Cy Mills had been a wine steward at Flint in the Colcord Hotel but had relocated to Boulder, Colorado before deciding to return home to OKC.
Mills will bring not only a European-style bakery but a cafe and market to the location where Prairie Thunder closed its doors last November, in Midtown's Plaza Court building across from St. Anthony Hospital.
Most the equipment remains and Morris is bringing in a German baker to run the operation.
In addition to the baked goods, Esca Vitae will feature cheeses, cured meats and coffee as well as some prepared items.
Mills told OKCTalk, "We are very much in pursuit of the quality of great bakeries of Germania. We have been inspired by the product they make and what we can bring to OKC. But there is also an amazing array of other tasty goods from all over Europe that we will feature as homage to our heritage and education of the old world. Meats from Italy and Spain, with cheeses from France, beers from Belgium and everything in-between. The experience at Esca Vitae should be a vacation to Europe every time you come in to our little shop. And one should walk away with some knowledge they had not previously had before."
Renovation work is well underway and Mills hopes to open on March 1st.
Hours will be 6AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday.