View Full Version : Historic Boulevard Cafetaria closing???

12-08-2004, 10:58 PM
After all these years, could the historic Boulevard Cafetaria be closing as a result of the construction at NW 10th and Walker? The Greatful Bean Cafe has already bit the dust. Hopefulyl construction will be completed soon so we won't lose another downtown landmark.

"Landmark eatery struggles to stay open

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman

A second landmark MidTown eatery is struggling to stay open as construction continues at NW 10 and Walker Avenue.
Boulevard Cafeteria opened in 1948 and has been operated by the Schroer family at NW 11 and Dewey Avenue since 1956.

The main downtown connections to the cafeteria, NW 10 and Walker Avenue, were closed two months ago when Oklahoma City started building a "roundabout" at the five-pronged intersection.

The construction was blamed for the closure of the Grateful Bean Cafe in the historic Kaiser's Ice Cream building in October. Now Malin Schroer, owner of the Boulevard Cafeteria, is worrying about her eatery's survival.

Business was already off before construction began, Schroer said. She blames the closing of NW 10 and Walker for a 20 percent drop in business in the fall, saying many downtown workers are choosing other places to grab lunch.

"I remember before the oil bust, we used to have a line that wrapped outside the building," Schroer said. "Now we're lucky if the line goes to the door."

Despite the slowdown, Schroer said she can't easily cut the cafeteria work force of 43 people.

"For a lot of years, we've paid salaries and existed, which is fine," Schroer said. "But now it's very hard for us to cut back. We still have to have someone to make pies every day, even if we're selling 45 instead of 50."

Schroer said she wasn't informed about the construction schedule and wishes city officials had posted detour signs for area businesses.

Harold Skidmore, contract administrator for the city's public works division, said such signs aren't usually produced on road projects. He said recent rainy weather is delaying completion, which was scheduled for Dec. 21.

Skidmore said limited east-west access on NW 10 will be open by Christmas. He estimated north-south access on Walker Avenue will be open by mid-January.

Schroer said she hopes the cafeteria, with its old-fashioned homemade items, will be part of what she thinks will be a renaissance for MidTown. She said she's seen customers who made their first visits as children coming back now as adults with their own kids.

She also hopes her son, Harrison, 20, will have the opportunity to continue the operation -- stretching the family's ownership over five generations.

"We have some good things happening now that didn't seem to be happening before," Schroer said. "And I think it's wonderful what they're doing here -- it's very exciting. But I think it's important that we stay -- we're an institution."

12-08-2004, 11:14 PM
Thats the worst thing that cna happen is to destroy another downtown landmark and in Tulsa so much has been destroyed also. I really didn't like the descion made by Tulsa World to demolish the Skelly building which they have started.

Hows the food at Boulevard Cafetaria? They should move like the Denver Grill which moved to a hotel. Maybe they could open a Bricktown Location.

12-08-2004, 11:25 PM
Oh, the Boulevard Cafetaria isn't being destroyed. It's just that intersection has been closed for construction for quite awhile now, many of the business are starting to suffer.
Even if Boulevard Cafetaria closed, the building would most likely still remain.

I haven't eaten at Boulavard Cafetaria in years. I suppose I need to head on down there and support them sometime soon!

It is a shame that the Tulsa World is gonig through with its decision to tear down the old Skelley Building. Tulsa will regret this decision someday.

12-08-2004, 11:33 PM
Must of Miss read. That sucks because the same thing happened in Tulsa, at Main St in Downtown , where they removed everything to open the area back up, so they are putting in a road with a fountain in the middle. There used to be barlet Square and pedistrian mall.
In the buildings at retail level, there are restraunts, which many closed because downtown workers didn't won't to walk throw area. There still working on it and it was supposed to be done in October.

Ya, Tulsa World is knocking it down to place a parking Lot for there customers. The City should get involved and save all these Art Deco buildings from being Knocked Down.

12-08-2004, 11:39 PM
I will say....the guys at the Tulsa Now forum did fight hard to save the Skelley Building. It's a shame that no one listened.

El Gato Pollo Loco!!!
12-09-2004, 12:26 AM
That sucks that the Greatful Bean closed. They had a great atmosphere and the best Cherry Chocolate Coke....bummer :(

12-09-2004, 07:52 AM
I'll bet the Bean is reopened under different management. Just a hunch.

The Boulevard though.. that place is an institution! I've eaten there I don't know how many times. Good home-cooked, fat-laden food.

12-09-2004, 09:53 AM
Um, don't beleive too much of the hype, during the construction on the main mall ONE resturant closed. Ike's chili house closed, it had only been open a couple of months and the food was awful. Nelson's closed, but they were on Boston. There's a sign in the window now that they are reopening soon.

12-12-2004, 10:58 PM
There is a ray of hope...the owner of the Greatful Bean said he'd consider re-opening once construction is complete. Problem is he was losing money running the restaurant with so little business due to the construction.