The comedy scene in Oklahoma is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” he says. “I’ve been to Chicago, Los Angeles, and even Dallas, but Oklahoma, by far, blows them all away in the amount of support among comics, the talent potential and the amount of performance opportunities. The one thing that I find frustrating being a part of the comedy community is that not many people in Oklahoma … have any awareness that local comedy even exists. It makes it difficult to get people to shows.

“We are always searching for new outlets, new ways to reach out to those people that don’t know there’s an alternative to Netflix and television if someone wants to watch comedy. Every big name has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere could be your city. Some of the best comedians in the world are in your local comedy clubs and I encourage people to take a chance and to catch a live local show.”

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Josh Lathe 

As soon as Josh Lathe became legal, he went for laughs.

For the past seven years, Lathe has been a regular performer in the Oklahoma City comedy scene. His zeal for comedy started at a much younger age, however.

“I’ve always really, really liked comedy,” he says. “When I was a kid, my dad would buy these Jeff Foxworthy tapes, and I’d wear them out. His timing and cadence were so perfect. When I was in college, I got super into Eugene Mirman. En Garde, Society! and God is a Twelve-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s are brilliant. They’re still really, really great. Now, I really enjoy Dave Ross because of his emotional honesty and general silliness. He conveys a vulnerability that is impossible to ignore.”

Lathe describes his style of comedy as more of a traditional performance rather than a conversational type of stand-up. “I obviously care about the material a lot, but I grew up wanting to be on Broadway. I care about the stage and the energy I put into the performance. I want to be tired after a show. I am garbage at writing one-liners, so I mostly tell stories about things that make me anxious.”

Twice a month, Lathe can be found either hosting Comedy Fight League (“It’s like a roast and pro-wrestling had a baby,” he says) at Dave & Busters, or the Josh and Heather’s Good Time! Fun Show! at Anthem Brewery.


Inside the Box

Casey stowe with the shipping containers that will house the stores at The Boxyard. Photo by Janelle Azevedo.
Casey stowe with the shipping containers that will house the stores at The Boxyard.
Casey stowe with the shipping containers that will house the stores at The Boxyard.

[dropcap]Downtown[/dropcap] Tulsa bustles with progress. Around nearly every corner, timeworn buildings regenerate and new buildings are created. At Third Street and Frankfort Avenue in Tulsa’s East Village, a different kind of development is taking shape, one that was fittingly inspired by an international trip.

“Four years ago, I was in London working with the Brazilian Olympic Team for the 2012 Summer Olympics,” explains Casey Stowe of Nelson+Stowe Development. “I would take the Overground every day to the training facility and right outside Shoreditch High Street station was the most interesting retail center I had ever seen. It was a long, street-facing structure built out of shipping containers called BoxPark mall.  I was fascinated by that place, not just for the unusual building material, but also for how the shops and the shoppers interacted. It was industrial and intimate at the same time. It just blew me away.”

Here in the States, 39 shipping containers that have traversed the globe for years will make their final stop in Tulsa to form the Boxyard. Stowe teamed up with Cisco Containers, a shipping container modifier based in Catoosa, and the Ross Group to turn the repurposed materials into a perfect fit.

“Some will be common space – restrooms, elevator, etc. And some containers will be opened up on the inside to create double-container shops, and some will be as many as five containers together,” Stowe says. “With 20 different businesses on a 14,000-square-foot lot, the Boxyard will be the densest concentration of retail in Oklahoma. Containers are very efficient.”

Efficient, but not easier or cheaper, Stowe explains. The appeal lies in the innovation and creativity required to make the containers work.

“At the end of the day, it is still a commercial structure and has to conform to and comply with all of the local codes and ordinances in the same way as any traditional building,” he says. “We owe some big thanks to everyone at the City of Tulsa Planning and Development Services departments for helping me navigate how to build something for humans out of something that wasn’t originally designed for humans.”

The Boxyard’s occupants will face similar creative challenges.

Photo courtesy Selser Schaefer Architects.
Photo courtesy Selser Schaefer Architects.

“Space in a shipping container is limited, so you must think about your area a bit differently,” he says. “At 320 square feet, you need to be deliberate in how you use your space and what you put where. I’ve seen many different shops in containers during my research and, when they are done right, you would swear the place is bigger than it really is. Smaller footprints also require less overhead and reduced build-out costs.”

Those benefits have proved enticing to local businesses. When the Boxyard opens this fall, it will be near, if not at, capacity. As for the kick-off plans:

“Well, we were going to sail a 950-foot Panamax Container Ship up the Arkansas, but we couldn’t figure out where to mount the PikePass,” Stowe says. “So we are just going to throw a grand opening party in November. Stay tuned.”



A Love of Vintage Signs

Tulsan Bill Stokely has collected more than 80 vintage neon signs.
Tulsan Bill Stokely has collected more than 80 vintage neon signs.
Tulsan Bill Stokely has collected more than 80 vintage neon signs.

[dropcap]Signs[/dropcap] do more than point the way or announce a business. Done correctly, they speak to us. And they’re capable of speaking to us from the past.

This is a truth well known to Jim Gleason of Oklahoma City’s G&S Sign Services. He’s restored hundreds of old signs. His favorites, he says, are neon.

“When I get in front of a neon sign, there’s nothing like it,” he says. “In a way, when you get these things restored and turn them on, it’s almost like they’re talking to you from quite awhile back. To me, it’s almost magical.”

Gleason is a founding member of the Billboard Museum, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving old signs and their history. Fairly new, the museum currently is just a warehouse filled with signs in need of restoration.

He started in the business when he was twelve years old, sweeping the floors in his father’s sign business. Over time, he learned the craft of sign restoration from his father. It quickly became a labor of love for him.

“There are some amazing signs. As long as they’re staying local, people will be able to see them again,” Gleason says. “But when they get sold privately, who knows what state they’re going to end up in.”

The demand for neon signs peaked in the 1960s. During the ’70s and ’80s, they were replaced by the more conventional signs of today. Nobody, it seemed, cared about the old neon classics.

That changed with the airing of American Pickers on A&E’s History Channel. All of a sudden, old neon signs had value. They were collectible. With supply low and demand high, their prices skyrocketed. Many of them found their way into private collections, hidden away from the general public.

“It’s like a junk car sitting in a pasture,” Gleason says. “When you’re looking at a junk car sitting in a pasture, not everybody can visualize what that thing looks like restored.”

Today, conventional signs are giving way to electronic billboards using LED lights. But, says Gleason, the technology just isn’t there yet, and they’re still a way off from producing the eye-catching effect of neon.

Tulsan Bill Stokely has collected more than 80 vintage neon signs.
Tulsan Bill Stokely has collected more than 80 vintage neon signs.

Bill Stokely, also in the sign business, collects vintage neon signs and displays them in Tulsa’s Stokely Event Center. He shares Gleason’s love of classic neon.

“Everybody collects something. As time went on, I would find signs here and there that I just kind of liked,” he says. “I stuck them on the wall. I started collecting here and there. Signs that I liked to look at, the classics.”

There are over 80 signs on display at the event center. Gleason favors gas station signs, oil company signs, soda signs and signs that elicit Tulsa’s past.

He looked far and wide to fill his collection. A helicopter pilot, he flew over older highways in search of signs. He quickly learned that signs along the highways were privately owned and prohibitively expensive. He began flying over country roads close to the highways and found treasure on old barns, or even on the rooftops of older buildings.

He loves introducing people to his sign collection.

“When they walk in, I always get a big bang out of the expressions on their faces,” he says. “They go, ‘Oh, Gosh. Wow!’ Your eyes can’t collect it all. There’s just too many things to look at. So they just kind of stand there and gaze around.”


Resident Artists

The neutral palette of this home is the perfect backdrop for Homeowner Melissa Key’s abstract art.
The neutral palette of this home is the perfect backdrop for homeowner Melissa Key’s abstract art.

[dropcap]Tulsa[/dropcap] artists Rob and Melissa Key were drawn to Tulsa for different reasons, but both found appreciation for their media in the city.

Melissa is a native of New Orleans, where she enjoyed a thriving career as a contemporary artist and freelance photographer. Katrina’s devastating aftermath prompted Melissa to move to Tulsa.

Rob, a native of Oilton, Okla., worked on the East Coast in the aviation industry, where he mastered his welding skills. The tumultuous devastation of Sept. 11 prompted his move to West Palm Beach, Fla., for five years, designing and producing metal art for multi-million-dollar homes.

“I moved to Tulsa in 2005 because I thought Tulsa needed a good iron shop. I barely had a business card,” Rob says, laughing. “My business grew by word of mouth.”

Today, his metal art company employs 15 people.

Rob and Melissa met through an online dating site and forged a friendship. They married a decade ago and now share their home with their 8-year-old son, Finn.

So what happens when two highly creative and artistic people merge their multiple talents to build a contemporary home?

“I’m a right-brain abstract artist, and he’s artsy, too. We are always talking about art and ideas,” Melissa says.

“My ideas come from everywhere,” Rob laughs. “Once an idea is born, it becomes a reality, almost overnight.”

Melissa wanted a home that echoed her love for New Orleans. Rob wanted a showcase for his exquisite metal art, including doorways and staircases, patio swings and sculptures.

The result is a 4,400-square-foot, two-story, dramatic home that has architectural whispers of old New Orleans mansions.

Melissa loves white, so white walls and floor-to-ceiling white draperies are contrasted with sleek, black wrought-iron railings and a center staircase, designed and built by Rob. White walls provide an ideal backdrop for Melissa’s larger-than-life abstract paintings, many with gold leaf traces.

“The seasons change my color palette,” she says. “I like different colors, and my art is a reflection of how my surroundings inspire me. Light and sunshine make me happy, so we are always opening doors to the outside.”

Twelve-foot ceilings and 10-foot interior panel doors, hand-crafted from cypress wood harvested from New Orleans swamps, provide a dramatic feel to the home.

“Originally, pocket doors in New Orleans mansions were left ‘naked,’ so the wood grain was evident,” Rob explains.

Oak wood flooring is arranged in a chevron pattern, which is mimicked in the fireplace interior.

For the Keys, the kitchen is the heart of the home. An enormous island of Italian Carrera marble is the centerpiece.

“I love to cook. It’s where everyone gathers,” Melissa notes. “The countertop is similar to those in New Orleans homes. The ladies there always made their pralines on a marble slab.”

Metal bar stools, crafted by Rob, line two sides of the island. Covered in white Icelandic sheep skin, they add texture to the setting.

The sumptuous patio beckons from every room. The pure white of the outdoor area with its pool and white Carrera border, white brick fireplace, covered pavilion and open seating area, reflects the couple’s talent for superb design.

Additional Web Exclusive Photography



Haute Stuff

Hair styled by Shawna Burroughs, Jara Herron Salon. Makeup by Taylor Ledbetter. Model Provided by Linda Layman Agency.

See behind the scenes of this year’s fall fashion shoot in the web exclusive video.


The Breeze Blows In White’s Direction

Oklahoma musician Don White was a Major contributor to Eric Clapton’s The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Photo by Brandon Scott.
Oklahoma musician Don White was a Major contributor to Eric Clapton’s The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Photo by Brandon Scott.
Oklahoma musician Don White was a Major contributor to Eric Clapton’s The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Photo by Brandon Scott.

[dropcap]Exactly[/dropcap] one year ago, this space was devoted to a report on veteran Tulsa-based singer-songwriter Don White, who, after decades of performing, touring, recording and writing, had just gotten one of the major breaks of his professional life. That column hit the streets about a month after The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale (Surfdog Records) became the highest-charting Eric Clapton disc in 20 years, soaring to No. 2 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 Albums chart in its first week of release.

The record wasn’t just Clapton’s, though. It’s officially credited to Eric Clapton and Friends, with a sticker on the CDs and LPs listing the more prominent Friends: Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty – and Don White. (Interestingly, it was Petty’s first chart-topping disc, Hypnotic Eye, that kept The Breeze from going to No. 1.)

Clapton had recruited White for the project after the two met at Cale’s invitation-only West Coast funeral a year or so before the disc’s release. An admirer and good friend of Cale, Clapton rounded up a number of other prominent T-Town musicians for the record, including keyboardist Walt Richmond, harmonica player Jimmy Markham and drummers Jim Keltner (a Tulsa native who moved to southern California early in his life), Jim Karstein, Jamie Oldaker and David Teegarden, all of whom had ties to the late Tulsa Sound architect.

White’s history with Cale included having Cale as a regular guitarist in one of his bands. Decades later, White returned the favor by playing guitar (along with such rock-world heavyweights as Derek Trucks, Albert Lee, Reggie Young, Don Preston, David Lindley and Clapton himself) on three Breeze tracks. But his major contribution was as a featured vocalist, performing a beautifully understated version of one of Cale’s most wistful works, “The Sensitive Kind”; singing lead (with Clapton doing backup vocals) on “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me),” a Ray Price shuffle that Cale recorded; and joining Knopfler and Clapton, with Markham on harmonica, for “Train to Nowhere,” a previously unreleased Cale composition. All are highlights of this 16-track collection that boasts, in addition to its star-studded roster, first-rate production and impressive packaging, especially on the 180-gram, double-gatefold vinyl version.

“Eric went all-out on this record,” White says. “Everybody’s saying it’s a million-dollar record, and they’re probably right. He hired all those people, did some recording on it in Europe, in France, in L.A., in Nashville. He got Willie and all those guys in there, too.”

And White is right in there with them.

“The names on the sticker are the featured artists,” he notes. “Willie and Mark and Petty and Mayer and me – we’ve all got the same contract.”


Classic Meets Modern

The family library is a round room found on the first floor of this midtown Tulsa home.
Forged steel railings throughout the home were created by Rob Key of Rob Key Designs.
The staircases and forged steel railings throughout the home were created by Rob Key of Rob Key Designs.

[dropcap]With[/dropcap] the goal of creating an open and casual home for this active family and their dogs, Brian L. Freese, AIA, principal of Freese Architecture, began experimenting with various designs. The family was living in south Tulsa and wanted to relocate to the midtown area.

Ultimately, the homeowners were able to purchase side-by-side properties that allowed space for their expansive new home. And while the neighborhood covenants required new construction to abide by certain setbacks from the curb and minimum square footage, they were not constrained by any architectural mandates.

“The ultimate style was an amalgam of ideas,” says Freese. “They wanted an exterior appearance that had classic proportions but more modern elements. And they wanted their home to convey visual strength and a feeling of uniqueness.”

The focal point of the large family room is the horizontal tiled fireplace flanked by customized shelves that house the homeowners’ glass art collection.
The focal point of the large family room is the horizontal tiled fireplace flanked by customized shelves that house the homeowners’ glass art collection.

While there is a strong contrast from the other homes in this traditional neighborhood, the low, sloping roof and deep overhangs keep the project from appearing “shockingly modern,” Freese says.

David Isaccs Jr., owner of Isaacs Custom Homes in Claremore, worked as part of the team during the three-year process. One of the homeowners – a busy mother, wife and former owner of a dog training business – actively researched the finishes, selected the accent colors and located and purchased all the furnishings, accessories and area rugs.

“She wanted a clean, minimalist palette with punches of color and a variety of texture,” says Freese.

Just inside the front door is the large and comfortable family room; there are no formal spaces. Custom display shelves highlight an ever-growing collection of glass art. Two stainless steel doors above the fireplace open and slide back to reveal the television. Porcelain tile with horizontal detail meets the 20-foot-high ceiling. The back wall of windows blends the outdoors with the indoors.

The living room area opens into the dining area, which opens into the striking kitchen. Keeping in mind the space needed to accommodate the busy family and numerous pets, the cabinets are faced with sturdy laminate. The flooring is porcelain tile, and rows of glass tile that reach to ceiling create a unique backsplash. The large window, operable at the bottom, floods the room with light and provides a view into the backyard. Pantry and storage areas are camouflaged in a wall of exotic wood veneer.

The unique round family library, designed to be welcoming to the entire family, is on the first floor, as is the master suite. The master bath looks onto a private hot tub. A fireplace opens into both the bathroom and the bedroom. The goal was to highlight natural light and employ muted tones for the finishes and furnishings.

A bridge runs across the front of the house indoors and connects the two second-story wings. At one end is the husband’s office/study, and on the opposite side of the house are the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms.

The staircase on the children’s wing spans three floors and leads to the basement, which includes another rec room with a fireplace. There is also a theater, wine cellar, bar, half-bath and ample storage. A small exterior porch leads upstairs to the backyard.

The fabricated forged steel railing connecting the two wings of the house as well as the dramatic staircases were crafted by metal artist Rob Key, owner of Rob Key Designs.

“We worked as a team throughout the process, keeping in mind that the goal was to create a home of classic proportions with a modern, simplified style,” says Freese.


Fostering Success for Collegiate Athletes

OU and OSU face off during Bedlam on Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Joshua Gateley, OU Athletics

Creating Camaraderie

A team on the field needs to be a team off the field, too, so coaches and support staff work to ensure athletes have a sense of camaraderie ‘round the clock. 

Don Tomkalski, University of Tulsa’s senior associate athletic director for communications, says that “it starts with recruiting good people and creating a family-type atmosphere within the team framework. It is also important that our student athletes know what resources are available to help them have a positive experience at Tulsa and have success in all aspects of campus life – athletics, academics and social.”

At TU, teams are strengthened with unity events and community gatherings.

“Not only is it the coaching staffs that plan activities to help bond a team both on and off the field, but it’s the leadership amongst the team that has a big role and takes the initiative in developing team chemistry off the field,” he says. “It may be having a cookout, going fishing or just hanging out in both the off-season and during the season.”

Every sports program has a unique culture.

“Each coach at Oklahoma State has their own style as it pertains to team building,” says Gavin Lang, OSU’s associate athletic director for communications. “The football team will stoke the players’ competitive fire with non-football competitions such as sand volleyball or paintball, among other things. In softball, the day after the Cowgirls beat Oklahoma to win the Big 12 Championship, they drove to Broken Bow to spend time at the lake in advance of the NCAA tournament. The cross country team also leaves town. At OSU, there are plenty of options for team building.”

Northeastern State University football coach J.J. Eckert emphasizes the importance of relationships to his athletes.

“I believe it is huge that our team members get along on the field, in the locker room, in the weight room, and in the classroom and dorms. Those relationships are what build the belief in a family-first mentality that allows a team to be successful in any challenge they face,” he says. “Great teams have great chemistry, and we work on developing relationships throughout our team on both sides of the ball.”

Academic Integrity 

Around many college campuses, there is often a harmful idea that athletes get it easier in school because their plates are already full with sports. Athletic programs work to combat that stereotype by emphasizing academic integrity and providing tutors and study groups to help athletes stay balanced. 

“Student athletes do not get any special treatment while seeking a college degree,” says NSU’s assistant athletics director Scott Pettus. “The NCAA explicitly states that student athletes are not afforded any extra or special benefits that are not available to a regular student on campus. Yes, their plates are full with activities related to their chosen sport. However, there are strict guidelines on the number of hours a student-athlete can be involved in sport-related activities each week.”

Pettus explains that student athletes are given a minimum of one day off each week, must uphold the NCAA minimum GPA requirements to play, and that NSU stresses academic success as the paramount goal of attending college. 

“We are proud of our student-athlete academic success rate and our graduation rate,” he says.

University of Tulsa’s program, Office of Academic and Student Services (OASiS), aims to promote student-athlete academic achievement, community responsibility and personal accountability, says Schnea Nealy, the associate athletic director for student-athlete development.

Academic support through OASiS includes academic monitoring to oversee progress of student athletes in accordance with NCAA, as well as providing assessments to all student athletes in vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing skills. Tutors provide course specific assistance beyond the classroom, and assigned mentors assist in the development of life skills such as time management, organization and positive study habits.

Female Athletics 

Male-dominated sports are wildly popular on college campuses – often more so than female-led athletics. So how are campuses incentivizing interest and engagement with female sports? 

“Female sports at Oklahoma State are as strong now as they have ever been,” says Lang. “In 2021-22 alone, the equestrian team won the national championship, we had an NCAA individual track and field champion, and the softball team advanced to the Final Four at the NCAA Women’s College World Series. The tennis team played in the Sweet 16 and the cross country team won the Big 12 championship. The year prior, the golf team finished second in the nation.”

And interest in women’s sports continues to grow.

“OSU had to add seating to Cowgirl Stadium for softball during the postseason due to overflow crowds,” says Lang. “A few years back, the women’s tennis team advancing to the NCAA final in Tulsa resulted in the largest crowd in the history of the NCAA tennis championships. We had a Bedlam women’s basketball game here a few years ago that completely sold out Gallagher-Iba Arena. So the disparity in popularity between our men’s and women’s sports may not be as large as some would think.”

At TU, Tomkalski points out that changes in culture impact all sports.

