View Full Version : Names from the Past

08-09-2006, 01:41 PM
Hello everyone. I lived in OKC (& Yukon) from 1990-93 while attending OCU law school. I've lived in St. Louis ever since and am making my first return trip (11/2-5/06) in 12 years. I'm meeting up with one of my fellow alums who also has been out of the area for just as long. We're looking forward to revisiting some of our favorite hangouts like The Metro, Bunny's Onion Fried Burgers and the original Varsity on 63rd. Searching the web for some of our other favorites has revealed that Portobello is now called Deep Fork Grill and the Split T is now a Sonic. R.I.P. to both of those demised establishments.

For those who know, I'm curious about the existence or demise of a few other places I was unable to locate on the web and hopefully some of you can share what you know. Here's a few of the places I remember fondly:

Doc's - This place was right across the street from Pearl's Oyster Bar on Western. They had great burgers and it was the only place I knew of in OKC proper where you could get a Denco Darlin' (which they naturally called a Doc's Darlin'). They also featured Okarchee fried chicken on Sundays. My law school cohorts and I spent quite a few lunch hours on their patio.

Pumps - I believe this was just up the street on Western and situated relatively close to Flip's Wine Bar & Trattoria. They had really good sandwiches and I was a big fan of the gas station decor.

Jim's Restaurant - This 60's era diner-style restaurant (it was a bit bigger than a traditional diner) was located at 39th and Rockwell and was the last bastion for a home cooked meal until you hit Yukon. Great breakfasts served round the clock.

Yippee Yi Yo Cafe - It's my understanding they uprooted from their great little building on Western (a group of us would have evening coffee and cigars on the front porch) and moved into Kamp's Grocery. The owner at the time was named Carrie. She was really great - the place was just getting going during my last year of law school so she was really eager to develop a regular clientele even if we were a group of transient, semi-obnoxious lawyers to be.

Any information about any of these places would be appreciated. Thanks to anyone who can shed some light on whether any of these places are still around and/or what may have happened to them. Cheers!

08-09-2006, 03:02 PM
let's see...

doc's is now irma's burger shack, one of the best places in okc to get a burger, imo.

the building that housed pumps is vacant, i do believe.

as for the other two, i can't say one way or the other... never frequented either. hope that helps at least a little!

i've gotta say that split-t knocked down and turned into a sonic was a travesty.


08-09-2006, 03:07 PM
Jim's Restaurant is still there and it's still fairly good, although not quite as good as it used to be. It sounds like you hung around the Western Avenue district a lot. You will notice huge improvements and changes in that area when you come. Chesapeake Energy has exploded and is constantly expanding their campus. Western Ave. District has also moved further South with a bunch of new local hangouts, Sushi Neko, Musashi's, Will's, VZD's, and CafeNova (from John Paul Merrit of the Bachlorette). Perhaps you should visit a lot of new sites in addition to your past favorite hangouts. OKC has changed DRAMATICALLY, since you have been here last. Make sure you all visit the National Memorial downtown as well as the Art Museum and perhaps Bricktown and other downtown districts. A must stop is in MidTown as well. Make sure to see the Court Plaza building and stop across the street at the newly reopened Grateful Bean cafe in the Kaisers building.

08-09-2006, 03:12 PM
ahhh....the Split T...only the greatest Thursday night hangout in the history of OKC : )

Never seen so many good looking ladies jammed into one place...great times there about the same time period as you Y

08-09-2006, 03:57 PM
Oh, the good old days!

Looks like you have the majority of the scoop from the others.

I can update you on Kari and the Yippee Yi Yo. Kari is doing great and is a new mom too! Sadly the cafe is no more but Kari is very busy working on her BIG project and her big dream The Yippee Yi Yo Show, a children's show she is producing a pilot for possible syndication.

She screened it a couple of months ago at the Museum for investors and a bunch of kids. Got great feedback. They are tweaking with an original song by the Flaming Lips and some really cool animation. They hope to sell it internationally.

08-11-2006, 11:14 AM
Jim's Restaurant - This 60's era diner-style restaurant (it was a bit bigger than a traditional diner) was located at 39th and Rockwell and was the last bastion for a home cooked meal until you hit Yukon. Great breakfasts served round the clock.

Could this be the same Jim's that is located at 39th & Council,, If so I believe it now closes at 10pm

08-11-2006, 01:19 PM
Could this be the same Jim's that is located at 39th & Council,, If so I believe it now closes at 10pm
39th and Council, yes. I believe I said 39th and Rockwell before, but it was indeed 39th and Council.

Thanks to everyone for all of the updates and feedback. I am certainly looking forward to revisiting the remaining "old friends" and just as anxious to see what's new. It's great to hear about all of the revitalization that's been going on in OKC over the last several years. I know that many of the seeds were sown during my three years down there but things really seem to have come to fruition as of late. I certainly hope that either the Hornets or Sonics decide to make OKC a permanent home as it is indeed a major league caliber city.

08-11-2006, 01:48 PM

I too went to OCU, just three years behind you...thought you might want an update on a few others..... the Painted Desert is no more, it is now Iron Starr Urban BBQ and is really quite good.

The Cock o the Walk is still alive and well, they even recently got their liquor license and serve drinks in addition to beer.

Edna's is still open and she still dances on the bar to "Great Ball's of Fire."

We, too, mourned the loss of the Split T....somehow a Sonic Burger just doesn't do it!

08-11-2006, 02:56 PM
I wasn't a big Painted Desert fan - I was a Cocina De Mino partisan - but I do have one great memory from there. After a Board of Governors meeting (I was secretary in 1992-93) dean Robert Henry (now a federal judge I believe) invited me and the editor of the law review to have drinks with him over there and to discuss various law school matters. That was a very cool experience.

Beleive it or not, I never set foot in Cock of the Walk. My group usually settled at nearby VZD's. Edna's was a fairly frequent OCULS hangout until one of our cohorts got the holy hell beat out of him one night. Edna, despite witnessing the melee, told the police she didn't see anything (an outright lie) and we boycotted her establishment thereafter.

I still have a hard time believing nobody kept the Split T alive. I remember many a winter afternoon lunching on Split T Chili and fries with hickory sauce. The heartburn kept me awake during Banking Law.

08-15-2006, 01:48 PM
The lost of the Split T is an absolute crime. Why is OKC so horrible about preserving it's past?

It sickens me to drive by the old location and see a Sonic.

08-15-2006, 04:46 PM
Actually it's the Split-T Sonic! Just in name only though right? Not the quality of food.

08-15-2006, 06:25 PM
I see that as no more than a sad attempt to capiltalize on a name after completely bulldozing the history itself.

08-24-2006, 11:48 AM
Pumps was Tapwerks before it closed. Downtown Tapwerks still open.

08-26-2006, 03:22 PM
I agree...Split T Sonic just isn't right

09-12-2006, 09:44 AM
One more question for you all - back in 1993 there was a location of Cocina De Mino downtown within walking distance of the Myriad. I'm getting conflicting info from the various electronic phone directories regarding its continued existence. Is it still around? That was our traditional pre-Blazer game dining spot.

09-12-2006, 09:52 AM
That particular cocina de mino has been closed for years...Used to go there myself

09-12-2006, 09:52 AM
i can think of a place called 'taco casa' (i think) that is (was?) housed just north of the myriad. there is a restaurant called 'la luna' that is within walking distance. i believe that it is somehow related to la roca rather than cocina de mino, though i may be wrong on that.

i honestly don't remember a downtown cocina de mino... -M

09-12-2006, 09:53 AM
so where was it? like i say, i don't remember it... -M

09-12-2006, 10:25 AM
I may be way off, but I am picturing it in the now Devon building...probably 8 or 9 years ago...I know it was just across from the Chase (Bank One) tower

09-12-2006, 10:33 AM
That'd be it. Dang. Sorry to hear it's gone.

10-17-2006, 03:50 PM
Moving from the restaurant scene to the supermarket one, I was on Google Earth the other day and noticed that the parking lot for the Consumer's IGA at NW Expressway and Rockwell looked suspiciously empty. When I was living in the area that was one of the better supermarkets around - without question the nicest one on the Expressway. Did Consumer's go bust? They had also just opened a really nice new store (1992 I believe) on N. May. Are those spaces really empty, and if so, have other, better markets opened in the vicinity to replace the ones that were there? It just struck me as odd that such a nice store would close and not be replaced by someone else eager to recapture that clientele.

10-17-2006, 04:40 PM
All IGA's have folded. They were a franchise owned by Fleming Foods. I think that corner is where Petco is now. Please correct me if I am mistaken about the corner.

11-10-2006, 01:43 PM
Yes, Mr. Anderson, you are correct about the western section of the old Consumers being turned into a Petco. It appears the store was subdivided with the eastern section becoming an Aldi Discount Grocery.

One of the things that really distinguished OKC for me during the three years I lived there was the abundance of really good independent restaurants. It certainly appears that things haven't changed in that respect. While Doc's is in fact now Irma's (and I regret not getting to eat there before I had to leave town), Portobello is now Deep Fork Grill and the Split T is now a strip center (Sonic is actually in the Split T's old parking lot), it was very nice to see some old friends still in place and just as good as my memory recalls. The Metro is still a fantastic restaurant serving delicious food and wonderful atmosphere. The Varsity is still the "house of big food" (as we used to call it) and a great place to go on game night - we went Saturday evening when both OU and OSU were on the tube; the 90 minute wait for a table was worth every minute thanks to the still great vittles being served up. Not only is Jim's Restaurant still going strong at 39th and Council but the same "Duce's Wild" (yes, that's how the $2.22 breakfast special is spelled) sign was still painted on the front window! And it was a truly nostalgic and incredibly appetizing experience to enter Penn Square Mall's eastern entrance (by Dillard's) and be welcomed by the aroma of wood smoke coming from Pepperoni Grill's ovens. Some things haven't changed at all over time. We also made time to start one day at Classen Grill (the food's still great but the service has definitely dropped more than a tick) and one day at Beverly's Pancake Corner (ditto). The only truly "new" place that we tried was Tapwerks in Bricktown. I've got to say that the beer selection was impressive and the food was dreadful. Next time through I will certainly plan on venturing out into some of OKC's more recent dining offerings. This particular trip was more about reconnecting with the places from my past and now that I've managed to bridge that 12 year gap I'm certainly looking forward to more of what eating in OKC in the present day is all about.