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Author Topic: Bartlesville - That town to the north.  (Read 49165 times)
swake
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« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2015, 07:33:05 pm »

So, it has been a while I know, but life doesn't really care about my plans...so...one job and one more child later things are finally "cooling down". I say this as I am about to have another little Eric here in two weeks. Technically it will be little Nathen, but who cares about details right?

Any who, since my last post here was before tax season 2013, quit a bit has happened in our little slice of heaven. Considering the length of time since the last update, I am going to post a couple of updates. The first update will be restaurant activity.

Taj the Flavor - December 2012 - CLOSED October 2013
Taj started as a pop-up, then opened a permanent spot @ 322 S. Johnstone. It later added Starbucks coffee in the lobby (across from COP office building), and then closed in ten months (October 2013). The store front (formerly Aroma’s Italian) is still vacant to this day.

Top N' Dog - February 2013 - Sort of Closed sometime in 2013
Top n’ Dog was opened right next to the owners other shop Cup n’ Cake in the Professional Building on Keeler Avenue. This was a build your own custom hot dog shop. I don’t know the exact timeline, but at some point, operations were closed and were merged with Cup n’ Cake. As far as I know the store front is still vacant.

Indian Coffee Company - July 2013 - Sort of Closed in January 2015
In the former Sweet Lou's space, Indian Coffee Company opened with a breakfast and lunch menu in addition to the extensive caffeinated beverage menu. Mark Spencer, a local business man is the brains behind the operation. His other previous business downtown was Spencer Management, a property management firm, and he has since opened The Painted Horse Bar & Grille & Bit Brilliant, a media/marketing firm. Well received and consistently ranked as one of the favorite restaurants in town by local polls, in addition to Trip Advisor & Yelp. However, after a major property auction in town, Spencer was outbid by another local for their current location. While Indian Coffee was not forced out, the owner made it clear before the sale that the only way he felt this business could stay in business was to own the building.  Since opening Indian Coffee, Spencer also acquired the 2 Sisters restaurant next door to Indian Coffee, converted it to The Painted Horse, and has merged the two under one roof.

Taco Village - July 2013 - CLOSED November 2014
Taco Village opened again under new ownership at the same location at 609 W. Frank Phillips, across from the Schlumberger plant. I’m not really sure of the reason, but 16 monthly later the restaurant has closed again.

The Painted Horse Pub & Grille - November 2013
As mentioned above, 2 Sisters Pub underwent a re-branding into The Painted Horse Bar & Grille under the new ownership of Mark Spencer. In my opinion this was certainly an improvement as 2 Sisters had been faltering pretty significantly. The menu was also greatly improved. As mentioned above, the Indian Coffee Company menu/brand has been absorbed under its roof as well recently.

Hideaway Pizza - May 2014
Probably the most ballyhooed restaurant opening in Bartlesville since I moved here originally in 2006. Hideaway Pizza opened in the historic, recently renovated, Johnstone-Sare building. This was quit a “catch” for Bartlesville in that it was a major local brand and first franchised Hideaway outside of the two major metro areas in Oklahoma. And second, it became the anchor tenant in an incredibly important building in downtown Bartlesville at one of the most visible intersections downtown. I really could not have foreseen a better tenant (that Bartlesville would have actually been able to get) for that particular location. Hideaway seems to be doing quite well to so far, and is consistently ranked as the favorite restaurant in town. Sadly, Clyde Sare, the civic leader who saved the building after two major fires, recently passed away. He will be greatly missed in the community.

Two restaurants that are soon to open (soon being a relative term, however they are both in process of construction/design)

Heartland Roasters
A local coffee company, that has previously sold only raw product (beans), is opening up a storefront in the historic Brilliant Bronze Station. It will be caddy corner from the Rogers State University Building at 4th & Dewey. This seems to have been in the works for at least a year and a half. However, in their defense, the building needed a lot of work, being vacant for years.

Sonic
Not as exciting and hotly contested, Sonic will be opening a drive in at Adams & Keeler. South of Adams is considerably more residential in nature, so it was met with significant resistance from neighbors including St. John’s Catholic school which is just down the street from this site. Sonic has earlier attempted to construct a drive in at the site of the former Oakley dealership at Frank Phillips & Cherokee. That also met heavy resistance and was shut down. That site would have involved the demolition of a building that until recently had served as an auto dealership for nearly 100 years, while this site was vacant land in an area that was unlikely to be developed any time soon.

As you can tell, 2013 was a busy year...2014, not so much. I imagine a significant reason for the reduction in activity likely has to do with the uncertainty in the economy. Since the split of ConocoPhillips & Phillips 66 into two separate companies, there has been a significant amount of uncertainty in the community as to the commitment either firm is willing to make to the community in the long term. It seemed much more positive looking before the split.

So long for now. Next up retail in the downtown area.

My son had a basketball game in B'ville a few weeks ago and we ate at the Painted Horse after the game and it was really good. We are going back tomorrow for a tournament and will likely eat there again.
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erfalf
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« Reply #106 on: February 20, 2015, 07:53:49 pm »

Thanks for the update.  Bartlesville is a nice little city and one would like to see it grow and prosper but you really wonder what they can do to diversify their economy to get things moving. Phillips will not be there forever and I hope the city leaders realize that.