“Now in the 21st century, all colleges to some extent struggle with attendance for not only female sports but male sports,” he says. “This is due to multiple factors, including the overwhelming number of games that are televised, as well as other entertainment competing for the dollar – concerts, casinos, nightlife, among others. The university’s athletic department promotes all its sports and tries to create an atmosphere that’s entertaining for fans attending games.”

Tomkalski recommends fans keep an eye on TU’s female sporting teams. 

“Historically, the women’s golf program – with four national championships and five national runner-up finishes since the beginning of the program in 1974 – is the most prestigious of Tulsa’s women’s sports,” he says. “Softball has 11 NCAA appearances and seven conference championships, all since 2006. Tennis has made the NCAA Tournament 12 times since 2007, with eight conference titles. Women’s basketball has started a new era under coach Angie Nelp and won 17 games, the most in eight years.”

Walk-On Athletes

Earning a spot on a college sports team is complicated. Aside from getting scouted, the walk-on tryout process can vary from school to school.

“The athletic department encourages walk-on athletes to join Golden Hurricane teams,” says Tomkalski. “Most all of Tulsa’s 17 intercollegiate sports have a percentage of walk-on student athletes on their rosters. We have also seen where some of these walk-on athletes have been awarded athletic scholarships during their collegiate career. The football program, for example, currently has five former walk-ons now on full scholarship and a total of 32 walk-ons on the roster.”

OSU’s Lang describes walk-ons as “valuable members of every team at Oklahoma State. It’s not unusual for student athletes who come to us as walk-ons to earn scholarships and have the opportunity to become superstars in their own right,” he says. “Using football as an example, Dan Bailey came to us as a walk-on and eventually set the NCAA record for points scored by a kicker and won the Lou Groza Award, presented to the nation’s top kicker. He went on to a distinguished career in the NFL that saw him become the most accurate kicker in the history of the Dallas Cowboys franchise at one point.”

At NSU, the process “varies by sport and is up to the coach of that sport to determine,” says Pettus. “Some sports can have tryouts, others cannot. If a tryout is offered, the prospective student-athlete must have a copy of a current athletics physical and insurance verified before the tryout. Many of our sports have team camps and ID camps during the summer to assist in identifying prospective student athletes.”

The Importance
of Physical Therapy 

Staying in shape, avoiding injury and utilizing physical therapy where needed is emphasized in all collegiate sporting activities. 

Chris Nerio, TU’s assistant athletic director for student health and performance, offers advice when it comes to taking care of your body before, during and after sporting events. 

“The first thing is hydration. If an athlete is not hydrated, that person is more susceptible to soft tissue injuries,” he says. “Not only is it hydrating with water, but putting electrolytes in your body through Gatorade and those types of sources. It’s also important to eat the right things and have the right amount of carbs in your body to help fuel yourself. We suggest taking some preventable measures as well – like foam rolling, massage therapy guns, recovery boots, cold tubs after practice and icing certain areas for a particular injury.”

Physical therapy is integral to any athlete’s success, but “especially when an athlete has suffered an injury,” says Nerio. “Therapy will help the athlete to get healthy and back physically to where they were before. It’s also important in a preventative way, especially if an athlete is susceptible to certain injuries.”

Lang continues: “A big part of staying in top athletic shape is listening to your body. There are times when athletes can push through things and times when it’s wiser to seek help,” he says. “The athletic trainers are a central part of that equation at Oklahoma State.”

NSU Athletics head trainer Abby Gunnink says that the “most important things to do are to eat, sleep and hydrate. Never let injuries linger, because it will probably come back to haunt you. Don’t ignore your body,” she says. “Physical therapy is important to all sports. At NSU, we incorporate rehabilitation into everything.”

Robert Fulton, University of Oklahoma’s associate athletics director of athletic medicine, say it’s all about patience. 

“Getting and keeping your body in tip-top shape is a lifestyle,” he says. “It requires consistent hard work, eating right and getting adequate sleep. Conversely, you want to avoid trying to do too much too soon and too fast. There’s no quick fix. It’s a process that takes time and effort.”

A Well-Rounded Life

Collegiate leadership works to ensure athletes are getting a well-rounded college experience, not focused solely on sports.

“‘Well-rounded’ can be defined differently based on the needs of the student-athlete,” says Brenton Sumler, OU’s associate athletics director for student-athlete experience and well-Being. “We strive to meet our student athletes where they are as it pertains to their personal, holistic development. From the hard skills of resume writing and interview prep to the soft skills of interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence, we provide resources to meet the unique needs of each individual. Along with those resources, we expose them to programming, events and speakers to broaden their minds, so that they can leave OU as the best version of themselves and become a positive global citizen.”

NSU provides a variety of resources to its student athletes as well.

 “NSU Athletics offers at least one Life Skills program for student athletes each academic year, and also has an aggressive sexual assault/awareness seminar that is required to be completed by every student-athlete, coach and athletics administrator,” says Pettus. “As a member of the NCAA, we are required to have a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), composed of at least one athlete from each sport. SAAC plans fundraising activities throughout the year to support the NCAA Division II charity of choice: Make-A-Wish.”

Along with that, different coaches at NSU can schedule allotted community service hours for their sports.

“Some sports read to elementary classes, others volunteer with clean-up projects in the community, as well as a variety of other events throughout the year,” says Pettus.

Lang says that making sure student athletes have a well-rounded experience is critical.

“Each student-athlete handles this differently and according to their own sensibilities,” he says. “For some, it’s plugging into Greek life. For others, it’s as simple as living with roommates who don’t play sports. Maybe it’s getting involved at church. Our student athletes have the option to be as involved as they choose to be. One example is Anthony Hill. Anthony played wide receiver on our football team but also had a passion for drama, so he got involved with that during his time at Oklahoma State. After graduation, he got into modeling and is now a regular cast member on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.” 


Opening the Door to Innovation

The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce is currently overseeing 110 active projects across the state. Photos courtesy Commerce

Beloved Oklahoman Will Rogers once said: “America is the land of opportunity, and don’t ever forget it.” In the same spirit, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (known for short as ‘Commerce’) seeks to create an environment where businesses can thrive and Oklahomans can secure high-quality jobs, by leading business recruitment activities, economic research and workforce development programs. 

Despite the impact of COVID-19, Brent Kisling, the executive director of Commerce, says that the organization has entered one of its busiest seasons yet, overseeing 110 active projects and 44 business incentives across the state. 

“The real purpose of our work is to make sure that we have opportunities for the next generation to stay closer to home and keep families together,” he says.

Growing the Organization from Statute

Founded from state statute, Commerce has undergone several changes over the years to carve out its own set of responsibilities. Before 1972, Commerce and the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation both existed under the same umbrella. Now, Commerce stands alone as its own, fully fleshed state agency with approximately 100 employees.

Currently, most of the department’s operations focus on business recruitment and retention. 

“Business development is about 35–40% of what we do,” says Jennifer Springer, director of business development. For instance, Commerce offers site selection services, which help businesses decide where to locate by assessing the infrastructure in certain areas. 

“We have around 25 top sites that are close to shovel-ready,” says Kisling. “In most cases, sites are owned by a local community, and the city can’t afford to put in infrastructure unless there’s an actual project moving in – and projects aren’t going to come unless there’s infrastructure already there. We’ve got a chicken and an egg situation, and we’re trying to break that cycle.” 

As a part of its strategic plan, Commerce has further intensified its recruitment efforts by employing industry-specific recruiters who can provide first-hand experience working in different fields. These recruiters target businesses across five growing industries: automotive; aerospace and defense; energy; pharmaceutical manufacturing; and food and agriculture. 

“We’ve had an aggressive campaign to recruit these [types of] companies for the last 7 years,” says Springer, “and it has been very successful.” 

In 2021, the department helped relocate 64 businesses to Oklahoma. Around 48% of those relocations are in rural areas, where job creation is needed most.

Solving the State’s Economic Challenges

Regardless of Commerce’s successes, the organization still faces hurdles in maximizing Oklahoma’s economic prosperity. One of the biggest goals includes increasing workforce participation rates, which sits at 60.1% as of January 2022.

Springer says that Oklahoma’s low cost of living is one of the many factors for low workforce participation, as many households can survive on a single income. To solve this problem, Commerce has adopted several strategies, including lobbying for expanded childcare support and working alongside institutions of higher education to create degree programs for in-demand jobs. 

“The national [workforce participation] average is about 63%,” says Kisling. “If we can get that up to that average, that would be another 40,000 people in the workforce.” 

Supply chain issues are another barrier. In 2021, Commerce partnered with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance to launch Connex Oklahoma, a database that lets manufacturers search for available parts and requests for proposals. 

As of 2022, the database has over 500 registered manufacturers, and it has helped local suppliers identify opportunities to work with other businesses, such as producing aerospace parts for NASA. 

“We were one of the first states to launch this platform,” says Springer. “Now we’re mentoring other states that are looking to do something similar.” 

The department has also been working toward building a strong, unified visual identity for Oklahoma that will be used across all state-agencies’ communications. In collaboration with state leadership and 140 creative teams, Commerce facilitated the design of the state’s new brand, which includes a logo, tagline, color palette and other components. 

Commerce announced the completion of this project in 2020. 

“We’ve spent the last 3 years creating a brand logo,” says Kisling. “If we’re going to market our state, we have to have a consistent brand.” 

To the Horizon

Looking to the future, the team is excited for the opening of electronic vehicle manufacturer Canoo’s new mega microfactory in 2023, which will create over 2,000 jobs. Canoo selected Pryor as the location for its factory after engaging with Commerce and learning about its Automotive Accelerator Program, which includes expedited permitting, tax credits and other benefits. 

Businesses interested in learning more about Commerce’s diversity of programs and incentives can contact one of its representatives by visitingokcommerce.gov. Likewise, Oklahomans can keep tabs on local developments by subscribing to the department’s newsletter or following its social media. 

“I absolutely love getting to work with our communities and see the innovative things that they’re doing,” says Kisling. “Oklahoma is the best place in America to have a great idea and turn it into a business.” 


The Best of the Best 2022

Each year, we ask and you respond – enthusiastically, we might add – letting us know with your votes who really is The Best of the Best. The following pages outline winners in an excitingly broad array of groups, ranging from physicians and architects to companies, casinos, fine dining restaurants, gift stores and weekend getaway locations. In short – you name it, we have it. But it’s thanks to you, our loyal readership, that we found these answers at all. For the last 23 years, you’ve supplied us with your picks. And within these pages, whatever it is you’re searching for, Oklahoma will provide it. 

Welcome to 2022’s The Best of the Best. 

1. Home

Architect, Residential

Combining academic and hands-on architectural education, Jack Arnold of Jack Arnold Companies specializes in European residential design with the expertise to make a grand impression. Aiming to create built environments that embody utility, sustainability and beauty, Brian Freese of Freese Architecture has garnered numerous awards in his storied career. John Duvall of Duvall Atelier provides a full scope of architectural services, tackling everything from full home designs to the construction of popular Tulsa restaurants and bars. Tulsa native Jason Gibson of Align Design Group brings mastery in architecture, engineering and construction management to his work in residential and light commercial projects.

Bruce Bockus founded OKC’s Bockus Payne Architecture in 1987 and has curated a team of experts who are committed to reaching and exceeding client goals. The team at Fitzsimmons Architects is focused on meaningful design, with projects that include 84 Hospitality Restaurants, 430 Lofts and the Villa Teresa residences. Hans E. Butzer of Butzer Architects and Urbanism believes that each project the firm creates should “sustainably manifest an interpretation of its physical, climatic and cultural contours.”

Commercial Firm

With over three decades in the industry, the pros at KKT Architects, Inc. excel in architecture, master planning, interior design, structural engineering and more, with a bevy of projects filling out the Tulsa skyline. TriArch Architecture creates impactful spaces in the tribal, educational, religious, residential, wellness and commercial realms; recent projects include the Chickasaw Wellness Center and SPCA Vet Clinic. GH2 Architects offers its clients integrated design services tailored to their needs. Serving the education, energy, health and wellness, federal and industrial sectors, among others, Dewberry presents its clients with a network of seasoned professionals. MATRIX Architects, Engineers, Planners, Inc. boasts high aptitude in everything from architecture to structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. W Design, LLC describes its offerings as “progressive, forward thinking architectural design with a personal touch,” and Selser Schaefer Architects’ myriad projects include the Greenwood Rising Museum and Santa Fe Square. 

Rand Elliott of Rand Elliott Architects in OKC says each project is inspired by place, purpose and poetics, with undertakings that include Science Museum Oklahoma and the Chesapeake Boathouse. With a focus on commercial and government projects, Prime Architects also handles engineering, programming and master planning. Butzer Architects and Urbanism excels in both residential and commercial architecture, with notable projects including the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Bathroom Fixtures

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, a winner in both cities, has everything you need to complete a bathroom restoration project, from mirrors to sinks, ceiling fans and chandeliers. Heatwave Supply and Showroom offers soaking bathtubs, drop-in bathroom sinks and stunning vanities for the bathroom of your dreams. A leading supplier of residential and industrial plumbing supplies, Winnelson wins votes with Tulsans. Pierponts Bath & Kitchen has been offering Tulsans quality plumbing products since 1988. 

In OKC, Expressions Home Gallery has it all – from tubs and faucets to shower systems, lighting bars, hardware and vanities. OKC clients enjoy Architectural Hardware Designs for its vast catalog of bathroom equipment that will make your home a true oasis.


With core tenants including honesty, integrity and a passion to excel, Mill Creek Lumber can set clients up with the exact cabinets they’re looking for. Jay Rambo Co., described as “craftsmen of fine cabinetry since 1953,” can assist with a bevy of home projects with a variety of woods and finishes. Begun in 1980, Sullivan’s Custom Cabinetry has grown from a one-man operation to a thriving business that offers estimates, design, styling, finishing and installation. 

Classic Kitchens has been helping OKC clients pick cabinets for over 30 years, whether it’s a new home build or remodeling project. Custom cabinetry is the name of the game at Wilshire Cabinet and Co., which focuses on value, durability and style. Suburban Cabinet Shop operates with tenants of hard work and dedication, designing and building their products with a commitment to customer service. 

Designer Home Furnishings

Richard Neel Interiors can make your house feel like a home with its collection of upscale designer furnishings, plus lighting and home accessories. Specializing in timeless design, the experts at SR Hughes can handle any interior design or remodeling project. Led by John and Sherri Duvall, Duvall Atelier, along with its booming interior design and architecture business, offers clients a wide array of furniture, decor, lighting and accessories. 

A stand-out in the furnishing scene, Mister Robert Fine Furniture and Design has been a staple of OKC for more than 60 years. Heenan’s Home Furnishings earns the loyalty of customers with its unique, hand-selected furniture and decor. And Suburban Contemporary Furniture can furnish any room of the home – from the living area to the office, media room or dining room.

Electrical Service

Gilley Electric is a full-service electrical contractor for residential and commercial properties, known for speedy service and customer care. With twenty years of professional electrical experience under their belts, the pros at Firefly Electricians have you covered.  Aspen Electrical Services handles it all – from emergency power issues to complete home rewires with 24/7 service. Since 1982, the team at Harp Services has offered the Tulsa metro top-of-the-line electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning options. Boasting 60 minute response times after hours, Houchin Electric Co. handles all electrical needs for residential, commercial and industrial clients.

OKC’s Ritchie Electric, Inc. can tackle any electrical need, from residential construction to remodels and commercial projects. In business since the 1970s, Delco Electric, Inc. has built a reputation for quality service, professionalism and safety. Boasting quick response times, quality workmanship and plenty of awards, Integrated Electric is a top choice for OKC voters. 

Company, Carpet

At Johnson Floor and Home Carpet One, clients can browse a variety of carpet options by pattern, color, texture and even lifestyle to find the perfect pick. With an extensive carpet catalog, Grigsby’s Carpet, Tile and Hardwood is a top choice for Tulsans looking to transform their space. C & C Tile and Carpet Co. can assist with any carpeting need, and offers help with maintenance and installation, too. 

Described as a one-stop-shop, Smith Carpet and Tile Center can tackle sales, installations and refinishing of a variety of flooring options.

With locations in Kansas and Oklahoma, Star Flooring offers carpeting, laminate, cabinets, hardwood, vinyl and tile. Presenting only the finest materials for your flooring, ProSource of Oklahoma City is a top contender in OKC.

Company, Hardwood

Utilizing the highest quality woods, Renaissance Hardwood Floors boasts over 30 years of experience producing expert craftsmanship and quality service, and now serves both Tulsa and OKC. South Tulsa Carpet and Tile presents an extensive collection of hardwood options for those starting on their next home improvement project. It’s all in the name at Superior Wood Floors and Tile, which presents a wide selection of hardwood options, as well as help with financing, installing and remodeling.

Described as “your hometown flooring store,” Don’s Floor Gallery wins OKC votes for its quality products and excellent customer service. With an extensive collection and knowledgeable employees, Floor and Decor has everything you need for your next project. Whether you’ve got residential or commercial needs, Bryan’s Flooring has showrooms and a commercial location in the OKC metro area.

Flooring Company, Tile and Stone

Known as a premium supplier of unique stones and tile from around the world, TileStone Distributors has specialized in reclaimed and antique stone for over 40 years. Along with its vast carpet selection, Johnson Floor and Home Carpet One presents porcelain, granite and stone options for any project. C & C Tile and Carpet Co. garners votes for its ample options and excellent customer service, and Midwest Marble Co. has everything you need for a home improvement project.

Midwest Tile, Marble and Granite, Inc. operates with the mission “to provide the best possible products to our customers for the lowest possible cost.” If you’re looking to vamp up your kitchen, yard, bar or bathroom, Classic Tile Stone and Marble has the materials you need. Family-owned and operated since 1947, Miller’s Floor Store offers competitive pricing and a vast catalog of products.

Furniture Store

From tables and chairs to end tables, dining room essentials and conversation-starting lighting pieces, Luxe Furniture and Design has the inventory you need. T.A. Lorton presents a wide array of unique, upscale furniture options, as well as home decor, accessories and clothing. Presenting a unique view of contemporary living, Fifteenth and Home Furniture and Décor provides design services and a well-edited selection of merchandise. And with a focus on value and style, Bassett can help with home projects of any size and budget.

OKC voters trust Mathis Brothers Furniture for furnishing needs, due in part to their competitive pricing and vast stockroom. As its name suggests, Suburban Contemporary Furniture has OKC clients covered for all the modern-style furnishings they could need in any room of the home. And you can’t go wrong with nationwide company West Elm, offering upscale furniture, accessories and other decor items.

Heating and Air

Around the state, Airco Service offers a full-service HVAC experience, from 24/7 emergency service to free estimates and certified, trained technicians at the ready. With upfront pricing, plus financing options, extended warranties and a satisfaction-guarantee pledge, Air Comfort Solutions is a top heating and air pick for Oklahomans. Core values at Air Assurance include integrity, respect, excellence, safety and teamwork; the company’s mission is helping customers live and work in safe and comfortable environments. 

Home Builder

Barron and McClary offers its clients over 30 years of experience in the construction, home improvement and renovation industries, and the team is committed to honesty and integrity. The award-winning Southern Homes, LLC offers its client luxury homes that “embrace signature Tulsa living and celebrate homeowners,” with a vast inventory of houses in great communities around the metro. Founded on the principles of knowledge, experience and integrity, Brian D. Wiggs Homes has a whole web page dedicated to happy client testimonials. Gibson Homes uses your vision to create the perfect home, incorporating hard work, thoughtful design and quality craftsmanship.

Known as a premier general contracting company, Kent Hoffman Construction handles everything from custom home building to remodeling, commercial construction and performance services. Paul Little Construction, known for its quality craftsmanship at affordable prices, can help with financing in projects of all sizes. Replete with excellent customer reviews and plenty of awards, Homes by Taber is a trusted builder in the OKC metro.

Home Improvement/Appliance Store

You can find just about any item for your next project at Lowe’s locations around the state. Refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuums – Hahn Appliance Warehouse has it all. The Home Depot is another reliable bet for both knowledgeable employees and all the appliances you need. And voters around the state also trust Metro Appliances and More for high-quality washers, dryers, freezers, fridges and more. 

Home Security

With a focus on protecting what matters most, Alert 360 presents a variety of streamlined packages and equipment for clients in the residential and commercial sectors of both Tulsa and OKC. Guardian Protection believes your safety deserves personal attention, and offers customized security solutions, 24/7 monitoring and easy-to-use technology. Offering monitoring, maintenance and management, Advance Alarms excels in all things security.

OKC residents put their safety in the hands of ADT Security Services, which offers top-of-the-line services for peace of mind. Committed to creating more meaningful moments of human connection through technology, Cox Communications wins the praise of OKC voters. 

Indoor/Outdoor Lighting

Dubbed as “Oklahoma’s lighting experts,” Oklahoma Lighting Distributors offers over 85 years of experience in the lighting industry. MGM Lighting is a family owned-and-operated company that excels in outdoor lighting for a variety of projects. Integrity Lighting specializes in corporate events, weddings, parties and live shows and even offers a lighting repair lab.

