Thursday, January 30, 2014

All This Within a Mile?! - Walkable Eats and Drinks

We've now been without a car for four months, and good news; we're still alive! Today we're going to plug a few of our favorite local businesses, we'll list 3 restaurants and 3 bars. All of these are within 1 mile of where we live, giving us ample choices of how to spend our weekend evenings.


1. Thai Kitchen - Corner of Hudson and Dean A. McGee - 0.2 miles from our home

This hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant is less than a quarter mile away from our building, and it is very popular during lunch hour for people who work in the downtown area. We go here for dinner almost every weekend because we love Thai food, and this is about as good as it gets. Serving sizes are generous, the owners are very courteous, and two people can eat for well under $30!

2. S&B's Burger Joint - 9th Street off Broadway - 0.6 miles from our home

There are a couple of these around town, but the location at 9th and Broadway is the one we visit. This place has a wild assortment of delicious burgers and fry combinations, a massive selection of beer, and always has 80s music videos playing on one of the TVs. This place will run a couple about $30. Try the King burger with bacon and peanut butter! It's messy, but delicious.

3. Joey's Pizzaria - Corner of Sheridan and Lee - 0.8 miles from our home

Located on the burgeoning Film Row, this place has the best deal in town. No joke. A double-slice of pizza and a pint of beer for $5 during Thunder games. You've got to try the Bianca Neve pizza, and wash it down with a delicious Coop Native Amber.



One of the more subtle benefits of being without a car and able to walk to bars is the fact that we never have to worry about making accomdations for driving after having a drink. This may not seem like a big deal, or may make us sound like raging alcoholics (we're not! Honest!), but we don't have to temper our social evenings around transportation, nor do we even have the opportunity to put other people's lives at risk by being irresponsible drivers. Here are three of our favorites!

1. James E. McNellie's Public House - 10th & Classen - 0.5 miles from our home

McNellie's is pretty much the bar we've been waiting for our whole adult lives. The space is large and always bustling but rarely stifling. The beer selection is enormous and the quality of the beer they serve is top-notch - no warm beer or "two-finger heads" poured here. Located in Midtown at the round-about, we've made friends, and run into friends several times at the bar. This is THE place within our walkable area to hang out if you're in your late 20s to early 40s. 

2. Skinny Slim's Public House - E. Main St. - 0.9 miles from our home

Great atmosphere, great beer selection. Sorta small, but that adds to the charm. This bar is nestled between Deep Deuce and Bricktown, avoiding the touristy crowd, and never having a cover charge. The bartenders make excellent recommendations, and always do their best to make their customers comfortable and happy. One of the bartenders accidentally told me a beer I was interested in (Hercules Double IPA.. yum) was $6.00 and when it came up on the tab, it turned out to be $10.00. She charged me the $6.00 because it was her mistake, not mine. Now that's service, and she of course made up that difference in the tip I left her!

3. The Skirvin Hotel bar - End of Park St. on Broadway - 0.6 miles from our home

Want to have a classier evening? Head over to the historic Skirvin hotel and order a cocktail from the bar. The beer selection isn't the greatest in town, but the mellow atmosphere and attentive service staff are great. You can sit at the bar or in more intimate surroundings with beautiful furniture, watch a Thunder game, or if you're lucky, get to hear live piano playing. This is a great place to take a date if you're looking to have a calmer drink.


These are just a few of our favorites, but there are many more restaurants and a few more bars in walking distance. These types of locations are essential to a walkable community, and what's great is that none of them are corporate franchises; there are a lot of local businesses to spend your money on and keep it in the local economy. The "Keep it Local" card is accepted at many downtown, Midtown, Deep Deuce, and Bricktown locations -- a strong local economy makes for a strong city.


  1. Hey Carless, your blog continues to be great. You did talk about grocery shopping and the lack of large store right downtown. Yes, taxis or renting a car for a few hours can solve the problem for now, but that store is really needed. I wonder if you have had the time to learn about the efforts to get a large store in downtown? If you notice something around here that defies logical explanation, it probably invoves that forbidden duo, politics and religion. Some of the restaurant owners in Bricktown see a supermarket nearby as competition. Seriously. There have been rumors that the city is trying to lure a "trendy" urban chain like Trader Joe's to locate downtown. Some still think that OKC is still "untrendy". The main issue seems to be state laws that prohibit selling strong beer and wine in grocery stores. The barrier to changing that is the state legislature. Alcoholic beverage distributors and stores don't want to lose business to grocery stores, so they lobby against liberalizing the laws. Also, this state's religious conservatism frowns on alcohol period, so they lobby against any change. You should realize that there are still "dry" counties in Oklahoma. A few days ago I listened to a "telephone town hall" with 5th district US congressman James Lankford (now running for US Senate). While I am not a fan of his due to his tea party religious conservatism, he actually did mention that he favors the growth of urban living in Oklahoma, and that he was aware of the "grocery store" issue. I did speak with a member of his staff, and mention the importance of "livabilty" as an issue in Oklahoma, especially to young people. I mentioned your blog to them, so if you get comments, you can blame me. Since you are into urban living, could you mention living costs in your blog? I assume you live in an apartment or condo downtown. What are rents and utilities like down there?

    1. Hey Mark! A grocery store in the downtown area would be great. I saw a news article about a study that said it would make sense, but they were talking about placing a store at 23rd and Robinson.. which isn't downtown at all.

      We did a post recently about the average amount of money a household in OKC spends on housing and transportation, which is around 52% of their income, and for us it is only 19%, primarily because we don't have a car. Our rent is $906 per month ($946 with the cats), and utilities comes out to less than $100 living in our building. And that's only because we pay 50 for internet; the rest of the utilities are a flat $25 per month, which is outrageously cheap.