A bevy of upscale and affordable brands makes Hunzicker Lighting Gallery a top choice for OKC voters looking to up their lighting game. And the national brands of Lowe’s and The Home Depot offer Oklahoma Citians a wealth of inventory for any lighting need, big or small. 

In-Home Video/Audio

Known for its cutting-edge electronics, Video Revolution provides home theatre necessities, plus cameras, televisions and other accessories in Tulsa. Best Buy is a one-stop-shop for all in-home audio and video equipment. Phōs works to create an unforgettable atmosphere with its numerous home automation products.

Bringing top-of-the-line audio visual and control systems to OKC, Vox Audio Visual has been enhancing tech experiences since 2004. Digitech Security, Inc. offers trusted solutions to both commercial and residential clients, from video monitoring equipment to assistance with energy management. Selectsystems by Contemporary Sounds believes there’s no place like home, and the team works to provide the best technology and equipment to make it so. 

Interior Designer

Tulsans trust Jimmy Steinmeyer at Easton-Steinmeyer and Associates for his top-notch interior design expertise and over 40 years of experience with traditional, transitional and modern design. Richard Neel Interiors can help you design your dream home with its experienced professionals, and also offers a variety of upscale furnishings to complete the job. Duvall Atelier combines architecture and interior design for the full package experience, preparing your home or office for its next big look. Looking to “stir, envelop and transport” with her designs, Jill Croka of Jill Croka Designs believes the built environment should be restorative, and excels in creating sophisticated spaces. SR Hughes combines years of industry prowess and a friendly, knowledgeable team for any project you’d like to tackle. 

Carson See began Sees Design over 40 years ago, and has built a strong reputation for transforming interiors into “sophisticated and elegant environments that are both modern and comfortably livable.” An OKC staple in the interior design world, Jennifer Welch Designs thrives on dynamic, highly-specialized commercial and residential projects around the country. Balancing beauty and function, Kelsey Leigh Design Co. earns high praise from OKC voters.

Kitchen Designer

With a skilled team that includes project managers, design assistants and tradesmen, the crew at Kitchen Ideas can turn an idea into your dream space, guaranteed. Jay Rambo Co. creates designs to fit your lifestyle, with skill sets that can help you select all the finishes, products and accessories needed. Designing some of Tulsa’s finest kitchen and baths for over 40 years, Imperial Kitchens and Baths wins the votes and trust of Tulsans. In the business of “helping people live out their dreams of a better life,” the team at Kitchens by Powers Design and Build ensures your project will go off without a hitch from start to finish.

As its name suggests, Classic Kitchens in OKC can help clients create timeless, beautiful kitchens that are long-lasting and high quality. For more than two decades, Urban Kitchens has staffed a team of experts to help create happy homes. Edmond Kitchen, Bath, Home, LLC is dedicated to operating with integrity, offering clients help with custom cabinetry, kitchen and bath design, and remodeling. 

Landscape Designer

Elm Creek Landscape and Design handles it all – with services covering commercial and residential landscaping, outdoor lighting and installation. From stone walls to terraces, 3D landscape design, patios and outdoor fireplaces, Kingdom Landscape can offer its clients just about any service under the sun. Oklahoma Landscape wins votes for its irrigation and drainage solutions, as well as outdoor living expertise. 

Caviness Landscape Design, known across the U.S. for its stunning landscape and pool design, is committed to creating pool and outdoor environments you’ll never want to leave. TLC Garden Centers does it all, from tree and shrub planting to custom potting and design services. Total Environment, known as a ‘design, build, maintain’ company, began in 1992 and is staffed with friendly and well-trained professionals.

Lawn, Garden and 
Indoor Plant Store

Sanders Nursery is one of Oklahoma’s largest and most respected nurseries, with a sizable retail shop to find your newest plants. Cohlmia’s the Plant Place is a retail greenhouse with just about every indoor and outdoor plant you could imagine, replete with a staff passionate about horticulture.  Hardscape Materials is a one-stop-shop that offers a stone yard, pump shack and garden center, and Southwood Landscape and Garden Center has been one of Tulsa’s favorite independent garden centers for over 40 years. 

With the goal to bring nature indoors, Calvert’s Plant Interiors offers a vast expanse of horticulture goodies, replete with a greenhouse and showroom open to the public. Lowe’s has just about any item you need for your next lawn and garden project. From annuals to perennials, trees, shrubs, and fruit and vegetable trees, TLC Garden Centers is fully stocked for your next gardening project. The Home Depot is another one-stop-shop for all lawn, garden and indoor plant needs. Brick’s Garden Exchange can provide OKC residents with a variety of horticulture items, including succulents, planters and a bevy of flowers.

Lawn Maintenance

TruGreen Lawn Care provides an array of plans and services to get yourself a healthy green lawn all summer long (and beyond). Services at Greenleaf Lawn LLC include weed control, grass enhancement and lawn care. GreenGrass Lawn Care is a family-owned business and has been taking care of Tulsa lawns since 1996.

In OKC, All Green Lawn and Pest presents clients with a variety of offerings for lawn maintenance and pest solutions. Employee-owned AgriLawn operates with a “we care” attitude, providing top-notch products and services. TurfWorks specializes in lawn fertilization, weed control and flower bed maintenance.

Lighting Store

Garbe’s has it all: from recessed options to flush mounts, pendants, lamps and fans, you’ll find the option you need for whatever room you’re working on next. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery wins votes in both major metros for its vast catalog of lighting options and friendly staff. And LifeStyles is all about illuminating Oklahoma with an impressive selection of lighting and furniture options, garnering praise in both Tulsa and OKC.

In OKC, Hunzicker Lighting can provide customers with chandeliers, bathroom fixtures, directional lights and exterior accessories.

New Development

Kids and kids at heart will love the offerings of Discovery Lab, which recently opened its new location on Riverside; the community hub appeals to families “regardless of income, education or ethnicity, and impacts underserved children in many of Tulsa’s Title I schools.” Honoring Tulsa’s burgeoning Greenwood District and commemorating the losses of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Greenwood Rising is a state-of-the-art history center that brings the story of Black Wall Street to life. Well underway, the Pedestrian Bridge Renovation on Riverside is an exciting development that will soon add even more fun to Riverside Drive. And the stunning Oil Capital Building is a welcomed addition to downtown living. 

Honoring Oklahoma’s 39 Native American tribes, the First Americans Museum offers stunning exhibitions, camps, speakers and so much more. Funded by MAPS3, Scissortail Park Phase II presents guests with more spaces for athletic events, including pickleball courts, a soccer field and two basketball courts. Oklahoma City Convention Center, a $288 million publicly funded project, is a 500,000 square foot exhibit hall. 

Paint Store

Around the state, Oklahomans trust Sherwin-Williams for all their paint needs. Voters also turn to Spectrum Paint for its large inventory and helpful employees for your next home improvement project. In Tulsa, voters enjoy the local touch of Elder Paint and Wallpaper.

Plant Nursery

Sanders Nursery has just about everything you’ll need for your next plant adventure – including a well-manicured stock of flora. Tropicals, herbs, ferns, fruit trees and annuals – the pros at Greenleaf Nursery have you covered. Founded in 1957, Stringer Nursery and Garden Center ensures its customers walk out the door with the highest-quality trees, flowers and shrubs.

Founded in 1980, TLC Garden Centers wins OKC votes for its expansive nursery, greenhouse and landscape retailers offerings. Precure Nursery and Garden Center’s aim is to help customers create their dream gardens and landscapes. Marcum’s Nursery is a full-stop-shop, offering lighting, irrigating, landscape design and planting assistance. 

Plumbing Service

Mullin, Inc. has offered superior plumbing services since 1973, with affordable service plans and top-notch customer service. With over 1,000 5-star Google reviews, it’s clear Duvall Plumbing has won over Tulsans with trustworthy, quick and efficient service. Davis Plumbing Services can handle virtually any plumbing need, from toilet and sink repair to drain cleaning and assistance with slab leaks.

Although it was first known as a heating and air company, Airco Service offers superior plumbing work that makes it popular with OKC voters. Air Comfort Solutions can handle any plumbing need, from re-piping to kitchen maintenance and drain and sewer cleaning. And OKC voters trust the tried-and-true Lonnie’s Plumbing for any maintenance issue, big or small.

Pool Designer

JP Construction does it all, specializing in residential and commercial swimming pools, plus spas and other water features. Baker Pools can handle every step of your pool process, whether it’s a new construction, repair or maintenance. In-ground, above-ground, spas and hot tubs – Dolphin Pools and Spas has it all.

Caviness Landscape Design creates stunning outdoor landscaping and pools and has had its top-tier, stunning work featured on Pool Kings and Pool MastersBlue Haven Pools and Spas delivers more than you could imagine to the backyard, with a variety of pool and spa options to enjoy. Grotto Pool Designs aims to create a vacation oasis right in your backyard, and offers free consultations and next-day estimates. 

Real Estate Company

Known as Oklahoma’s luxury real estate specialists, the experts at Chinowth and Cohen Realtors can help you navigate the tricky waters of buying or selling a home; the full-service firm has offices in virtually every area of the state, won votes in both major metros and operates with a focus on philanthropy and giving back to the communities it serves. The majority of agents at Walter and Associates are Tulsa natives, meaning they know just about everything there is to know about the city’s real estate market, offering tried-and-true expertise and excellent client service. For over 84 years, McGraw Realtors has helped those in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado find or sell their homes, with additional services that include relocation services and property management. Focused on talent, drive, innovation and service, Keller Williams Realty has branches all over Oklahoma, with experts at the ready for any real estate need; the company garnered high praise in Tulsa and OKC alike. Oklahomans turn to Coldwell Banker for their 500+ agents in Oklahoma and closed sales that exceed $1.3 billion. Luxury real estate company Engel and Volkers has a unique global network of agents and operates with an emphasis on competence, exclusivity and passion. Century 21 says “don’t settle for average” – and they can help by offering independent brokers, entrepreneurs and affiliated agents to assist in this competitive market. 

OKC voters also rely upon First Source Real Estate, Inc. for its bevy of top-notch listings and experienced real estate agents. 


Whether it’s a small project or a total overhaul, the team at Kitchens by Powers Design and Build will ensure your remodel goes smoothly from beginning to end. David Trebilcock Construction wins the trust of Tulsa voters with its reliable, quick and efficient service on any project or design. Excelling in open and honest communication with clients, Barron and McClary has decades of experience in any and every realm of remodeling.

Paul Little Construction in OKC brings national renown and quality craftsmanship to the table for remodeling projects of all kinds. Since 1996, Remodeling Concepts has provided its clients with top-tier workmanship and dedication to projects from start to finish. TRM Construction and Handyman Services has you covered for everything from small maintenance services to remodeling projects of all sizes.


A trusted roofing, sheet metal and gutter contractor, RainTech Roofing, Sheet Metal and Gutters is a top Tulsa choice for getting the job done right – the first time, on time, and on budget. In business since 1981, Elliott Roofing in both Tulsa and OKC specializes in residential and commercial roofing, plus insurance claims and roof repair, with experienced techs on hand to help. T-Town Roofing offers cost-effective and time-sensitive solutions for all of your roofing needs. A-Best Roofing is a Tulsa favorite that handles residential roofing, roof repairs, commercial roofing, attic insulation and skylight installations. Providing innovative and sustainable solutions, Conrad’s Roofing puts care and workmanship into every job.

From residential roofing to replacements, repairs and product sales, OKC’s Basey’s Roofing does it all. With a wide array of products and services, Champion Roofing is another top contender for OKC’s roofing needs.

Storm Shelter

F5 Storm Shelters wins votes across Oklahoma, and has installed thousands of storm shelters for customers, operating with the belief that everyone should feel secure when bad weather strikes. FamilySAFE Shelters provides Oklahomans with EF5-tested, above-ground tornado shelters and safe rooms. Made right here in the U.S., TornadoSafe ensures every shelter is the highest possible quality at an affordable price. 

Title/Escrow Company

Serving the community since 1920, Tulsa Abstract and Title Company provides its clients with knowledgeable escrow, closing and title officers. 

Known for facilitating and streamlining real estate transactions, First American Title Insurance Co. can help with both residential and commercial dealings and won votes in both Tulsa and OKC. A respected title company in northeast Oklahoma, Elite Title Services is locally owned and has been serving the area since 2012.

In OKC, AIC Title Service, LLC can assist with title search, escrow, FAA Aircraft Registry document submission, transaction management, lien clearance and International Registry services for aircraft. The Oklahoma City Abstract and Title Co. has dedicated employees to help with buying, selling, developing and refinancing of real estate. 

Window Company

With draws including energy efficiency and weather resistance, the products at Pella Windows and Doors are hard to beat. Thermal Windows, Inc. creates their products in Tulsa, allowing you affordable pricing and quality products for any need. With services that include replacements, installations and consultations, Window World is a top pick around the state.

2. Services

Accounting Firm

Around the state, Oklahomans trust HoganTaylor LLP to solve any accounting challenge; the team helps its clients “move forward with confidence.” Serving northeast Oklahoma since 1976, Jay and Associates provides a variety of financial solutions to both individuals and businesses. Described as being “ignited by challenge,” the team at Eide Bailly LLP can assist in accounting issues in a variety of industries, from retail to insurance, technology and education.


Known for their competitive pricing and excellent customer service on and off the aircraft, Southwest Airlines wins high praise around the state. American Airlines is another top contender for Oklahomans with its wide breadth of direct flights and reliability in scheduling. Delta Air Lines earns kudos for its flexibility, reliability and cleanliness. 

Assisted Living Center

A premier senior living community, Covenant Living at Inverness offers a resort living lifestyle that offers stimulating and exciting pastimes, activities and events all year long, with a variety of options for assisted living needs. Tulsans flock to Montereau for its broad range of care –from independent living to skilled nursing and rehabilitation, plus luxury amenities. With the mission to “do for each other with love,” Senior Star presents a spectrum of care options and signature programs that include exercise classes and a well-rounded meal plan. Town Village aims to make everyone feel at home, with a life enrichment calendar, a bevy of community events, plus reliable transportation for adventures outside the community. Zarrow Pointe encourages lifelong learning, with amenities like a Waters Aquatic Center, massage therapy and certified music and memory providers. 

In OKC, Bellevue Health and Rehabilitation Center is revolutionizing care delivery with its skilled nursing and long-term care center. From independent living in luxury cottages to skilled nursing and memory care, The Fountains at Canterbury offers everything you need for a successful retirement. Committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its residents, Village on the Park provides a variety of services and amenities for its happy residents. 


Anthony Gorospe of Gorospe Law Group is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma State and Federal courts, and specializes in personal injury and automobile accidents; he works diligently to recover millions of dollars for his clients. Donald Smolen of Smolen Law handles all types of lawsuits, but specializes in catastrophic tort, civil litigation, workers compensation and more, with a commitment to providing exceptional legal services with integrity. Kelly A. Smakal of Smakal Munn PC has spent over 20 years focusing on divorce, paternity, child custody, support and domestic matters, along with guardianships and adoptions. 

Randall K. Calvert, founder and managing partner of OKC-based Calvert Law Firm, handles everything from civil litigation to mergers and acquisitions and brings a variety of accolades to the table for his decades of work. With a focus on employment law, Mark E. Hammons, Sr. of Hammons, Hurst and Associates has been selected for the Super Lawyers list for 14 years running and devotes 80% of his practice to litigation. Elliot C. Crawford at the Law Office of Elliott C. Crawford, P.C. focuses on estate planning with the end goal of helping clients protect their assets; areas of expertise include power of attorney, last will and testament and advanced directives. Representing plaintiffs across Oklahoma for over 25 years, Woodrow Glass of Ward Glass Attorneys stands up for those victimized by everything from medical negligence to employment discrimination and wrongful death. Noble McIntyre is the senior partner and owner at McIntyre Law P.C., where he focuses on drug litigation and catastrophic injury to achieve the optimum results for his clients. 

Auto/Tire Shop

Across the state, Oklahomans trust Robertson Tire for reliable products and great service. Fast, friendly and efficient, Hibdon Tires Plus is a top contender for any auto or tire needs. And for competitive pricing as well as great service, Oklahomans visit Discount Tire.


You can bank, invest or get a competitive loan rate at Tulsa-based Arvest Bank, which also offers an education center to help clients with basic finance needs, car ownership, education planning and more. In Tulsa and OKC alike, Bank of Oklahoma wins votes for its sophisticated wealth, commercial and consumer products and services. Tulsans turn to family-owned Mabrey Bank, in business since 1924 with 15 locations across the state, for all their banking needs; the company offers technology and financial resources that rival national chains. With a goal to help clients reach their dreams, Regent Bank offers a variety of banking divisions that serve the agriculture, healthcare, nonprofit and Tribal Nations sectors, among others.

OKC voters trust MidFirst Bank – the largest privately owned bank in the nation – for all personal, business and commercial banking needs. Whether you need to bank, borrow or plan, First Fidelity Bank has you covered with personal, small business and commercial services. With solutions tailored to your needs, First National Bank of Oklahoma is built on a foundation of integrity, started when the bank was chartered in 1917.


On top of running some of Tulsa’s most loved restaurants, the award-winning Justin Thompson Catering will work to create a perfect menu for any event – with goodies including charcuterie platters, pizzas and beef tenderloin. Whether you’ve got a corporate picnic or exciting celebratory event, the team at ExpoSERVE Food and Beverage has you covered for catering, concessions and more. The beloved Andolini’s Catering can set your event up for success with delicious pizza pies, desserts, charcuterie and other goodies – whether that event is for 15 people or 500. 

In OKC, professional service and quality cuisine can be found at Abbey Road CateringNed’s Catering is a top pick for any event, whether it’s a corporate retreat, wedding, fundraiser or family gathering. With menu items that include tempting hors d’oeuvres, Tuscan chicken, sirloin steak and expansive bar options, C2 Catering wins the hour with OKC voters.


Bob Funk, co-founder and president of Express Employment Professionals, has won a slew of awards for his leadership and entrepreneurship, and is actively involved in the Oklahoma philanthropy scene; the business has helped over 600,000 Oklahomans find jobs. At the helm since the 1980s, Paula Marshall of Bama Companies is dedicated to employee satisfaction and has also penned four books that expound on her managerial and entrepreneurship expertise. Bob Peterson of Melton Truck Lines acquired the company in 1991 and has expanded the company in his time as chairman and CEO; he was also recently appointed as a commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. A veteran of the gaming and hospitality industries, Pat Crofts of Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos is a respected CEO who has made great strides in Oklahoma’s gaming scene during his tenure.

Oklahoma native Chad Richison is the founder and CEO of Paycom, which has revolutionized the human resources and payroll industry. Sean Trauschke leads OG&E Energy Corp. with a focus on dedication, teamwork and transparency; he is also heavily involved in the OKC philanthropy scene. Working to better the state of Oklahoma, Bill Cameron helms Cameron Enterprises, which offers everything from banking solutions to retirement and wealth management. 

Company to Work For

Opened in 1960 and transformed into a vast network integral to Tulsa’s healthcare sphere, Saint Francis Health System employs more than 11,000 people, making it the largest private employer in Tulsa county. Founded in 1988, HVAC manufacturer AAON operates with a variety of focuses including diversity, sustainability and community involvement, and now employs more than 2,000 people. In the energy business, Williams Companies is highly invested in the communities it serves, with a focus on volunteerism, corporate responsibility and safety. A provider of innovative tubing solutions, Webco Industries operates with the mission to “continuously build on our strengths as we create a vibrant company for the ages.” Bama Companies has grown astronomically in its storied history, and now runs more than 2 million biscuits a day, with the main goal of being “people helping people be successful.”

In OKC, OG&E Energy Corp. excels through its values and beliefs that include respect, individual safety, shared trust and helping employees unleash their potential. Paycom is passionate about connecting employees to their personal data, and the business functions with a people-first attitude that reaps the rewards of happy employees and high retention. With offerings that include custom benefits, communication and education, American Fidelity Assurance Co. garners high praise with OKC employees.

Construction Company

In Tulsa and OKC alike, Crossland Construction Company wins high praise for its expertise in all things construction; they believe that “building the impossible is just part of the job.” Tulsans turn to Manhattan Construction Group for reliable, top-tier work from pre-construction to design/build, pipeline integrity and more. Ross Group is redefining building services with offerings that include development, engineering, construction and industrial work, with projects like the Tulsa Club Hotel and the Boxyard. In both OKC and Tulsa, Nabholz Construction aims to grow their people, serve their clients and build communities from start to finish with services that include construction, machinery moving and custom fabrication. Known as one of Oklahoma’s most trusted builders, Cowen Construction handles construction needs in a variety of realms, including banking, community, education and healthcare. Founded in 1908, Flintco Construction operates with an ethos that includes honor, respect, commitment to success and the shunning of mediocrity. 

OKC voters turn to GE Johnson Construction Company, which offers a portfolio that boasts performing arts companies, offices, stadiums and hospitals. 

Credit Union

As the state’s largest credit union, Tinker Federal Credit Union garners praise in Tulsa and OKC alike with its competitive loan rates, personal banking and variety of convenience services including notary offerings and financial coaching. Boasting more than 140,000 members and $2.5 billion in assets, TTCU Federal Credit Union has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1934. WeStreet Credit Union – formerly Tulsa Federal Credit Union – is described as a bold and vibrant banking experience that is focused on serving clients and enriching lives. 

OKC voters turn to Communication Federal Credit Union, which was founded in 1939 and has won a slew of awards for its top-tier service, safety and security. WEOKIE Federal Credit Union is another top OKC contender and offers its customers a variety of accounts and services tailored to specific needs. 

Dry Cleaners/Laundry

A Tulsa tradition for over 110 years, Phoenix Cleaners handles laundry, dry cleaning, hand finish cleaning and more. With twelve convenient locations, Yale Cleaners has won the hearts of Tulsa voters with its variety of offerings and same-day service. From monthly wash and fold to repairs and alterations, Fox Cleaners does it all. Tulsans also vote in LaMode Cleaners for its delivery offerings and hassle-free service.

Known for their environmentally friendly options, Nichols Hills Cleaners is a one-stop-shop for OKC residents. With a bevy of locations around the metro, American Cleaners is one of the largest locally owned dry cleaners in the state. Scott’s Cleaners has been providing the OKC metro with premier dry cleaning services for over 30 years. 

Energy Company

Williams Companies, with the tagline “we make clean energy happen,” is committed to a sustainable future and has set a near-term goal of a 56% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Providing natural gas distribution services to more than 2 million customers in the region, ONE Gas is a 100% regulated natural gas utility with a focus on environmental safety and health. ONEOK, a leading midstream service provider, connects prolific supply basins with key market centers and is described as “integrated, reliable and diversified.” Recently ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction with business electric service in the south among mid-sized utilities by J.D. Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma employs over 1,600 people in the region. Known as a publicly traded partnership, Magellan Midstream Partners transports, stores and distributes refined petroleum products and crude oil. 

Serving more than 870,000 electric customers out of OKC, OG&E Energy Corp. continuously seeks opportunities to bring value to customers and investors with the newest technology. A petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company, Continental Resources is a top ten independent oil producer in the U.S. Focused on hydrocarbon exploration, Chesapeake Energy believes that the health and safety of its employees, owners, the environment and the public are top priorities. 

Engineering Company

Dedicated to the art of possibility, Wallace Design Collective was founded in 1981 and excels in structural and civil engineering, landscape architecture and surveying; they employ licensed professionals in all 50 states. Described as collaborative and transparent, Ross Group is guided by principles that include a culture of safety; turning ideas into solutions; accomplishing more as a team; and leaving things better than you found them. With skills that include structural, civil, electrical, mechanical and fire protection engineering, plus architecture, interior design and construction, Cyntergy can turn a blueprint into a reality in no time. 

With the simple goal to “get stuff built right,” OKC-based CEC Corporation handles everything from airport engineering to 3D visualization and water distribution. Founded in 1919, Garver is employee-owned and handles projects in a variety of industries, including aviation, construction, transportation, wastewater and survey. With over 75 years of experience in building community, Parkhill offers comprehensive architectural and engineering design services. Cowan Group Engineering operates with the mission to serve Oklahoma as effective engineers who manage resources effectively and build sustainability.

Event or Party Planner

TPC Studios plans and executes creative campaigns, events and branding with 360-degree experiences, with the end goal to engage, incite and inspire those in attendance. A full-service event design and production company, Farthing Events uses a love for people and connection to create memorable, one-of-a-kind celebrations. Lasting Impressions of Tulsa has been providing Tulsa couples with unique, stunning wedding celebrations for over 17 years.

OKC voters trust Judy Lehmbeck Bridal and Party for their special occasions – no matter the size. Aisle Be With You is a one-stop wedding planning shop, with a variety of packages and a la carte services including help with rehearsal dinners, baby showers and corporate events. Inspire Events and Design has you covered for any event with services that include floral design, general planning and styling. 


A tried-and-true Tulsa staple, Toni’s Flowers and Gifts provides beautiful bouquets for any occasion, plus reliable delivery and a bevy of other home goods to enjoy. Whether you’re on the hunt for pretty petals, plants or gifts, Mary Murray’s Flowers has it all. Ted and Debbie’s Flower Garden has blooms for every occasion – from anniversaries and birthdays to weddings and ‘just because’ bouquets.

For almost seven decades, Trochta’s Flowers and Garden Center has delivered excellence to OKC with its stunning bouquets and other goodies. Established in 1987, New Leaf Florist offers everything from holiday decor design to fresh floral arrangements and accessories. With speedy deliveries and top-of-the-line quality for arrangements, Tony Foss Flowers is a top contender in OKC.

Funeral Service

With the end goal to celebrate life, Moore Funeral Homes and Crematory offers cremation, funeral and burial services for the Tulsa metro. Founded in 1909, Stanleys Funeral and Cremation Service strives to create farewells done well in quiet, good taste. Serving the greater Tulsa area for 80 years running, Ninde Funeral and Cremation can help with every aspect of a funeral service. From floral arrangements to obituaries and tasteful services, Floral Haven is a trusted source in Tulsa. 

In the OKC metro, Hahn-Cook Street and Draper Funeral Directors – Dignity Memorial offers a 100% service guarantee, as well as a flexible event space and custom services for easy planning. Smith and Kernke Funeral Homes and Crematory has a crematory on-site, meaning loved ones never leave the shelter of the company’s care. Supporting families through their grief journeys, Mercer Adams Funeral Service can help before, during and after the service. 

Hair Salon

Michael Brothers Hair will refresh, refine and reveal beauty for clients in a state-of-the-art location in Tulsa’s Midtown Renaissance neighborhood. With services that include hair color and styling, extensions, skin care and eyebrow threading, Cypress Avenue Salon excels in a variety of beauty services. With a bevy of awards under its belt, iidentity Salon offers haircuts and styles, trims, perms and balayages among other services.

Willow and Co. in OKC presents a team with a combined 35 years in the industry, with offerings that include hair care, eyelash extensions, waxing and makeup. With two convenient locations, Velvet Monkey Salon presents its clients with competitive pricing and a bevy of haircare offerings. Eden Salon and Spa operates under the belief that everyone deserves to feel confident and beautiful – and the company has both salon and spa services for any need.

Higher Education

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is home to over 20,000 undergraduate students with your pick of 170 majors; president Joseph Harroz is strongly dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the school is home to a bevy of student-led organizations as well. Home of the Cowboys, Oklahoma State University is focused on getting its students real experience to start off their careers on the right track, with 300+ majors and minors and a focus on affordability and quality of life. With an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, the University of Tulsa boasts a 93% job placement rate, as well as 200+ student organizations and a variety of colleges that include Arts and Sciences, Business and Engineering. Tulsa Community College offers partnerships with a variety of area colleges and universities, meaning you can start a concrete college career at TCC at one of four campuses with faculty dedicated to your success. Described as a place where success begins, Northeastern State University offers a variety of degrees and majors, plus top-notch academic advising, student organizations and support services, with 85% of classes hosting less than 30 students. 

Home/Auto Insurance

State Farm can handle all things insurance, whether you need coverage for your home, car, boat, motorcycle, travel trailer or off-road vehicle. Allstate provides quality protection at a competitive price; they say drivers who saved money switching to Allstate saved an average of $744.

And you can’t forget about AAA, which has reliable, top-of-the-line home and auto insurance, plus affordable bundles. 

Home Pest Control

Tulsans turn to Arrow Exterminators to get rid of pests; the team offers reliable and quick service. Whether it’s termites, mosquitos, rodents, spiders or even germs, Mother Nature’s Pest and Lawn can eradicate it, no problem. Tulsans also trust Terminix for quality pest control; the company services 50,000 homes daily. 

In OKC, Moxie Pest Control can make you feel at home in your home with quick, painless pest control services. OKC voters also turn to Ace Exterminators for a full-service experience, plus free estimates and consultations. 

Investment Firm

You should only trust the best with your money, and Fidelity Investments can help you secure a brighter future with their expert services across the state. Merrill can help you reach your financial goals, whether that’s to plan for a big trip or plan your retirement. Prime Wealth Management Ameriprise has an experienced team at the ready for any investment question or concern, with insights into the market and advice for reaching personalized milestones. Morgan Stanley provides global financial solutions, with the success of its clients as top priority. Taking a modern approach to investing and retirement, Charles Schwab is staffed with industry experts ready to help you. 

Law Firm

Serving Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, Stange Law Firm focuses their practice on family law, divorce, child custody, property division and more, with the end goal of helping clients rebuild their lives after major change; they were a top pick in both Tulsa and OKC. Offering “counsel for the business of life,” the attorneys at Barrow and Grimm offer a vast knowledge in a wide range of practices, including business litigation, estate planning, tax law and surety law. Latham | Steele | Lehman boasts lawyers with more than 300 jury trials under their belts, tackling cases in the appellate, banking, corporate, labor and real estate realms, among others. Insisting on the highest standards and practicing law with integrity, the litigators at Jones Gotcher handle it all, from estate planning and family law to insurance defense and bankruptcy. After a merger of two law firms in 2020, Smith Barkett Law Group became a full-service firm that tackles cases including nurse home negligence, traumatic brain injuries, criminal defense and more. With over 40 years of serving Tulsans under its belt, Norman Wohlgemuth Attorneys at Law utilizes aggressive, dynamic and client-focused attitudes to get the best results for Oklahomans. 

OKC’s The Handley Law Center describes itself as Oklahoma’s personal injury, drug possession, DUI and criminal defense lawyers, touting reasonable fees and compassionate service to get the job done right. Described as “Oklahoma’s trial lawyers,” the team at White and Weddle, P.C. is committed to individualized attention for their clients, handling cases that include wrongful death, personal injury and education law. Doerner, Saunders, Daniel and Anderson is a firm that predates Oklahoma statehood, and the team offers knowledge in industries ranging from insurance to media, public trusts, tribal industries and transportation. The personal injury trial lawyers at Ward Glass Attorneys advocate for the injured, taking on tough cases they know how to win; the firm has a reputation for thorough preparation and attention to detail. Serving national, regional and local businesses as well as healthcare providers and oilfield service companies, Foliart Huff Ottaway and Bottom Law Firm also excels in trial and appellate work in a variety of industries. 

Life Insurance

Around the state, American Fidelity Assurance wins votes for its flexible plans and attentive employees who are at the ready to help with any question or concern. With the end goal of protecting and preparing your loved ones, MetLife offers a variety of life insurance policies tailored to your needs. With over 12,000 agents at the ready, New York Life Insurance Company helps to prepare its clients for every phase of life. 

Industrial Company

HVAC manufacturer AAON touts sustainable innovation as a front-running goal, and their knowledgeable manufacturers can assist you with finding the equipment you need. A leading manufacturer of underground utility equipment, Oklahoma-based Ditch Witch brings a rich history to the industry and creates everything from directional drills to vacuum excavators. Zeeco is a leader in the design and manufacture of advanced combustion and environmental solutions, creating top-of-the-line products including thermal oxidizers and flare systems. Construction engineering company Matrix Service Company provides quality solutions across a broad range of industries, including oil and gas, mining, bulk terminals and alternative fuels. Webco Industries is an innovative manufacturer of tubing solutions that began in 1969 as Southwest Tube Manufacturing; the company has since grown into an industry pioneer.

In OKC, Kimray, Inc. was founded in 1948 and creates top-tier oil and gas control equipment, pledging the highest quality products and customer service. Centek Group specializes in the development of engineering solutions for casing running environments, with products that include bow spring centralizers and stop collars. Airgas, a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gasses, as well as hard goods and related products, was founded in 1982 and has grown exponentially after more than 500 business acquisitions. Delco Electric, a premier commercial electrical contractor, began in 1979 with a staff of two and now employs over 150 people in the metro with further plans for expansion. Daltile is a leading manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile, porcelain tile and natural stone; one of every three tiles sold in the U.S. is a Daltile product. Founded in 1915, Locke Supply Co. provides top-of-the-line plumbing and HVAC services to Oklahoma patrons and is an employee-owned business.

Moving Service

In Tulsa and OKC alike, Two Men and a Truck wins votes for its reliable moving services, friendly employees and quick turn-around times. Murphy Jones Moving has a bevy of raving customers, gaining praise for professionalism, efficiency and organization. Tulsans also turn to Armstrong Relocation for top-to-bottom services that make moving a breeze. 

Committed to excellent service in OKC, Ace Moving and Storage LLC can handle both residential and commercial jobs with ease. 2 Fellas Moving Co. is fast, affordable and flexible, providing easy to utilize moving solutions. 

Pet Grooming Service

Offerings at The Paw Spa abound to ensure your furry friend looks and feels great. Pooches offers divided, supervised play areas, full service grooming and a loving, experienced staff. Using the highest quality products, Kelly’s Dazzle Dog Grooming Spa can handle everything from nail care to blow dries, face trimmings and ear cleanings. 

The name says it all at OKC’s Lucky Dog Lodge, where pooches can get a great groom and high-quality boarding services to boot. Warwick Animal Hospital is here to provide the best medical care to your furry friends, as well as grooming and kennel offerings. TLC Puppy Palace believes even your pet deserves a vacation, with boarding, daycare and grooming services.

Place to Call When You Smash Your Car

A full-service body shop, Hourglass Collision Repair can make your automobile look like new again, with offerings that include refinishing, paintless dent repair and your own service consultant. As one of Tulsa’s most reliable and reputable collision repair shops, Karoll Martin Paint and Body can handle a bevy of repair needs. Barron and Hart believes that getting it right matters – and they aim to get it right every time with expert collision repairs and paintless dent repairs. With nearly four decades in Tulsa, Jim Blankenship Quality Collision has established itself as a top-notch repair shop with expert technicians. 

In OKC, Bob Moore Collision Center is certified to repair all types of automobiles, from cars and trucks to imports and luxury models. And Oklahoma Body Works is a top mechanic contender known for reliable work done quickly and efficiently. 

Place to Detail Your Car

Quick, friendly and efficient, Hourglass Auto Spa is a one-stop-shop for all detailing needs, big or small. Tulsans enjoy Fine Airport Parking, which includes a detailing shop to make your car look like new. From window tinting to auto wraps and ceramic coatings, White Glove Auto handles it all. 

In OKC, Red Carpet Car Wash is a top pick for all detailing needs, with a variety of packages that include air fresheners, hand wheel-rims cleans and triple coat waxes. Masters Car Wash presents Oklahoma Citians with fast turn-around times and expert services for any detailing need. 


Peter Walter, founder of Walter and Associates, has nearly three decades of experience in the Tulsa markets, with a bevy of listings and expert knowledge of area neighborhoods. Heidi McMurray of Keller Williams Realty advocates for the best value for her clients, specializing in everything from commercial to residential real estate, assisting first-time buyers and real estate veterans with everything they need to succeed in the market. Blake Loveless has been a full-time associate with Walter and Associates since 1997, and can help guide clients through any real estate transaction with ease. Utilizing accessibility, responsiveness and hard work, Marlene Boyd of Walter and Associates operates with one goal: achieving client success. 

With experience spanning four decades, Kermit Brown of Chinowth and Cohen Realtors utilizes his global network to assist clients in the luxury real estate markets in Nichols Hills, Gaillardia and more. Providing vast knowledge in a variety of Oklahoma City’s historic districts, Joy Baresel with Engel and Volkers ensures her clients are receiving the best value and service possible. Brad Reeser of Keller Williams Realty offers award-winning service and an intimate knowledge of central Oklahoma neighborhoods. Serving areas from Arcadia and OKC to Tuttle and Yukon, Teresa Favors at Coldwell Banker Select is dedicated to serving her clients while also leading a top-producing team. 

Rental Car Firm

If you need a quick rental with reliable service and a friendly staff, Oklahomans trust Enterprise Rent-A-Car. For the budget-friendly Oklahoman, Dollar Rent A Car provides maximum value for a minimum price. And, you can’t go wrong with the selection and service at Hertz.

Retirement Community

Guaranteeing secure, supportive living, Covenant Living at Inverness leads with the goal of helping residents live life to the fullest with a broad spectrum of amenities, activities and events to enjoy. Cedarhurst Senior Living can help you write the next chapter of life with a variety of lifestyle options and luxury amenities to boot. A trusted name in Tulsa, Montereau offers hometown roots with over 15 years of service, providing people, place and peace of mind to residents. Independent living options at Senior Star include concierge services, signature transportation, a fitness center and even a salon and spa. 

OKC’s Epworth Villa excels in expert planning services, along with a variety of independent living accommodations, healthcare offerings and community events. The Mansions at Waterford Assisted Living helps its residents take advantage of new activities and lifestyle opportunities, with draws that include top-tier dining, entertainment and events. With a modicum of continuing care, Spanish Cove Retirement Village touts value pricing and the opportunity for residents to live free and independent lives in the golden hour of retirement.

Staffing Agency

Founded in 1983, Express Employment Professionals works with job seekers to find the job that’s perfect for them; annually, the company employs more than half a million people across their 850 franchises in the world. Placing key people in key positions, Key Personnel assists both job seekers and employers in a variety of industries, with an authentic desire to provide dependable services to all they serve. With trusted staffing solutions, Robert Half can help you hire top talent – or find a great job – in industries including finance, technology and marketing. Combining local knowledge with far-reaching results, the experts at American StaffCorp can solve your staffing issue in a snap. 

Software Company

JD Young offers printer and copier device repair at competitive rates, ensuring your business is back up and running in no time. Audio visual consultant Signal Communications is described as the “complete AV solution,” with services that include signal designs, builds, supports and integration. With one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry, TMA Systems has developed a series of implementation, training and consulting services to ensure their products are utilized at the highest capacity. 

Revolutionizing payroll and human resources solutions, OKC’s Paycom is an industry leader that boasts high rates of both customer and employee satisfaction. Providing financial, property and consumer information, analytics and business intelligence, CoreLogic employs more than 5,000 people with boundless passion and commitment to the cause. SafetySkills, a leading online safety training company, offers engaging content that is fully accessible and compliant. Providing expertise and technology in support of national security missions and government transformation, CACI focuses on clients in the defense, intelligence and civilian sectors. Professional advisory firm Stinnett and Associates thrives through its ability to manage risk and improve performance, with a people-first culture. 


One of the nation’s leading flatbed and step deck trucking companies, Melton Truck Lines serves customers across the U.S. with nearly seven decades of experience and a reputation for excellence. The reliability and speed of UPS makes it a top pick for Tulsans, who can trust their packages will arrive safely. You also can’t go wrong with FedEx for its care, reliability and speed. 

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, TBS Factoring Service supports the transportation industry through simple, fast and easy factoring and support services; with over 50 years of experience, the TBS team continually strives to better serve motor carriers of any size and is proud to bring digital transformation to the transportation industry. With an expansive fleet and expert charter management, Private Jets, Inc. is a unique Oklahoma transportation company with years of reputable service. With more than 50 years in the trucking industry, Freymiller operates with a mission to ensure safety, professionalism, integrity and excellence.

Tribal Enterprise 

As the board-governed holding company of the Cherokee Nation in Catoosa, Cherokee Nation Businesses offers a variety of subsidiaries that have become staples in their respective industries, from hospitality to federal contracting to cultural and economic development. The commerce of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Okmulgee is thriving, with a mission to “foster, promote and develop the foreign and domestic commerce of the Muscogee Nation,” and departments including self-governance, Mvskoke loan fund, and contract and employment services. The Osage Nation in Pawhuska provides a variety of businesses for its people and Oklahoma at large, with the end goal of fostering history, creating a strong legacy, and providing for future generations.

With gaming centers, galleries, hotels and more, the business offerings of the Chickasaw Nation in Ada and Norman honor a legacy of self-determination, with the goal to “enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people” and be a nation of successful and united people with a strong cultural identity.

From the Iron Horse Industrial Park to Grand Casino Hotel and Resort and the First National Bank, Citizen Potawatomi Nation based in Shawnee offers a variety of business enterprises to strengthen the fabric of the state. Choctaw Nation, based in Durant, offers its bustling Division of Commerce with a vast portfolio of business in the construction, commercial real estate, tourism, gaming and agricultural realms, among others. The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, with headquarters in Wewoka and Seminole, provides its citizens and Oklahoma with self-sufficient business offerings in an array of industries.

Animal Hospital

Tulsans trust their furry friends with Woodland West Animal Hospital, touting medical services that include dental procedures, house calls and x-rays. Dedicated to providing quality veterinary care, Pawsitive Veterinary Care can handle pet wellness, surgery, radiology and laser therapy. With veterinarians that boast a combined 40 years of experience, Animal Medical and Surgical Hospital is a reliable and caring pick for any vet needs. 

In OKC, Quail Creek Veterinary excels in preventative care, early detection and treatment of disease with a total spectrum of medical and surgical care. From soft tissue and orthopedic surgery to grooming and dental radiology, Warwick Animal Hospital can handle it all. Nichols Hills Pet Clinic provides expert care in everything from vaccinations to exotics care, spay and neutering and more. 

Wedding Cakes

A trusted name in Tulsa for decades, Merritt’s Bakery can provide you with the wedding cake of your dreams. With its signature Bavarian cream cheesecake, Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery can bake up a memorable cake with numerous flavor options. Your dream wedding cake can be found at Antoinette Baking Co., with delicious tastings and consultations to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Norman-based Amy Cakes provides clients with beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations that will ensure maximum satisfaction. Beautiful, eye-catching and delicious, the creations at Andrea Howard Cakes will be the star of the show – after the bride and groom, of course. Raspberries n’ Creme provides a little taste of heaven on earth with succulent creations sure to please.

Wireless Service

Reliable networks, quick speeds and great customer service – AT&T has it all. Across the state, Oklahomans trust T-Mobile for its affordable rates and reliable service. And you can’t go wrong with Verizon, a reputable wireless service you can trust with the important calls.

3. Health & Wellness


With over 30 years of experience in the field, Gabriel Horn of Uplifting Skincare can handle anything from scar pigmentation to chemical peels and IPL for skin resurfacing. Whether it’s laser hair removal, photo-facials or resurfacing lasers, Cassie Zanovich at Midtown Dermatology can tackle any aesthetic need that may arise. Alex Hardwick with BA Med Spa and Weight Loss Center can help you put your best foot forward with a variety of aesthetic upgrades to get you looking and feeling like new.

In OKC, Vanessa Smith of Radiance Medical Aesthetics of Oklahoma keeps up to date on the newest technologies in the world of aesthetic medicine, ensuring her clients receive top-notch care. With 11 years of experience in the industry, Courtney Ingram of Richey Wellness and Aesthetics is dedicated to helping her clients achieve balance and maintain a healthy appearance. Hannah Herron at Clarebella Aesthetics is focused on building long lasting relationships with clients and meeting their skin goals, big or small. 

Allergist/Allergy Clinic

Helping clients breathe easier for over 50 years, Allergy Clinic of Tulsa specializes in asthma, food allergies, immune deficiencies, chronic urticaria and more. Tulsans visit the Allergy Asthma and Immunology Center for a variety of services, including drug skin testing, spirometry and drug desensitizations. Serving Oklahoma since 1975, Eastern Oklahoma Ear Nose and Throat offers its patients over 50 experienced staff members, with stellar reviews on service and patient care.

OKC’s Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic is dedicated to the treatment of allergy and asthma issues, with board-certified physicians at the ready to serve. With industry experts and knowledgeable employees, Oklahoma Institute of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology helps to get you treated and back to your normal self in no time. And Dr. Vicki Conrad, a general practitioner based out of Edmond, specializes in allergy care with personalized attention given to every patient. 

Cancer Center

From clinical research to diagnostic radiology and numerous types of cancer care, Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute is a trusted source for oncology treatments from start to finish. Established in 1975, the Saint Francis Cancer Center offers patients a comprehensive care management plan for treatment tailored to your needs.

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center represents the top 2% of cancer centers in the country, handling a wide array of oncology care including chemotherapy, infusions and surgery. Oklahoma Proton Center utilizes proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation treatment that suits a variety of cancer types; the physicians aim for fewer side effects and better results. INTEGRIS Cancer Institute provides state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer therapies and a top-tier group of physicians who utilize cutting-edge techniques to get optimum results.


Offering a spectrum of care, 918 Chiropractic focuses on everything from carpal tunnel to pinched nerves and whiplash. With the end goal of getting you back to your regular life, Dr. Chuck Zoellner of Zoellner Chiropractic is a trusted source for chiropractic care in Tulsa. Supporting a lifestyle of wholeness and wellness, the pros at Paxton Chiropractic are here to help. 

Hill Chiropractic Clinic is a trusted OKC business, offering adult and pediatric chiropractics as well as patient education. Brixton Chiropractic and Acupuncture believes no one deserves to live in pain, and the staff offers thorough examinations, x-rays and consultations to make a difference. Whether you’re on the hunt for relief from everyday pain or want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, The Joint Chiropractic can help. North OKC Chiropractic can assist with chronic pain or help after an accident to get you back to 100%. 

Cosmetic/Family Dentist

Dr. Matthew Walker and Dr. Brian Gosnell at Utica Dental provide an array of dental care offerings, from Invisalign to veneers, cosmetic dentistry and even periodontal therapy. Dental Depot in both Tulsa and OKC offers care for the whole family, including flexible scheduling, emergency care, general dentistry and orthodontics. Dr. Dean Todd is a part of a variety of dental associations, keeping tabs on the latest and greatest in dental care with an extra focus on family and restorative dentistry. Dr. Mark Davis of Perfect Smile is an expert in both cosmetic and general dentistry, with a focus on form, function and beauty. And voters in Tulsa and OKC alike trust Aspen Dental for all their dental needs, from dentures and emergency care to cosmetic and general dentistry. 

OKC Dental Arts is a top contender for voters in the metro, with over three decades of premier dental care and a dedication to maintaining or restoring your smile. Classen Dental provides complete dental care from start to finish, with convenient payment options that lend themselves to low stress.

Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Bryan Whitlock at Whitlock Cosmetic Center works to help patients go beyond external concerns to let inner beauty shine through, with expertise in everything from breast augmentation to liposuction and face-lifts. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen M. Paulsen of Plastic Surgery Associates of Tulsa offers patients a top-of-the-line surgery center for ultimate privacy and convenience. Providing natural, artistic results, Dr. Brenda Schiesel of South Tulsa Plastic Surgery can perform a bevy of treatments and surgeries, including body contouring and the popular Mommy Makeover. 

Leading the industry in revolutionary technology and breakthrough procedures, OKC’s Dr. Tim R. Love of Love Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics delivers fantastic results to his patients, maintaining a reputation for excellence for over 30 years. Dr. Justin Jones of Jones Plastic Surgery provides personalized and advanced plastic surgery services in a comfortable atmosphere, ensuring clients look and feel their best. Committed to honesty, compassion, personal attention and respect, Dr. Kamal Sawan of Sawan Surgical Aesthetics is a trusted source for plastic surgery in OKC.


With a promise that every patient will be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist, Tulsa Dermatology Clinic, Inc. offers 125 years of combined experience between their skilled staff members and physicians. Midtown Dermatology handles virtually every dermatological need, from acne treatments to Botox, general skin care, laser hair removal and more. Providing patient-focused, comprehensive dermatology care, Southside Dermatology can assist with laser skin treatments, scar revision and acne treatments. 

Dr. Julie Bowman Lowe with OKC-based Lowe Dermatology is an expert in general dermatology, seeing patients of all ages for issues including acne, eczema and psoriasis. Dr. David Keith Duncan with Norman Regional Hospital earns high marks for his careful consideration of every patient and friendly, compassionate support staff. With medical interests that include a slew of dermatological issues, Dr. Shelbi Hayes with SSM Health offers expert, compassionate care to every patient. 

Family Medicine/
Internal Medicine

For everyday aches and pains or something more serious, the team at OSU Medicine – Family Medicine is a trusted source of care for the entire family. Dr. John E. Hubner and Dr. Michael L. Hubner work diligently to handle each patient’s individual, unique healthcare needs. Employing a dynamic group of caring physicians, Harvard Family Physicians offers family medicine services in a comforting environment.

Locally owned and operated, OKC-based Northwest Family Medicine treats each patient like family, with services that run the gamut from allergy tests to general check-ups. INTEGRIS Health Great Plains Family Medicine Center employs a variety of talented physicians who can help all patients – from newborns to centenarians. From well-child exams and immunizations to pregnancy testing and comprehensive adult primary care, the team at Premier Family Care can do it all. 


Providing a full array of gastroenterology procedures, Gastroenterology Specialists, Inc. can perform colonoscopies, infusion therapy, in-office testing and more. A single-specialty gastroenterology and hepatology practice, Adult Gastroenterology Associates employs ten specialized physicians and has three convenient locations around the metro. With a bevy of raving patient reviews, Dr. Harvey Tatum is a trusted physician in the realm of gastroenterology, combining compassion and expertise. 

In OKC, Dr. William Tierney of OU Health has won a variety of awards for his work, and specializes in colorectal cancer screenings, pancreatic cysts and more. Dr. Ralph Guild III with OU Health is at the ready to assist patients with a variety of gastrological issues, including colon cancer and reflux disease. Dr. Satish K. Arora with Norman Regional Health System is a revered healthcare provider that treats issues including ulcers and colon cancer. 

Health Club/Gym

Health Zone at Saint Francis offers its members a medically-based, state-of-the-art workout facility, with 70,000 square feet of equipment, plus weights and an indoor track. Affordable, reliable and inviting, Tulsans enjoy visiting YMCA of Greater Tulsa for a variety of fitness needs. With a system modeled around your busy schedule, Mid-City Strength and Fitness offers client-focused workouts to help you achieve your goals. Located in the heart of midtown Tulsa, Ascension St. John Siegfried Health Club is a 72,000-square-foot fitness center that takes health of the body and mind into consideration. 

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City wins the votes of OKC fitness enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities, programs and equipment for an exciting day at the gym. Along with donating the first dollar of every membership to drilling water wells in Africa, Colaw Fitness gives its patrons 24/7 gym access and free nutrition instruction. With amenities that include a cardio floor, group fitness classes and a free weight area, 10GYM is a top choice for OKC voters. 

Health Insurance

Competitive rates, excellent customer service and a variety of plans for every situation make BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma a top choice for health insurance across the state. Offering individual, family, group and Medicare plans, CommunityCare has an option tailored to your needs. With the goal to provide genuine care for the people it serves, GlobalHealth presents customers with a wide variety of plans and is focused on giving back to the community.

Hearing Aid Provider

On a mission to provide the best hearing care delivery solutions in the world, Clear-tone has been a trusted source in hearing aids since 1984. Audiology of Tulsa offers hearing and balance evaluations, custom ear plugs and advanced technology hearing aid fittings. Gilbert’s Audiology and Hearing Aid Center employs an expert team that will work tirelessly until you get the results you need.

From hearing aid fittings and repairs to hearing tests and tinnitus consultations, OKC’s Audio Recovery has you covered. Providing solutions and support for children and adults with hearing loss, Hearts for Hearing is centered around compassionate care and groundbreaking research. With a variety of hearing solutions utilizing the latest technologies, Miracle-Ear is a great choice.

Home Health Service

With a promise to reach beyond the norm of home healthcare, Oxford Home HealthCare sets standards of excellence with services ranging from medication management to care coordination. Interim HealthCare of Tulsa offers more than 50 years of experience in the home health industry, with services that include personal care and in-home hospice. Visiting Angels, a top choice for voters in Tulsa and OKC alike, operates with customizable senior healthcare needs and presents a broad spectrum that includes palliative, companion and dementia care.

Interim HealthCare of Oklahoma City takes top honors for its comprehensive offerings, including a full range of aid and nursing services from the comfort of home.


Described as family-centered hospice care, Grace Hospice was established in 2006 with the mission “to treat every patient as their own treasured loved one.” Promoting quality of life, Saint Francis Hospice uses an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, aids, nurses, social workers and more to fulfill a patient’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. Utilizing education-based expert care and nurturing guidance, Hospice of Green Country offers 24/7 staff availability. Clarehouse is a pioneer of person-centered, end-of-life care in a family home environment.

OKC’s INTEGRIS Hospice House meets the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of its patients while helping families with planning and bereavement. A non-profit, Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care serves the ill, as well as palliative care organizations, caregivers and the grieving. Providing dignity and care that addresses both the mind and body, Mercy Hospice offers expert healthcare providers and compassionate volunteers.


Anchored by the 1,112-bed Saint Francis Hospital, the Saint Francis Health System offers expert primary care, heart health, orthopedics, cancer care, women’s health and so much more, with a commitment to giving back to the community it serves. Ascension St. John Health System is committed to delivering compassionate and personalized healthcare for all people, with expertise in both primary and specialty care. Tulsa ER and Hospital offers 24/7 emergency medical care with a simple goal: to bring quick, compassionate, concierge-level emergency medicine to the community in a state-of-the-art, 16,372 square foot facility. One of the nation’s largest teaching facilities, Oklahoma State University Medical Center offers a broad range of healthcare options to provide the highest possible services to Oklahomans.

A level I trauma center, OKC’s OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center provides top-of-the-line healthcare and has the state’s only comprehensive bone marrow transplant center. With a bevy of awards under its belt, INTEGRIS is the state’s largest not-for-profit, Oklahoma-owned health care system comprised of clinics, practices, hospitals and centers of excellence. From a cardiovascular center to inpatient rehabilitation and more, Norman Regional Health System offers quality, comprehensive care; it is also the first hospital system in Oklahoma to be certified in perinatal care. A collection of hospitals, clinics and ministries across the region, Mercy Hospital operates with values that include dignity, excellence, justice, service and stewardship. 

Medicinal Cannabis Clinic/Dispensary/CBD Shop

Offering premium cannabis products and medical card consultations, Dr. Z Leaf Dispensary is a top pick for Tulsans. With daily special deals and a large inventory that includes edibles and concentrates, Seed Cannabis Co. earns great marks. Affordable, accessible and high-quality, Whole Leaf Medical Dispensary and CBD has been dubbed “Tulsa’s medical marijuana headquarters.” 

With a fully-equipped medical facility, OKC’s Therapeutic Health Clinic provides comprehensive medical marijuana evaluations. From cartridges to oil tinctures and topicals, CBD Plus USA has virtually any CBD product you could want. Friendly service and great products make Kure CBD and Vape a top-tier option for OKC. 

Medical Spa

Utica Square Skin Care provides medical skin care for the correction of benign skin irregularities, with treatments that include Fraxel Restore, microdermabrasion, permanent pigmentation and Botox. Offering life-changing aesthetics and weight loss programs, BA Med Spa and Weight Loss Center is committed to improving the lives of its patients. From micro-needling to hormone therapy, dermaplaning and laser therapy, Fig Medical Spa employs experts in anti-aging and body rejuvenation. Blending medical and traditional spa services, Emerge Tulsa operates with a passion for helping clients look and feel their best. 

Injections, aesthetic services and skin rejuvenation are just a few of the many offerings at the ever-popular Radiance Medical Aesthetics of Oklahoma based in OKC. Advanced Aesthetics offers its clients over 25 years of experience in the industry, with services ranging from Botox to Dysport and permanent cosmetics. Known as an anti-aging med spa, Clarabella Aesthetics presents its clients with a broad range of services including injectables and laser therapy.

Nursing Home

Assisted living and nursing at Saint Simeon’s includes a wellness center, specialized Parkinson’s care, memory care and the option to age in place. Forest Hills Assisted Living provides an array of services, including memory care, respite care, speech therapy and tube feeding. With best-in-class therapy, an on-site physician and specialty services and programs, Tulsans trust University Village for premier nursing home care. 

At OKC’s Bellevue Health and Rehabilitation Center, skilled nursing bridges the gap between the hospital and home, with a variety of long- and short-term options. Baptist Village of Oklahoma City features progressive and innovative nursing including speech, aquatic and occupational therapies. From cardiac care to respiratory services and diabetes management, Bradford Village Healthcare Center can handle any nursing need. 


With decades of experience in the industry, Dr. Grant Cox of OB-GYN Specialists of Tulsa finds great joy in his work and is especially interested in infertility cases and gynecological surgery. A practicing physician since 1996, Dr. Jay Williamson felt called to the specialty due to “the happy and positive nature of the specialty, as well as the variety of medical care and surgical procedures.” With an impressive list of research publications, volunteerism endeavors and hospital appointments, Dr. J. Martin Beal of Tulsa OB-GYN Associates says he went into the field of medicine to get “box seat tickets in the theater of life.”

Harboring a special interest in robotic surgery, Dr. Lisa Renne Waterman of Normal Regional Hospital earns kudos for her technical expertise and exceptional bedside manner. Dr. Kim Fletcher with INTEGRIS Women’s Health Moore says she has “the best job on Earth,” and enjoys bringing new life into the world and working with couples to achieve their fertility goals. With hundreds of rave reviews online, Dr. Michael Blake Evans of OU Medical Center specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.


A multi-specialist ophthalmology practice, The Eye Institute offers comprehensive medical care with services including general ophthalmology and orbital surgery. Founded in 1986, Triad Eye Institute is a leader in laser vision correction, cataract removal and the treatment of ocular disease. EyeCare Associates of South Tulsa employs a team of trusted specialists for all ophthalmologic needs, from the treatment of vision disorders to eye surgery. 

Since opening in 1975, OKC’s Dean McGee Eye Institute has offered world-renowned patient care in everything from routine eye exams to glaucoma treatments and advanced eye surgeries. Oklahoma Eye Surgeons is led by Steven R. Sarkisian, Jr., M.D. and Myranda Partin, O.D., who together offer comprehensive, premier healthcare services for virtually any ophthalmologic need. Precision Vision – previously known as Eye Care Oklahoma – provides top-tier eye care in OKC, Midwest City and Shawnee; here, every patient receives individualized care. 


Dr. Blane Snodgrass of Twenty Twenty Eyecare is a member of a variety of optometric associations and can handle everything from routine eyecare to corneal reshaping therapy and keratoconus treatments. Dr. Lynsey Bigheart and Dr. Shannon Morgans, also with Twenty Twenty Eyecare, strive to provide the best possible comprehensive eye care for all ages, tailored to the individual. Dr. Sandra A. Mackey of Mackey Eyecare earns kudos for focusing not only ensuring crisp and clear vision, but also the comprehensive and long-term health of your eyes and vision.

Proudly serving Oklahoma for over 50 years, OKC’s Dick Story Optical has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings and now offers personalized service and a wide selection of eyeglass brands. Curating an inviting and comfortable environment with professional eye care, Hefner Eye Care and Optical Center can help with dry eye, vision tests, pupil evaluation and more. The team at Premier Eyecare of Edmond is ready to earn your trust through quality eye care and excellent customer service. 

Oral Surgeon

From dental implants to jaw surgery, tooth extractions and oral pathology, Eastern Oklahoma Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can tackle a variety of healthcare needs with top-tier expertise. Greer and Rogers Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers its patients reasonable costs for procedures including facial trauma reconstruction, impacted canines, bone grafting and more. Committed to improving the health, function and appearance of your smile, the team at Cannon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery performs sinus lifts, wisdom teeth removal and pre-prosthetic surgery, among other procedures. 

Leading with both experience and compassion, Oklahoma Dental Implants and Oral Surgery utilizes top-of-the-line technology for ultimate patient comfort. Handling procedures including full-arch restoration treatment and soft tissue surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Associates earns rave reviews for its stellar work. With a singular focus on premium patient care, Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma can perform jaw surgery, wisdom teeth removal, crown lengthening and a variety of other procedures. 


Offerings at Shannon Orthodontics are vast, and include digital impression technology, SureSmile, tooth whitening and invisible braces. Vroome Orthodontics believes a smile can change lives, and the team takes a variety of factors into consideration at your visits, including lifestyle, dental history and personal preferences. The Brace Place caters to patients’ individualized needs, and offers braces, Invisalign and a slew of other orthodontic offerings.

Edmond’s Kierl Orthodontics utilizes the latest in orthodontic care, with services for both adults and children that include clear braces, Invisalign and SureSmile. Providing top-of-the-line care and peace of mind, Orthodontic Associates can assist with bite alignment, braces, urgent care and other services. It’s all in the name at Orthodontics Exclusively, which performs high-quality orthodontic care at an affordable price. 

Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Yogesh Mittal, Dr. Greg Holt and Dr. Brian Chalkin at The Orthopaedic Center and CORE Hospital offer myriad specialty options for virtually any orthopedic need, including shoulder and elbow surgery, total joint replacement, hip replacement and reconstruction, among others. In practice since 1988, Dr. Scott Dunitz of Tulsa Bone and Joint Associates specializes in issues of the hip and knee, as well as joint replacements, with the goal to provide patient-centered, compassionate care. Dr. Bradford Boone, Dr. Bryan Hawkins, Dr. Randall Hendricks and Dr. Ron LaButti of Advanced Orthopedics of Oklahoma can handle any orthopedic need, from sports medicine to orthopedic trauma and spinal issues. 

Whether you need help with problems pertaining to the shoulder, knee, elbow, hand or wrist, the expert team at OKC’s Orthopedic Solutions has you covered. With a mission to serve the communities of Oklahoma by providing access to excellence in orthopedic care, McBride Orthopedic Hospital employs a team of highly-specialized physicians. Ortho Central strives to “get us all to a healthier place” by turning setbacks into comebacks – whether that’s a high school athlete injury or a retiree in need of a hip replacement. 

(Ear, nose and throat physician)

In business for over 50 years, the team at Eastern Oklahoma Ear Nose and Throat can assist patients with any ENT issue, along with services in hearing loss, pediatrics, allergies and sinus issues. Aiming to provide reliable, responsible medical and surgical care, Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Tulsa employs expert providers for a variety of needs. 

You’ll find top-notch, board-certified otolaryngologists at INTEGRIS Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic who treat everything from ear pain to balance disorders and chronic tonsillitis. From pediatric care to cochlear implants and reconstruction surgery, Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates offers its expansive expertise to the OKC region. A trusted source for ENT care, Mercy Clinic Ear, Nose and Throat treats a broad spectrum of ENT issues that include chronic sinus infections, to head and neck cancer and thyroid disorders. 

Pain Management Clinic

No one should live with chronic pain, and the expert physicians that make up Pain Management of Tulsa can offer customized treatment plans to help patients live a happier, healthier life. From fibromyalgia to knee issues, carpal tunnel or whiplash, Tulsa Pain Consultants can help patients take control of the pain and build a path to a better life. A multi-location facility, SEVA Med Care is dedicated to a “holistic approach to acute and chronic pain management.”

In OKC, Oklahoma Pain Management takes painful conditions and turns them into successful solutions, assisting in everything from chronic neck pain to sciatica and peripheral nerve injury. Operating with the goal to get you back to your life, INTEGRIS Pain Management employs top-tier interventional pain management physicians. Utilizing a team approach, Oklahoma Pain Center employs primary care physicians, orthopedists, neurologists and nurses to get to the root of the pain.

Pediatric Dentist

Aiming to make each visit to the dentist as comfortable as possible, Dr. Gary Fisher, Dr. Jim Owens and Dr. Sam Owens of Aqua Dental offer services including preventative care and restorative dentistry. The team at Children’s Dental Health Center know a dentist visit can be scary, so they offer caring, compassionate dental care for everything from fillings to extractions. Dr. Grant Gerety provides cosmetic dentistry that can make your child’s smile go from ordinary to extraordinary.

Caring dentists, fast service and top-tier healthcare make Smile Galaxy Pediatric Dentistry a top choice for pediatric dental care in OKC. Pediatric Dentistry of Oklahoma employs experts who care, offering sedation dentistry and preventative dental care for children of all ages. From low-radiation x-rays to preventative dentistry and general anesthesia, the experts at Edmond Pediatric and Teen Dentistry have you covered. 


Whether you’re on the hunt for the flu vaccine or need your medications filled, CareFirst Pharmacy is a top choice in Tulsa. Described as “personal, prompt and professional,” Economy Pharmacy offers great deals, friendly service and flexible hours. For over 50 years, Freeland Brown Pharmacy has served the greater Tulsa area with online refills, equipment rentals and more. 

Compounding, consultations and immunizations are just a few of the services offered at OKC’s Medic Pharmacy. Founded in 1998, Innovative Pharmacy Solutions provides assistance for men and women’s health, plus pet medications and even skincare services. Locally owned Westminster Family Drug is dedicated to the wellbeing of its customers. If you want to refill your prescription, grab a cup of coffee or snag a gift, Ralph’s Family Pharmacy is a one-stop-shop for all your needs. 

Rehabilitation/Sports Medicine Center

Therapist-owned Excel Therapy provides extensive knowledge in the world of physical therapy, collaborating with physicians and patients to get optimum results for clients. Combining education, compassion and support, Redbud Physical Therapy goes beyond therapy exercises to get to the root of pain. Serving patients recovering from acute injuries and illnesses, PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Tulsa aims to get you a shorter recovery time and prevent hospital readmission. Physical Therapy of Tulsa tailors its therapy programs to fit a patient’s individual needs, with a team that works together to reach positive outcomes. 

Excelling in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation has been a trusted source of healthcare since 1985. McBride Orthopedic Hospital provides orthopedic excellence to OKC residents, including a broad evaluation of orthopedic needs with the perk of bundled services for maximum value. Ortho Central touts performance-based therapy that offers individualized attention to detail.


Spa Lux provides its clients with superior massage, aroma and hydrotherapies, as well as top-of-the-line beauty treatments. Touting luxurious packages with massages, hydrotherapy and scrubs, Spa Southern Hills is a must-visit for all things relaxation. Described as an upscale day spa and salon, Bella Vita Spa and Salon offers spa parties, with services including waxing, skin care and massage. 

In OKC, Eden Salon and Spa earns high marks for its broad range of offerings and caring, competent staff. All about curating a calming atmosphere, Three Graces Day Spa presents a broad spectrum of spa services that include microdermabrasion and vitamin C infusions. Creating balance between the body and mind, Birch Tree Spa is described as a European day spa with offerings that include facials and skin care. Inspired by Scandinavian simplicity, Udander presents guests with both a steam and sauna spa and two locations in OKC.

Spinal Surgeon/Neurosurgeon 

Advanced Outpatient Surgery of Oklahoma provides patients with customized, compassionate surgical solutions, specializing in outpatient orthopedic and spinal surgery. With healthcare options that include spinal cord stimulation, neck fusion and disc replacements, the team at Spine and Orthopedic Specialists takes the time to find the right method of healing for every patient. With three locations in the region, Oklahoma Spine and Brain Institute specializes in high-quality neurosurgical care, with dedicated physicians utilizing cutting edge technologies. Tulsa Bone and Joint Spine Center employs nonsurgical spine specialists, spine surgeons and spine-specialized therapists all under one roof.

INTEGRIS Spine and Neurological Surgery boasts neurosurgeons with decades of experience in the field, meaning your life, safety and health are in good hands. Treating a broad spectrum of spinal disorders and injuries, the team at Spine Surgery Associates blend compassion and excellence for top-tier healthcare. Led by Dr. Shon Cook, Keyhole Brain and Spine specializes in minimally invasive neurosurgery that uses state-of-the-art technologies. 

Weight Loss/Weight Management Clinic

Offering weight loss services for over a decade, BA Med Spa and Weight Loss Center utilizes medically guided techniques to ensure clients lose weight and keep it off. New Leaf Wellness offers tailored weight loss solutions for women and men as well as free consultations. Providing expert advice on medical weight loss and corrective skincare, Empower Spa and Wellness Center is a top pick for Tulsans looking to lose weight and feel great.

Offering hormone replacement and weight loss assistance, The Broadway Clinic in OKC aims to help all patients reach their ideal selves. Global company WW International earns kudos from OKC voters for its broad array of weight loss assistance and delicious meals to crush hunger. Offering compassionate consultations and a slew of weight loss services, Okey Nwokolo Weight Management Clinic is a trusted choice in OKC.

Wellness Clinic

Aiming to help you look and feel your best, the team at BA Med Spa and Weight Loss Center offers non-surgical aesthetics, anti-aging services, body contouring, hormone replacement, weight loss assistance and a slew of wellness services. Fig Medical Spa strives to bring out the inner good, offering a variety of spa and wellness services administered by passionate professionals. Whether it’s hormone replacement, depression management, Botox or cosmetic medicine, the Restorative Wellness Center has you covered. Emerge Tulsa wins high praise for its array of wellness offerings, including ozone therapy, vitamin shots and hormone replacement. 

A variety of vitamins and supplements for wellness, as well as tailored spa services and more can be found at Renew Wellness and Aesthetics in OKC. With the goal to help you take back your health, Richey Wellness supplies its clients with top-of-the-line wellness offerings including IV and hormone therapy. Personal, professional, accessible and intelligent, Premise Health and Wellness Center presents tailored solutions for peak wellness.

Workout Studio

Group classes at Pure Barre Midtown focus on low-impact and small movements that strengthen and tone the body. A welcoming environment and challenging workouts make SALT Yoga a top pick for Tulsans. In Tulsa and OKC alike, health enthusiasts visit Barre3 for increased strength, reduced stress, improved balance and a stronger mind/body connection. Aiming to increase flexibility and strength, Total Pilates Studio welcomes anyone to try out their exciting classes.

In OKC, you can get the adrenaline pumping at CycleBar – Classen Curve with knowledgeable instructors and a welcoming atmosphere. And you can find your zen at Soul Yoga with affordable classes and challenging sets.

4. Shopping

Bicycle Shop

Partnering with top bike brands, T-Town Bicycles is a living tradition begun in 1991. Bicycles of Tulsa comprises 9,600 square feet of cycling goodies with everything you’ll need for a trek. Phat Tire Bike Shop offers multiple locations as well as bike rentals.

Test drive bikes at Edmond’s Al’s Bicycles, a cycling resource for more than 40 years. Get 24-hour service with Trek Bicycle Oklahoma City, as well as the latest goodies from brands including Trek and Bontrager. For every bike type including electric, check out Wheeler Dealer Bicycle Shop.

Boat/RV/ATV Dealer

Family-owned since 1974, Ugly John’s Custom Boats is a mega dealership with marina locations at Lake Eufaula, Grand Lake and Beaver Lake, among others. Bob Hurley RV offers sales of new and pre-owned RVs, plus parts, service and financing. With an experienced staff of 60 members, Dave’s Claremore RV is still owned by Dave, Gloria and Stephanie Pierce. 

With multiple locations in a multi-state region including Oklahoma City, Blackbeard Marine offers boating parts and services for any type. Serving Oklahoma since 1963, Lewis RV Center offers new and used recreational vehicles, motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers and adventure campers. David’s Sport Center sells watercraft, accessories, parts and services in Oklahoma City, Edmond and beyond.

Car Dealer

For a new Honda and varied pre-owned models to choose from, check out Don Carlton Honda, also offering expert service, handy parts and accessories with friendly service to boot. Jim Glover Auto Family in Tulsa and Owasso offers auto brands including Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep; the team works hard to create a stress-free, no pressure environment as you peruse their inventory. Jackie Cooper Imports has your next Mercedes Benz or Nissan ready to roll. Go to Jim Norton Toyota for all things Toyota in new and used models, plus expert service and varied accessories. 

Jackie Cooper BMW carries the latest BMW models, new and pre-owned, easily found on the Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City. With three OKC locations, Bob Moore Auto Group carries Kia, Jeep and many other makes and models, with employees on hand to find the perfect ride. With more than a dozen locations, Bob Howard Auto Group offers Acura, Nissan and a variety of other auto brands.

Children’s Clothing Store

Kathleen’s Kids has dressed generations of Tulsan kiddos since 1986. Locally owned Lolly Garden is a curated collection of unique children’s garments. Get a full wardrobe at Gap Kids at Utica Square or Woodland Hills. 

With north and south Oklahoma City locations, Once Upon a Child buys and sells gently used child gear including shoes, toys, clothes and all things baby-related. Since 2010, Green Bambino has been Oklahoma City’s trusted baby store with accessories, clothing and diapering projects including eco disposables and swim diapers. Dress and accessorize your baby or child at Swaddle with all things sartorial including cardigans, loungewear, swimwear, pajamas and rompers.

Department Store

Saks Fifth Avenue in Utica Square is a purveyor of high-end, fine designer clothing, shoes, housewares and more. A winner in both Tulsa and OKC, Dillard’s provides a classic department store experience with everything from furniture to home goods to clothing for men, women and children alike. Macy’s – also a winner in both cities – is at Woodland Hills Mall and carries Michael Kors, Charter Club and a variety of upscale and affordable brands.

When you think of Balliets in Oklahoma City, think luxury, cashmere, designer garments, plus accessories, fragrance and more. 

Eyeglass Store

Serving Tulsa since 1979, Visions Unique Eye and Sunwear carries eyewear collections from designers including Cartier and Chanel. ‘Curated’ is the word for the esoteric and fashionable collections at Hicks Brunson Eyewear, with brands including T. Henri and Tom Davies. The venerable Empire Optical has been keeping Tulsans in spectacles since 1964 and features its own unique digital free form lab. 

Founded in 1960, Sam’s Optical serves Oklahoma City and Edmond residents with eye care services including lenses, frames and repairs. Led by Dr. Chase Hunter, Within Sight Vision Center in Edmond offers personalized care, a robust selection of frames and comprehensive eye exams. BeSpoke Vision is a one-stop shop for all things concerning eye health, and vision enhancement items including specialty contacts. 

Fine Jewelry Store

Carrying fine designer jewelry from brands including David Yurman, Rolex and Tudor, Bruce G. Weber Diamond Cellar has a storied history spanning over 60 years with an expert staff at the ready to help you select the jewelry you desire. A Tulsa tradition since 1944, Moody’s Jewelry offers seven locations in the metro. Located in Broken Arrow, Star Jewelers brings classic to cutting edge designs from high-end brands, as well as design-your-own options.

BC Clark Jewelers is the source for Rolex, David Yurman, Ippolita and other fine brands. For state-of-the-art custom designs and diamond expertise, check out Mitchener-Farrand Fine Jewelry. Located in Nichol Hills, Naifeh Fine Jewelry is a treasure trove of custom jewelry design, repair, appraisals and gem selections. For trendy silver treasures to the finest of diamonds, visit Higgin’s Jewelers, established in 1975. 

Gift Store

Duvall Atelier curates fine gifts and home goods, carefully chosen and artfully offered in the retail showroom. A Kimberger family tradition founded in 1936, Margo’s Gift Shop graces Utica Square and offers a bridal registry for fine linens and home goods. Amber Marie and Co. is a family owned boutique carrying lines including Juliska, Brighton and Mackenzie Childs. Sasha Malchi Home features art, lighting, furnishings, gifts and more. Home grown Ida Red sits happy on Brookside, with a smaller store downtown, with fun gifts including the official lines of JJ Cale and Leon Russell. The m-M 31 Trading Post on 31st Street is an outlet center with shops, services and an Old West vibe.

Shop locally and with eco-friendly intentions at PLENTY Mercantile, which offers three locations and champions sustainability and hospitality; goodies include home goods, candy, puzzles, books and jewelry. Find jewelry, décor and gifts of all sorts for all ages can be found at Painted Door. Locally owned Blue Seven features lines including Paddywax and DPM Fragrance, with a wide selection of goodies to peruse.

Grocery Store/Market

Whole Foods Market brims with organic options, as well as produce, flowers and more, and is a favorite in Tulsa and OKC. For quirky fun grocery items, house wines, fresh flowers and more, Trader Joe’s wins the hour in both Tulsa and OKC as well. With several locations in northeast Oklahoma, Reasor’s is a full service grocery store that also provides hot food and gifts.

With locations in Oklahoma City and Edmond, Uptown Grocery Co. emphasizes locally grown produce and offers a wide selection of treats for any occasion. 

Men’s Boutique

Family owned Travers Mahan is a Tulsa tradition of fine menswear, with brands including Brax, Tommy Bahama, Samuelsohn and more. Saxon Judd carries a world-renowned custom fitted selection of the luxurious Italian Ermenegildo Zegna collection, among other stellar brands. The well-dressed man’s resource, Threads on Boston carries a variety of lines and employs a friendly, knowledgeable staff. 

Oklahoma City’s Mr. Ooley’s offers handmade allure and the clean, tailored lines of Giorgio Armani, among other luxury brands. S.J. Haggard and Co. in Nichol Hills carries menswear lines such as Southern Tide, Lacoste and Bugatchi. A man’s wardrobe is tailor made-to-measure at Teena Hicks Co. – a full service men’s specialty clothing store. Reap the expertise of more than four decades of fine tailoring with Q Clothier.

Men’s Shoe Store

Saks Fifth Avenue offers fine men’s shoes including Balenciaga and Dolce and Gabbana. Whatever the occasion, Travers Mahan carries the finest footwear; many lines are even exclusive to the area. Serving both Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, Dillard’s wide array of shoes includes everything from Birkenstock to ECCO.

In OKC, Mr. Ooley’s carries any shoe you could want, with experts on hand to lend fashion advice. Located in Nichol Hills Plaza, S.J. Haggard and Co. offers a bevy of fine footwear for men of all ages.

Pet/Pet Supply Store

Family owned and founded in 1981, Southern Agriculture locations around the state carry everything pet-related. Sprinkled over Oklahoma, Petco locations offer a selection of food and gear for a variety of pets including reptiles, fish and birds. Get supplies, veterinarian services, adoption services and more at PetSmart.

Shopping Mall/Center

Tulsa’s Utica Square is an elegant outdoor walking mall with high-end shops, plus dining and entertainment for all-in-one fun. A modern lifestyle center located on Brookside, Center 1 vendors include Free People and Keo. A longtime Tulsa tradition of shops and eateries, The Farm Shopping Center features shopping, dining and relaxation options. 

Oklahoma City’s Classen Curve brims with meal stops, entertainment and upscale shopping. Nichols Hills Plaza boasts more than 70 shops for robust options for every budget. For a classic mall adventure, check out Penn Square Mall with more than 140 vendors waiting to be discovered.

Sporting Goods/Outdoor Store

Oklahoma is graced with multiple Bass Pro Shops, including in Broken Arrow near Tulsa and in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown, for destination shopping and outdoor gear for every occasion. Look great wearing comfortable, top quality workout gear from Lululemon Athletica at Tulsa’s Center 1 and Oklahoma City’s Classen Curve. Dick’s Sporting Goods locations in Tulsa and OKC meet your sport-centric needs, with gear, clothing and accessories. 

Wine/Liquor Store

Perched on Brookside next to Whole Foods, Old Village Wine and Spirits carries liquor, beer and wine with friendly service and a broad spectrum of brands. Serving midtown Tulsa since 1959, Ranch Acres Wine and Spirits can assist with bulk orders or a single bottle of bubbly. It’s been all in the family since 1963 at Parkhill’s Warehouse Liquors and Wine, and Tulsans also enjoy their south Tulsa location, Parkhill’s South Liquors and Wine, for superior quality and delicious selections.

With sixty years in the booze biz, Byron’s Liquor Warehouse offers more than 30,000 square feet of favorites, including hard-to-find bottles. Beau’s Wine Bin and Spirit Shoppe caters to wine drinkers and also offers a brew and spirits array. Freeman’s Liquor Mart is an Oklahoma City mainstay since 1959 with ample booze selections.

Women’s Boutique

Founded in 1974, Abersons on Brookside carries luxury accessories, clothing and shoes featuring designers like Veronica Beard and Jill Sander. Get one-of-a-kind garments at Dainty Hooligan, a boutique of eclectic feminine accessories, frocks and more. Check out The Haley Boutique on Brookside for accessories and the latest trends in fashion.

Oklahoma City’s locally owned Blue Seven features a bevy of lines and trendy quality items at competitive prices. Route 66 Boutique in Oklahoma City carries made-in-Oklahoma products, along with delicious sweet treats and more. Find Alberta Ferretti and other top designer treasures at the upscale Gordon Stuart. 

Women’s Shoe Store

The venerable Saks Fifth Avenue, anchoring Utica Square, is the perfect spot to find your next pair of Fendi heels or Alexander McQueen boots. Perched on Brookside, Abersons presents on-trend and classic fine women’s shoes from designers including Fiorentini Baker Boots and Pedro Garcia. J. Cole Shoes locations in both Tulsa and Stillwater carry fun and funky footwear from Free People, Jeffery Campbell, Teva sandals and more.

Balliets is Oklahoma City’s go-to for a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo classics or wares from contemporary designers including See by Chloe. Betsy King: A Shoe Boutique is the 2015 creation of its namesake proprietress, offering a curated selection of designers including Seychelles and BC Footwear. Gordon Stuart carries fine shoe designers like Rag & Bone with friendly employees ready to help.


18 Holes

Home of this year’s PGA Championship, Southern Hills Country Club offers renowned courses and a broad spectrum of amenities for a great day on the green. Found at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Cherokee Hills Golf Club includes a pro shop, restaurant and top-tier practice features like a driving range, putting green, chipping green and bunker. Sitting atop 525 acres, Golf Club of Oklahoma in Broken Arrow boasts a Par 72, 7,183-yard championship golf course. With 18 holes and great amenities, Battle Creek Golf Club offers a friendly atmosphere for a fun day of sport.

For more than a century, Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club has provided a tradition of excellence with a current membership of more than 1,000 families. There are two challenging courses to master at Lake Hefner Golf ClubGaillardia Country Club is an Old-World style golf course and sports complex that presents patrons with top-tier amenities and great green.

Amusement/Water Park

Lovely in every season and adorning Riverside Drive in Tulsa along the Arkansas River, Gathering Place is everything a park and community hub should be and more. Frontier City is a western-themed amusement park in Oklahoma City serving families since 1958. Overlooking the Expo Square Center, Safari Joe’s H2O Water Park provides boundless aquatic fun for the whole family. 

Art Gallery

With rotating shows and exhibits, M.A. Doran Gallery offers fine art, as well as appraisals, and is conveniently located on Brookside in Tulsa. For more than 30 years and going strong, Royce Myers Art Ltd. has served Tulsa with a selection of original art including Oklahoma-based artists along with consultations, framing, and delivery and installation. Joseph Gierek Fine Art specializes in contemporary sculptures and paintings by both mid-career and established artists.

Oklahoma City’s ARTSPACE at Untitled offers free exhibitions and fosters a creative environment with an emphasis on contemporary art and education. Opened in 2008, DNA Galleries is both a contemporary art gallery and shopping experience – all focused on works and goods from Oklahomans. JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo Arts District is 8,000 square feet of award-winning art space with works from internationally exhibited artists in many media forms. 


With locations in Brookside and south Tulsa, In the Raw serves handcrafted cocktails in stylish digs, with friendly service and delicious cuisine to boot. Meanwhile, downtown, In the Raw Vū is an opportunity to mingle and offers stunning amenities and sky-high views. A premier downtown Tulsa destination for curated wine selections, cocktails and events, Vintage Wine Bar pleases vino aficionados. Hodges Bend is named for the history of the location’s curve carved out by the railroad, and you’ll surely find a libation that pleases. Stroll the Tulsa Arts District and you can’t miss Valkyrie, a destination bar with an ever-evolving cocktail menu.

Enjoy a Gaelic brew at O’Connell’s Irish Pub and Grille in Norman. Thankfully, there are Pub W locations across both metros for a modern American pub vibe. Open most days 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Lost Highway brings the saucy, offbeat vibe and super-stocked bar.


Andy B’s is a party for all ages with laser tag, arcade games and bowling in south Tulsa. With locations in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge has a 1970s vibe and presents patrons with delicious libations and snacks. Main Event Entertainment brings the fun with laser tags, gravity ropes, games, games and more games. 

Windsor Lanes presents bowling and arcade games along with frequent specials, leagues and social clubs. Round 1 Bowling and Amusement is all the fun under one multi-entertainment facility roof with karaoke, darts and billiards.


For a rockin’ good time, head to Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, which offers more than 2,600 electronic games, plus poker, 36 table games and riveting on-site entertainment options. With hotel rooms reaching into the sky and stunning views of the Arkansas River, River Spirit Casino Resort delivers an upscale experience with 200,000 square feet of casino games to enjoy. More than a gaming site, Osage Casino features frequent live music and dining options.

Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant has notable dining options including Butterfields Buffet, 1832 Steakhouse, Jackpot Java and Tomatillo Mexican Grill, along with ample table games, poker and more. Located in Norman, Riverwind Casino serves the Oklahoma City metro with games, entertainment and dining. Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Shawnee dazzles with thousands of Vegas-style slots, the state’s only Keno lounge with a 14-story hotel.

Charity Event

Experience the infectious flair of CarnivaleMental Health Association of Oklahoma’s annual fundraiser gala; the nonprofit promotes mental health and aims to prevent mental disorders and achieve victory over mental illness. Held most recently on the lawns of Philbrook Museum, Memory Gala hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association raises funds to eradicate this disease. Icons and Idols presented by Tulsa Ballet celebrates the renowned company’s founding by Roman Jasinski, Moscelyne Larkin and Rosalie Talbott.

A preeminent annual black-tie event, Renaissance Ball hosted by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art raises funds for the museum with a night of revelry and philanthropy. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon benefiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum returns April 28 to 30 for an exciting racing weekend to honor those lost and changed forever by the bombing on April 19, 1995. A star-studded affair, Red Tie Night benefits the OK AIDS Care Fund annually. 

Cinema/Movie Theater

For an old-fashioned marquee movie experience with all the modern amenities, Regal Warren Theatre locations are statewide, and the theatre earned kudos in both major metros. Since 1984, Cinemark theaters continue to bring the big screen fun and hot popped goodness in locations across Oklahoma. A landmark itself, Circle Cinema in Tulsa presents curated films and debuts of films you likely won’t find elsewhere in the city. And you can catch any of the main-stream flicks at OKC’s AMC Penn Square 10.

Concert Venue

From its iconic silhouette to its roster of concerts and events, the BOK Center is the jewel of downtown Tulsa. The legendary Cain’s Ballroom continues to host the biggest acts in music and touts a storied musical history. Full of art in a stunning setting, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center brings Broadway, ballet and more to northeast Oklahoma. Tulsa Theatre, created a century ago, is living history with top-notch acts performing each week.

Home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paycom Center is a premier event center in downtown Oklahoma City that also hosts the biggest names in music. A live music venue, the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab is also an education center for jazz studies, as well as a place to create and record music. A restaurant, bar and movie venue in one, The Jones Assembly is big on the fun. 


Sitting on Mother Road Route 66, downtown Tulsa’s Blue Dome District features nostalgia, entertainment, arts and dining. Home to the First Friday Art Crawl, the Tulsa Arts District is among the oldest areas in downtown Tulsa. Highlights of the Historic Greenwood District include ONEOK Field and the brand-new Greenwood Rising museum. A historic area undergoing a renaissance, the Kendall-Whittier district is home to non-chain shops, art galleries and eateries.

Built in 1929 as the Spanish Village, the Paseo Arts District offers galleries, shopping and dining just north of downtown Oklahoma City. Back in 1935, the Plaza District was built and named for the Plaza Theater and today houses a smattering of locally-owned boutiques, galleries and dining. Upscale, hip and aesthetic, Automobile Alley is in the heart of Oklahoma City and can fulfill any entertainment need. 

Family Night Out

Take me out to a Tulsa Drillers Baseball Game, conveniently located at ONEOK Field for a night of America’s favorite pastime. Everyone loves the grub and gaming fun at Main Event Entertainment in Tulsa and Oklahoma City alike. GolfSuites at Riverwalk Terrace offers climate-controlled suites for all weather, plus high-tech gamified golf, cocktails and dining. 

Join the thrill of an NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Game and cheer our team to victory. With 390,000 square feet of space, Science Museum Oklahoma is among the largest science museums in the country and features the revered Kirkpatrick Planetarium.

Happy Hour

In the Raw rocks the happy hour Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with half off some appetizers, plus tempting specials. Ask for the happy hour specials at R Bar and Grill on Brookside and you won’t be disappointed. Happy hour runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily at Doc’s Wine and Food, which also offers great specials depending on the day of the week.

Enjoy the retro vibe that is Ned’s Starlite Lounge, along with exciting happy hour deals. An urban, upscale destination, Sidecar Barley and Wine Bar brings the elegance for your next office happy hour. Get your dance on at Ponyboy with live music, tasty cocktails and great deals.


Fine hotel amenities allure at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, boasting 454 luxurious rooms and a resort pool, plus suites that will surely dazzle. You can’t miss the shimmering tower of hotel suites at River Spirit Casino Resort on Riverside Drive, replete with a gorgeous resort pool, 483 luxury rooms, and a spa and salon to boot. Tulsa Club Hotel is a downtown beauty done in Zig Zag Art Deco with a restaurant and bar to please the palate. 

Take in the original art and luxurious digs at 21c Museum Hotel on West Main in Oklahoma City. A grand dame over a century old, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel features recent updates, plus luxury amenities for a night away from home. From the upscale Nichols Hills neighborhood, Renaissance Waterford is the perfect home base when visiting Oklahoma City.

Local Festival

Returning early October 2022, Linde Oktoberfest is a beloved tradition touting all things German, from games to performances, food and drink. Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is a three-day weekend extravaganza of races, rides and cycling fun, ending with the universally loved Cry Baby Hill. Artists from all over the world offer wares at the music-laden fun that is Tulsa International Mayfest. Brought to you by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Tulsa Greek Festival is beloved for dance, music and authentic Greek food. 

Oklahoma City’s Red Earth Festival is held every June in celebration of Native American cultural heritage with dance, art, food and more. Paseo Arts Festival is more than four decades old and is a fundraiser for the Paseo Arts District with beautiful creations, plus food and entertainment. Film lovers find thought-provoking fun at deadCenter Film Festival, the state’s largest annual film festival.

Local Icon/Landmark

Tulsa’s crown jewel, Gathering Place, is a multi-use park and recreation complex along the banks of the Arkansas River, boasting a children’s play area, boathouse, restaurants and more. Standing in tall, mute presence at Expo Square, the Golden Driller is a selfies touchstone. BOK Center brings the biggest names in entertainment to Tulsa and is also home to the Tulsa Oilers. 

The somber and symbolic empty chairs are among exhibitions at Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, honoring the victims of the 1995 domestic terrorism attack. Find paddleboats, food trucks and more at the ever-evolving Scissortail Park, which will soon open its Phase II sector with a variety of sport courts. The tallest building in the state, Devon Energy Center is a 50 story corporate tower overlooking downtown OKC.

Local Park

Choices of sports, vistas, food, art and amenities dazzle at Gathering Place. A pocket of green and a venue for outdoor music, Guthrie Green brightens downtown Tulsa. River Parks is a collection of about ten linear miles along the Arkansas River and includes Turkey Mountain’s urban wilderness park, River West Festival Park and more. 

Scissortail Park is a 70-acre urban oasis in the heart of Oklahoma City. Myriad Botanical Gardens presents OKC residents with gorgeous horticulture, plus event programming and more. Lake Hefner adorns Hefner Park, an escape for kite surfing, walking paths and water frolics. 

Local TV Station

KOTV, Channel 6 is a CBS affiliate with news, weather and sports in the Tulsa area. An NBC affiliate, KJRH, Channel 2 broadcasts from Brookside and reports on the news you need most. KTUL, Channel 8, an ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, offers breaking news, sports, weather and a variety of other topics important to Oklahomans. 

NBC affiliate KFOR-TV, Channel 4 broadcasts in Oklahoma City with trustworthy anchors and timely news. KWTV, Channel 9, a CBS affiliate, is the flagship broadcast property of locally based Griffin Communications, touting a variety of awards for its journalism. Affiliated with ABC, KOCO, Channel 5 is owned by Hearst Television and is a trusted news source for OKC. 


Northeastern Oklahoma turns to Travis Meyer of KOTV, Channel 6, for his dedicated weather reporting and trustworthy demeanor. For nearly two decades, Tulsa native Mike Collier of KJRH, Channel 2 reports the weather with great accuracy and enthusiasm. A fifth generation Tulsan, meteorologist Anne Brown of KJRH, Channel 2 tracks the storms and strives to keep Oklahomans safe.

OKC’s David Payne of KWTV, Channel 9 is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist dedicated to accurate weather reporting. Chief meteorologist Damon Lane with KOCO, Channel 5 reports upon weather changes in a quick and efficient manner. Emily Sutton at KFOR-TV, Channel 4 is the station’s first female meteorologist and works diligently to keep Oklahomans informed and on top of the weather. 


You’ll need to take at least a day to explore Philbrook Museum and its stunning grounds, art offerings and programming. Internationally renowned Gilcrease Museum features extensive collections of a variety of Western art but is temporarily closed in the wake of exciting renovations and construction. Kids of all ages lose track of time at Discovery Lab, which presents a variety of programs to enjoy that will make it difficult to leave come closing time. Explore exhibits, take in the sights and walk through viewable tunnels of sharks at Oklahoma Aquarium

Oklahoma City Museum of Art and its standing Dale Chihuly exhibition is a must-do for OKC culture; the museum offers a variety of exhibitions monthly. An event venue and enlightening art destination, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is a must-visit destination. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is a fine arts resource on the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma, boasting rotating exhibits.

Neighboring State 

Eureka Springs and the Razorbacks are among attractions to visit nearby Arkansas, which presents guests with myriad outdoor activities, night life, dining and entertainment, too. For Rocky Mountain adventures, Colorado is a vacation destination with gorgeous vistas, friendly folks and an array of entertainment. Texas, our southern neighbor, is renowned for its big cities, delicious bites, night life, art and outdoor fun. 

Night Out Without the Kids

Renowned and revived, the Admiral Twin Drive-In is a classic T-town evening out. Park once and amble around downtown Tulsa for cultivated entertainment and dining options in a walkable area. An upscale main street experience, Brookside offers shopping, dining and a bevy of services.

Yell for the home team with your sweetie at an Oklahoma City Thunder Game at the Paycom Center. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse was made for celebrations and intimate evenings for two. Experience the panoramic views at Vast with your beloved, replete with top-tier dining and drinks.

Oklahoma Weekend Getaway Destination

In the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Grove offers a variety of outdoor fun options on the water, plus lodging, dining and friendly folks. Get reservations in early for a cabin or camping spot at Beavers Bend State Park and Nature Center in Broken Bow, which is hot spot for Oklahomans looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Find camping, lodges, fishing, hiking and more at Sequoyah State Park in Hulbert. 

Found in the Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls Park in Davis is a place to explore and build memories with hiking and a striking 77-foot waterfall. Lake Texoma in Kingston is the second largest lake in Oklahoma and the premier spot to fish striped bass in the southwest United States. One of Oklahoma’s largest fresh water lakes, Broken Bow Lake in Broken Bow is a reservoir body of water on the Mountain Fork River.

Performing Arts Organization

Celebrity Attractions continues to bring Broadway to northeast Oklahoma with the hottest shows hitting the Tulsa PAC stage; 2022 offerings include Frozen and Pretty Woman the Musical. Renowned the world over, every Tulsa Ballet performance is an event to remember with stunning choreography and dancing. Tulsa Symphony educates and entertains and is comprised of talented, passionate musicians. Celebrating the 75th season, Tulsa Opera presentations are at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and are sure to delight and inspire.

The American symphony orchestra Oklahoma City Philharmonic is directed by Alexander Mickelthwate and brings enthralling programming to the city. Oklahoma City Ballet began in 1963 and is a professional dance company and school offering performances and programming. A partnership between the Civic Center Foundation and The Nederlander Organization, OKC Broadway continues the tradition of premier performing arts at Civic Center Music Hall.

Professional Sports Team

Oklahoma City Thunder is a member of the Western Conference Northwest Division of the National Basketball Association, with home games at the Paycom Center. A minor league baseball team, Tulsa Drillers compete in the Texas League and find their home at ONEOK Field. The Oklahoma City Dodgers is a minor league baseball team in the Pacific Coast League, with a variety of games all summer long at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. 


Each Bricktown Brewery is unique to the community in style and setting, but all serve Creekstone Farms Black Angus Beef and offer excellent service, great beer and cocktail selections; the joint was up voted in both Tulsa and OKC. Cabin Boys Brewery is in Tulsa’s historic Kendall Whittier District and offers a great selection of beers, plus a variety of entertainment options. A purveyor of craft brews, Marshall Brewing Company is in a 7,300-square-foot facility near downtown Tulsa with some of the yummiest beer in the business. 

Check out the fun, including a build-your-own-burger night on Wednesdays, at O’Connell’s Irish Pub and Grille in Norman. The Republic Gastropub menu reflects a creative and upscale emphasis on enhancing the craft beer experience.

Small Town

Sitting on the Arkansas River, Bixby offers shopping and dining options galore, with friendly folks and a myriad of outdoor activities and community events to boot. With the tag line “Jenks, America,” Jenks borders south Tulsa with highlights including the Oklahoma Aquarium and Riverwalk Tulsa with river views, restaurants and entertainment. The fourth largest city in Oklahoma, Broken Arrow maintains its small town vibe with a quaint downtown and the regional allure of Bass Pro Shops, as well as unique dining and shopping options. With a history begun with Indian Territory roots, Claremore offers unique museums, hotels and amenities with a night away from the metro.

Founded in the 1890s and part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area, Yukon hosts annual festivals including the Czech Festival and the Chisholm Trail and Crawfish Festival. More than a college town and home to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater offers great restaurants including the original Eskimo Joe’s. An easy commute to Oklahoma City, Mustang is home to the Canadian Valley Rangerettes Mounted Drill Team, an award-winning equestrian group.

Wedding or Party Venue

Nestled on picturesque, wooded acreage in Claremore, Pecandarosa Ranch provides different settings and configurations for a flexible venue experience, replete with mindful employees and gorgeous views. Let Mother Nature be the setting and guest both with your wedding at Tulsa Botanic Garden, replete with stunning horticulture and attentive staff. Based in Muskogee, Eight Ten Ranch and Cattle Co. offers a gorgeous, towering white farmhouse with the bonus of a flexible indoor/outdoor space. 

Coles Garden is an event and wedding center on 13 acres in Oklahoma City with lovely facilities sure to dazzle guests. Hold a wedding or event in the Western splendor of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. With a three-story barn, Southwind Hills is an event setting in rustic luxury and outdoor woodland space.



A venerable Tulsa tradition for authentic Thai cuisine, Lanna Thai in south Tulsa has been a dining favorite for decades. Upscale meets casual with fresh, made-to-order Thai dishes at KEO locations on Brookside and in south Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Find from-scratch Asian cuisine at Roka with ingredients locally grown … and delicious, too! A family-style Tulsa favorite, Ri Le’s offers fresh Vietnamese and Asian dishes.

Menu delights at Oklahoma City’s Musashi’s Japanese Steakhouse include the Musashi’s Special of filet mignon and sake lobster. SushiNeko features Japanese cuisine and a robata bar, along with house drinks crafted with Japanese liquors. Begun in 1983, Grand House Asian Bistro presents sushi along with variations of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. 


Merritt’s Bakery locations in midtown Tulsa, South Tulsa and Broken Arrow feature cakes, pies, cookies and pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Producing succulent goodies for more than two decades, Farrell Bread and Bakery is headquartered at 81st and Yale and run by the renowned Justin Thompson Restaurants group. Now sold nationally, Pancho Anaya Bakery has baked authentic Mexican pastries for more than two decades in east Tulsa.

With its roots in baking, Café 501 is an Edmond area food empire. For a sense of romance and flaky French baked goods, too, head to La Baguette Bistro. Breakfast pastries, various sized cupcakes and so much more is at your service at Green Goodies.


Famous for a reason, Burn Co. Barbeque brings the brisket and other barbecue treats to Tulsa and Jenks, with lines out the door most days. Savor the smoky perfection that is Albert G’s Bar-B-Q, with two Tulsa locations and a variety of delectable sides that will get your mouth watering. With locations in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, you’ll find your faves at Billy Sims BBQ that’s a favorite of voters around the state. 

You can’t go wrong with the variety of options at Swadley’s World Famous Bar-B-Q in OKC, with highlights like chopped brisket and the Oklahoma Special. With a menu of slow-smoked ribs and more, Earl’s Rib Palace has six Oklahoma City region locations.


Don’t miss a daily special to start the morning at Queenie’s in Utica Square. Going strong since 1991, Brookside by Day serves up breakfast favorites in no-fuss digs for a calm, delicious morning. Meet some friends at Savoy for breakfast and be sure to take home some fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Neighborhood JA.M. wins votes in Tulsa and OKC alike with its fun digs and variety of menu options. Dive into breakfast, brunch or lunch at Bramble Breakfast and Bar locations in Jenks, Broken Arrow and Tulsa’s Pearl District.

Find Hatch Early Mood Food in Automobile Alley, serving up a new spin on eggs Benedict and other beloved morning faves. And you can’t go wrong with the classics at Classen Grill, providing all your breakfast needs. 


With many vendors to choose from, the Mother Road Market food hall will please the entire family. Longtime Tulsa favorite Tacos Don Francisco is open daily 8 a.m. to midnight with great eats at a great value. Stop to pick up breakfast or lunch at Boston Avenue Grille and Catering or have it delivered in the downtown area. 

Beverley’s Pancake House in OKC brings on the breakfast all day and night, 365 days a year. Smitty’s Garage Burgers and Beer presents competitively priced burgers done right. Family recipe specialties dot the Tacoville menu, an OKC favorite.


Ron’s Hamburgers and Chili locations around northeast Oklahoma serve up their special recipe burgers as you like it. Found in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Bricktown Brewery offers numerous burger options plus mouthwatering sides and top-tier service. Treys Bar and Grill in south Tulsa serves a burger of double-ground brisket, perfect for that meat-lovers craving.

Oklahoma City’s Patty Wagon offers burgers including The Big John, a patty with pepper jack cheese, green chiles, jalapenos and spicy mayonnaise. Try a Classic Rock burger at S&B’s Burger Joint, like The Fatty with grilled onion, pickles and American cheese on a Kaiser bun.


Executive chef William Lyle has been adding his spin to classics at the Summit Club since 2017 and offers a delicious, upscale dining experience. Proprietor chef Justin Thompson of Justin Thompson Restaurants continues to bring exceptional food and restaurants to the area, as well as catering options for any occasion. Chef and owner Tim Inman of Stonehorse Café serves memorable cuisine at Utica Square.

Culinary director Ryan Parrott of Humankind Hospitality Services in Oklahoma City began his career at age 15 and now oversees a variety of delicious restaurant offerings in the OKC area. Executive chef Meghan Synco oversees the fine eateries of Hal Smith Restaurants and serves up memorable, delectable cuisine. Executive chef Kurt Fleischfresser leads the team at Western Concepts Restaurant Group with offerings including The Tasting Room and The Hutch.

Coffee Shop

You get six generations of expertise and award-winning coffee with Tulsa’s Topeca Coffee RoasteryCirque Coffee Roasters serves up the brew from two Tulsa locations. A small craft roaster, DoubleShot Coffee Company highlights the nuances of its coffee flavors with numerous options.

Oklahoma City loves the Starbucks brew with multiple locations in the metro area and consistently great coffee. Hoboken Coffee Roasters in Guthrie is a husband-wife labor of love producing sourced and curated coffee. Edmond’s Hi Tea x Coffee Tree serves coffee several ways including the classic drip with medium-roast Colombian Supremo Beans.

Comfort Food

Tally’s Good Food Café boasts a generous menu of chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy and other comfort faves. Get a hearty sandwich from Boston Avenue Grille and Catering to keep your day running smoothly. Blue Moon Café is an indulgence in funky fun atmosphere, offering fresh baked breads and old school classics. 

OKC’s Black Bear Diner serves up yumminess like sweet cream pancakes and breakfast sliders. The Press offers a comfort food brunch daily until 4 p.m. Longtime fave Ray’s Café presents excellent food at affordable prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Deli/Sandwich Shop

PJ’s Sandwich Shoppe is a midtown Tulsa neighborhood staple for chalkboard specials of salad, soups and sammies. From sandwiches to veggies to wraps and everything in between, it’s all from-scratch at Trenchers DelicatessenJason’s Deli provides a laden salad bar, loaded potatoes, soups and more. Get your own sandwich creation with Boar’s Head deli meat at Lambrusco’z Deli

Café 501 sandwiches are ‘handhelds’ on the menu including a BLT with avocado, greens and fresh basil on whole wheat. The Oklahoma City area enjoys five Jersey Mike’s Sub stops. Those in the know advise arriving early at ND Foods to snag a piece of luscious strawberry cake alongside a scrumptious sammy.


For a memorable experience in fine desserts, The Summit Club delights every time. Queenie’s fresh-baked daily desserts at the whim of the chef and the season’s bounty, but the guarantee is that it will be delicious. With multiple Tulsa-area locations, Merritt’s Bakery has a wide selection and special order options.

Ask your server which luscious Café 501 dessert pairs well with your beverage or dinner. French and other European goodies are found at romantic, upscale La Baguette Bistro. Get your pie on at Oklahoma City’s premier pie bakery, Pie JunkieOKC Sweets offers melt-in-mouth macaroons, cupcakes, cookies, custom cakes and more. 


A longtime Tulsa favorite on 11th Street and now in south Tulsa, Tally’s Good Food Café is a classic diner. Breakfast, brunch or lunch, Savoy is on Sheridan Road with all the diner goodness you need. Transport yourself to the 1950s at any of the three Tulsa area Freeway Café locations.

They say it’s always Sunday morning at Sunnyside Diner – with three Oklahoma City area locations. Beverly’s Pancake House brings on the pancakes, waffles and French toast, plus other diner fare you’ll love. Longtime favorite Ray’s Café is boasting a new look while the food is as great as ever.

Fast Food

Sonic Drive-In slushes and drinks are half price during Happy Hour and every time you order with the app; you can also grab a variety of delicious American eats there, too. More than ice cream, Braum’s serves breakfast, burgers and chicken for a delicious and affordable meal. You will speed through the well-orchestrated drive through process at Chick-Fil-A, which serves chicken in every way imaginable.

Fine Dining

Fine dining at its finest is found at chef-driven The Summit Club, soaring above downtown Tulsa in stylish digs. It’s all about the wine and the premium beef at Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, perfect for special occasions. Now found at East Archer in the Greenwood District, French Hen features delicious French cuisine in an upscale environment. A Tulsa institution in fine dining, Polo Grill is in Utica Square for your next date night or special occasion. Fresh, locally sourced cuisine is found at Juniper, with some of the most delicious cocktails in Tulsa.

Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse is an event and experience in destination dining. An Oklahoma City tradition, Cheever’s Café is the place for creative dishes like ancho-glazed salmon and mixed seafood tamales. Café Cuvée presents dishes founded on authentic recipes of iconic French entrees.

Fried Chicken

Found among the airplane hangars and industry of North Tulsa, Evelyn’s Soul Food is known for tempting fried chicken and delicious sides that will have you coming back for more. Have a memorable meal at Waldo’s Chicken and Beer with choices like fire-roasted or southern fried chicken with original sauces. Head over to the Greenwood District for crispy chicken goodness at Wanda J’s Next Generation Restaurant

Established in 1896, Eischen’s Bar in Okarche serves up a short, simple menu including whole fried chicken. Choose your fried chicken done in creative ways with fun presentations at Oklahoma City’s Chick N Beer. Get your ‘fine fowl and fixin’s’ at The Drum Room.

Hidden Gem

Amelia’s Wood Fired Cuisine boasts a chef driven menu in the Tulsa Arts District, inspired by regional and South American cuisine for the perfect date night sojourn. Take the drive to Depew for the unique experience of Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy with a multi-course tasting menu comprised of ingredients found on the farm. Check out the patio or dine indoors at Lowood and choose from wood-fired selections created from locally grown and raised ingredients. Enjoy bouillabaisse, steak frites and other French cuisine at Boston Title and AbstractBull in the Alley is a sumptuous setting of marble, wood-paneled digs and old school elegance. FarmBar, an extension of the aforementioned Living Kitchen, serves up farm-to-table goodies that are sure to impress.

Oklahoma City’s The Press is a uniquely Oklahoma take on mingling deep Southern comfort food with southwestern cuisine. For more than seven decades of family style soul food excellence, there’s the incomparable Florence’s Restaurant. The award-winning Vito’s Ristorante offers family-style Italian cuisine in an inviting atmosphere.

Ice Cream Shop

Found across the state, Braum’s raises the bar for ice cream, shakes and seasonally changing specialty sundaes. You get absolutely authentic Italian gelato at STG Gelateria locations in the Tulsa area. The Marble Slab Creamery includes unlimited mix-ins with their small batch homemade ice creams at locations statewide.


Family owned and operated Mondo’s Ristorante Italian on Brookside was founded by Angelo Aloisio, an immigrant from Abruzzi Italy; the restaurant’s new location offers more space for fun. With two Tulsa locations, Ti Amo Ristorante Italiano is steeped in flavors with a calming ambiance and full bar, too. Prossimo Ristorante achieves a hip, old school Italian vibe in an understated, elegant setting. Reservations are encouraged for an evening out at Dalesandro’s, which offers delicious Italian eats and top-tier seafood items. Biga on Brookside is a home-style, authentic Italian cuisine eatery. For over a quarter century, Tucci’s has been the embodiment of Little Italy on Cherry Street. Villa Ravenna is a romantic setting for seafood, desserts and traditional Italian cuisine. 

Owned by restaurateur Tommy Byrd, Bellini’s Ristorante and Grill is an Oklahoma City destination for Italian food made right. Chef Jonathon Stranger gives a fresh look at classic Italian dishes at Osteria in Nichol Hills. Reservations are encouraged at Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, and remember to ask for a patio table in fair weather to enjoy your five-star meal.

Late-Night Bites

The Tavern is perfect for a post-show nosh and evening cocktail, with discounts offered to those who amble in for the late night hours. Try a house specialty when stopping at The BrookKilkenny’s Irish Pub is open until 2 a.m. and is the perfect stop for bangers and mash or a cocktail of your choosing.

Oklahoma City’s Ludivine stays open until midnight so you can choose from the menu created by chef Russ Johnson. Smitty’s Garage Burgers and Beer – “The Garage” to friends – is open until midnight with great deals and a variety of dining options. The Jones Assembly is open on weekends until late, with food, drink and entertainment.


Get an award winning margarita at Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina in Jenks, Owasso or Broken Arrow. Mi Cocina’s margarita is a blend of Sauza Silver Tequila and lime. Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant serves a selection of margaritas including the strawberry swirl with fresh berries. 

Iguana Mexican Grill in OKC offers specialty margaritas including the Mango Rita. Go with rocks, frozen or the signature margarita at Poblano GrillAlfredo’s Mexican Café creates margaritas in strawberry, lime, mango, Sangria Swirl, and the Alfredo Rita – all on the rocks or frozen. 

Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Zoë’s Kitchen is a healthy food option with dishes including their modern Greek salad and avocado lentil salad. Try a curry pie or other Lebanese dish at La Roma. Find The GOAT Bar and Kitchen at the East Village in the historic Hamilton/Kelly building, with a bevy of Mediterranean options in fun digs. Founded in 1993, India Palace is the longest running Indian eatery in Tulsa with authentic eats. 

Make it easy in choosing at Nunu’s Mediterranean Café in Oklahoma City and share a sampler platter. Savor the fresh flavors at Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine with recipes passed down over generations. Always authentic, always fresh, Basil Mediterranean Café is an experience to remember.


Mi Cocina is a contemporary chic bistro on Cherry Street in Tulsa, offering a variety of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Try the slow roasted carnitas at Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, complemented by fresh roasted salsa. Cancun International Restaurant offers daily house specials. Located on the Mother Road near downtown Tulsa, El Rancho Grande is a local favorite since 1953 with authentic eats. Go where the locals know to go – to Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant. Try the ceviche or grilled nachos at El Maguey in Sand Springs, which presents diners with a bevy of delicious dishes.

Enjoy the festive vibe and authentic Mexican flavors at Oklahoma City’s Poblano Grill. Check the Iguana Mexican Grill website for changing specials and delicious drink options to boot. Go with meaty Mexican dishes at Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen or try the roasted vegetable fajitas. 

Outside Dining

Take in the picturesque setting of Utica Square on the Polo Grill dining patio. In the Raw, with locations around the city, and In the Raw Vū offer patio or deck and outdoor seating; the latter offers sky-high views from the top of the Vast Bank building. The Arkansas River is just beyond the patio of Waterfront Grill in Jenks. Do some people watching from the sidewalk tables at Wild Fork, offering delicious eats. Queenie’s al fresco dining provides views of Utica Square.

Enjoy the heated patio and firepit at Bellini’s Ristorante and Grill in Oklahoma City. See and be seen at outdoor dining hotspot Stella Modern Italian Cuisine. Enjoy your outdoor Pearl’s Oyster Bar Cajun and Creole entrees at the south end of Classen Curve in Belle Isle. 


Hideaway Pizza is an Oklahoma tradition with its numerous pizza pies with locations found statewide. Tulsa’s Andolini’s Pizzeria is the real deal, providing authentic Italian pizza and gelato to its happy customers. Whether you have it delivered, dine in or pick it up, Mazzio’s is a tried and true favorite around the state with delicious pies, plus wings, salads and desserts. Pizza is a thing of beauty and available by the slice at Umberto’s in Tulsa’s midtown. 

Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

Every gathering at The Summit Club is an event to remember, and guests will appreciate the upscale setting and views of downtown Tulsa. Amelia’s Wood Fired Cuisine dazzles with South American inspired specialties and a creative floor plan giving patrons options on seating styles and ambiance. A meal at Lowood is to be savored in all its multi-cultural and wood fired glory. Housed in the upscale Center 1 on Brookside, Oren presents a globally inspired menu in minimalist, stylish digs. Those who arrive early for their Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy experience may get to help gather their dinner ingredients from the gardens. Whether you use the cigar room or not, Smoke is a memorable time with an emphasis on great food and fine liquor. 

With the namesake’s statue across the street at the ballpark, your guests will remember the Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse experience. Great food and drinks along with the endless panoramic views make Vast an easy choice for out-of-town fun. Choose a signature cocktail before enjoying the full dining adventure that is The Jones Assembly.

Restaurant Chain

For many, Charleston’s Restaurant is a family tradition with locations found in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. With six locations, Redrock Canyon Grill serves up dishes with a nod to the Southwest U.S. Begun in Texas in 1998, family-owned Texas de Brazil is the go-to for “churrascaria” Brazilian steakhouse flair. 

Restaurant Group

McNellie’s Restaurant Group includes Fassler Hall, Howdy Burger, Dracula Sandwich, McNellie’s Pub, Wild Fork and more in locations statewide. Charleston’s, El Huevo, and Red Rock Canyon Grill are among the eateries in the Hal Smith Restaurant GroupA Good Egg Dining Group is an Oklahoma City group of restaurants including Kitchen No. 324, The Drake, Mexican Radio, Barrios and more. Justin Thompson Restaurants include Freya Nordic Kitchen, Juniper, Farrell Bread and Bakery and other fine eateries.


With multiple Oklahoma locations, Charleston’s Restaurant is an elegant favorite with beloved dishes like prime rib. Café 501 salad choices include a namesake salad, the 501, with Granny Smith apples, blue cheese, spicy pumpkin seeds and lime vinaigrette, all found in OKC. The veggies are fresh and varied in presentation at Coolgreens, with locations statewide. A midtown favorite in Tulsa, PJ’s Sandwich Shoppe offers a salad plate meal sure to impress.


Café Ole in Tulsa boasts a bright, fresh salsa and full Southwestern menu. On Cherry Street, Mi Cocina highlights include the salsa and Guacamole Mexicano. Serving Tulsa since 1996, Cancun International Restaurant offers Mexican and Latin cuisine with ample salsa options. Try Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant and their famous chilies relleno with their salsa. 

Poblano Grill in Oklahoma City presents Southwestern and Mexican classics you won’t soon forget. You’re sure to find a Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant location in the Oklahoma City area, and you can start your meal out with their mouthwatering salsa. The salsa is homemade fresh at Iguana Mexican Grill in Automobile Alley. 


Bodean is a fine seafood restaurant, offering fresh, from the sea options with a market for take-home cooking as well. Bonefish Grill in Broken Arrow is known for bang bang shrimp and its market fresh fish. There’s a decided east coast flair to the eats at Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Co. in the Blue Dome District. 

Pearl’s Oyster Bar in Oklahoma City has a Creole and Cajun flair to the menu. Make any occasion special with fine seafood at The Drake. Try the famous Rococo Crab Cake at The Manhattan in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City.


With Tulsa and Oklahoma City locations, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse is all about the finest custom-aged U.S. Prime Midwestern beef. Celebrate a truly impressive experience in steak and fine dining at Prhyme in downtown Tulsa. Begun in 1965 by Ruth Fertel, Ruth’s Chris Steak House continues with many of the same recipes and methods for all things beef, creating a timeless menu. Lobster, wine and prime steak highlight the Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar experience, located in Utica Square. A west Tulsa and Sapulpa-area tradition, Freddie’s Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse is a family favorite for welcoming ambiance and delicious steak. Bull in the Alley is an elegant American steakhouse with a clandestine, speakeasy vibe.

Destination dining at its finest, Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse anchors the downtown district across the street from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. In an astounding world-class facility of 18-foot ceilings and skylights, Red PrimeSteak is an unforgettable fine dining experience. Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is the state’s oldest continually operated restaurant, formed in 1945. Boulevard Steakhouse is located on Classen Curve and in Edmond and presents the ideal steakhouse experience. Junior’s has served up great food at the Oil Center building since 1973. 

Stylish New Restaurant

Get a taste of Spain in downtown Tulsa at Restaurant Basque, with exotic dishes like charred octopus, plus Spanish liquors and wines, in a unique European-style dining experience. Tacos x Mezcal is an opportunity to dine and drink in style, with an array of mezcals and the variety of flavors from Nayarit, Mexico. For authentic, modern Santa Fe cuisine, visit La Tertulia, located in the Blue Dome District. 

World traveler Stelen Covel came back to Norman to bring 405 Burger Bar and great food to the community. Get ‘burgers, bites and cold delights’ at Spark located in Scissortail Park. City and State woos with upscale American dining with a menu influenced by people and places worldwide. Family owned and operated Devoted in Stillwater delights diners with a bevy of Asian dishes.

Sunday Brunch

Get breakfast and brunch done in luscious array at Neighborhood JA.M.’s midtown Tulsa location. Famous for its brunch spread, stop by Polo Grill in Utica Square. Everything is freshly baked at Queenie’s with a pleasing breakfast and brunch menu. It’s a good idea to put in reservations for the sumptuous brunch offerings at Smoke. The award winning Wild Fork serves an iconic brunch at its Utica Square location. 

Choose huevos rancheros or a habanero pimento BLT or other savory treat from the Pub W brunch menu. Flint offers upscale casual dining with brunch goodies including bananas foster French toast. Find comfort food done right at The Mule, serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


It’s easy to find the fresh sushi at In the Raw locations on Brookside and South Tulsa. Its sister restaurant, In the Raw Vū, can be found in downtown Tulsa and also wins the hour with its delicious sushi offerings, appetizers and cocktails. Fuji Sushi Bar is Tulsa’s spot for authentic Japanese delicacies like nigiri and makimono. Get your Asian fusion and sushi bar specialties at Yokozuna in downtown Tulsa and south Tulsa. 

Award winning SushiNeko serves up fine sushi and Japanese cuisine along with a Sushi Dojo of etiquette and experiential insights. Musashi’s Japanese Steakhouse offers classic and house versions of every form of sushi. Every Tuesday is buy one special roll get one half price at Volcano Sushi Bar and Hibachi, with locations in Oklahoma City and Moore.

Vegetarian Restaurant

Get a modern spin on healthy Mediterranean classics, as well as new creations you won’t soon forget, at Zoë’s Kitchen. Check out Pure Food and Juice in Brookside for grab and go, takeout or dine-in options including handcrafted cocktails, beer, wine and a juice bar. Chimera Café is a downtown Tulsa mecca for the finest coffee, mixed drinks and fresh, delicious and locally sourced vegan cuisine. With locations in Utica Square and south Tulsa, Ediblend Superfood Café features smoothies, salads, acai bowls and more.

Looking for healthy food options in downtown Oklahoma City? Check out Coolgreens for fresh salads, bowls, wraps and sandwiches. The Red Cup is a resource for vegetarian friendly, vegan and gluten free options for breakfast served all day as well as sandwiches, burgers and more. Also a deli, The Earth Café in Norman serves up all organic dishes, with ingredients sourced locally for breakfast, soups, smoothies, salads and more.

Summertime Adventures


“There’s so much to do in Arkansas this summer, and you can find trip ideas and inspiration at arkansas.com,” says Leah DiPietro, deputy chief of communications for the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “We also have a calendar of events that includes festivals and concerts going on in the state. Our 2022 Travel Guide is also available to read online, or you can order a print copy.” 

J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highlands Nature Center

This new, 61-acre complex in Springdale includes an outdoor 3-D archery range, a northern bobwhite education pavilion, walking and biking trails, a 25-acre native tallgrass prairie restoration project, native plant demonstration gardens and outdoor classrooms. A spur of the Razorback Regional Greenway passes through the nature center site. 

The Momentary

The Momentary, which opened in February 2020 in Bentonville, is a contemporary art space and satellite of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The museum is housed in a decommissioned, 63,000-square-foot cheese factory made into a space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals and artists-in-residence. General admission is free.

Dr. T.W. Hardison Visitor Center

A new visitor center at Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton has interpretive exhibits and is named for the man whose efforts helped create not only this state park but the entire Arkansas state park system. 

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock is hosting through July 1, And the Beat Don’t Stop: 50 Years of Hip-Hop, a traveling exhibit from the National Hip-Hop Museum. 

Old State House Museum

Ask anyone over 40 in central Arkansas to tell you their Barton story and you’ll likely get a flood of concert, rodeo, sports and state fair memories. The exhibit Play It Loud: Concerts at Barton Coliseum is a nostalgic look back at concerts at this historic Little Rock site from the 1950s to today.


National World War I Museum and Memorial 

In 1921, more than 100,000 people gathered to see the supreme Allied commanders dedicate the site of the Liberty Memorial, which proved to be a dynamic addition to Kansas City’s cultural offerings. Over time, the structure deteriorated, and it was closed in 1994. More than $102 million was raised for the restoration, and in 2004 it was designated by Congress as the nation’s official World War I museum. The National WWI Museum and Memorial opened in 2006 to national acclaim. The newest exhibition is entitled Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Founded in 1859, the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Gardens is the nation’s oldest in continuous operation and an oasis in the city of St. Louis. Explore the Japanese strolling garden, children’s garden and the Climatron Geodesic Dome Conservatory, housing more than 1,400 species of tropical plants. In separate locations are a butterfly house and a 2,400-acre nature reserve.

Saint Louis Zoo

Recognized worldwide for its innovative approaches to animal care and management, wildlife conservation, research and education, it’s one of the few free zoos in the nation. Online reservations are required and parking is $15. 


You can pack a lot of fun into a Branson day trip. Save time with shows that come with a meal, such as Dolly Parton’s Stampede or a murder mystery dinner show. Visitors receive a boarding pass bearing the name of an actual passenger when they enter the Titanic Museum, a replica of the RMS Titanic. After viewing more than 400 artifacts and dipping their fingers into 28-degree water, visitors learn the fate of their passengers in the Titanic Memorial Room. Musical shows at Branson’s renowned theaters range from country to gospel to Broadway to rock and roll. Thrill-seekers will find ziplines, an extreme Ziprider experience and a runaway mountain coaster track that’s nearly a mile long.