Bartlesville has made quit a change since it's Phillips Petroleum days. Once Boone Pickens came in that was all the warning they needed. The economy is far more diverse than it was in the early 80's, although those days are still taking a toll on the town. The population of Bartlesville has remained essentially unchanged since the 80's layoffs. It took nearly a decade to recover. Recently there have been major expansions of high tech jobs at ABB & the addition of the Walmart Distribution Center as well as several other manufacturing businesses. Where Phillips used to employ 50% of the working population, it is now somewhere around 15%.

Recently, a study was conducted to determine why people were not selecting Bartlesville to reside, especially when the city has been adding several thousand jobs over the last decade, is consistently named in good places to live reports, and has top notch schools. Instead many are deciding to commute from the Tulsa metro. Specifically Owasso, Skiatook, Collisville and even Tulsa proper. The study found that one of the main reasons was that people believed that the school system was sub par. This caught me off guard considering Bartlesville is almost always ranked at the top of large school in terms of academic performance. However, when you dig deeper, those polled said this because our athletic facilities (read football field) is quite sad looking. The perception is that if the district won't spend money on that facility, they won't spend money in the classrooms. I guess we need a new football stadium. Honestly, even I agree that it is pretty depressing.
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erfalf
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« Reply #107 on: February 20, 2015, 07:57:17 pm »

My son had a basketball game in B'ville a few weeks ago and we ate at the Painted Horse after the game and it was really good. We are going back tomorrow for a tournament and will likely eat there again.

Can't say you are making a bad choice. However, if you haven't been to Frank & Lola's I would highly suggest it (closed on Sunday). Easily my wife & I's favorite restaurant in town. Calamari is off the hook, and the "Johnny" burger is so good.

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Conan71
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« Reply #108 on: February 21, 2015, 12:28:51 am »

I’m hearing Murphy’s steak house is on its last leg.  Any truth to that?
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« Reply #109 on: February 21, 2015, 08:06:43 am »

Bartlesville has made quit a change since it's Phillips Petroleum days. Once Boone Pickens came in that was all the warning they needed. The economy is far more diverse than it was in the early 80's, although those days are still taking a toll on the town. The population of Bartlesville has remained essentially unchanged since the 80's layoffs. It took nearly a decade to recover. Recently there have been major expansions of high tech jobs at ABB & the addition of the Walmart Distribution Center as well as several other manufacturing businesses. Where Phillips used to employ 50% of the working population, it is now somewhere around 15%.

Recently, a study was conducted to determine why people were not selecting Bartlesville to reside, especially when the city has been adding several thousand jobs over the last decade, is consistently named in good places to live reports, and has top notch schools. Instead many are deciding to commute from the Tulsa metro. Specifically Owasso, Skiatook, Collisville and even Tulsa proper. The study found that one of the main reasons was that people believed that the school system was sub par. This caught me off guard considering Bartlesville is almost always ranked at the top of large school in terms of academic performance. However, when you dig deeper, those polled said this because our athletic facilities (read football field) is quite sad looking. The perception is that if the district won't spend money on that facility, they won't spend money in the classrooms. I guess we need a new football stadium. Honestly, even I agree that it is pretty depressing.

Probably a "visual perception" thing.  They drive by and see an old football field and facilities then make an assumption.  Which is kind of stupid really. A good parent would simply look online at the scores and rankings to start with and ask around from there.  And I actually doubt that that is truly the problem.  I know people who take their kids to other school districts which are much smaller and have less facilities than Bartlesville because of the school actually being a better school.  Sometimes people will just grab onto whatever, and when you "fix" that, they still have another reason.
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« Reply #110 on: February 21, 2015, 08:07:30 am »

I’m hearing Murphy’s steak house is on its last leg.  Any truth to that?

If it is it would be from mis-management.  It was pretty full last time I was there (about three weeks ago).  And that was during off-peak (2pm).
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« Reply #111 on: February 22, 2015, 09:23:15 pm »

Probably a "visual perception" thing.  They drive by and see an old football field and facilities then make an assumption.  Which is kind of stupid really. A good parent would simply look online at the scores and rankings to start with and ask around from there.  And I actually doubt that that is truly the problem.  I know people who take their kids to other school districts which are much smaller and have less facilities than Bartlesville because of the school actually being a better school.  Sometimes people will just grab onto whatever, and when you "fix" that, they still have another reason.

"I actually doubt that that is truly the problem."    Almost certainly true.  I've been in sales (in some way) most of my career, and years ago I took a Dale Carnegie training class.  While I don't remember much of it, the one thing I do remember is "the real reason is the third thing they say".  If someone is stalling or hedging, they often either (a) don't want to tell you the real reason or (b) maybe they aren't even consciously aware of it.  It's almost never the first answer they give, but keep asking and third or fourth thing that comes out is the real sticking point.  It's weird, but it works.
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erfalf
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« Reply #112 on: February 23, 2015, 11:54:39 am »

"I actually doubt that that is truly the problem."    Almost certainly true.  I've been in sales (in some way) most of my career, and years ago I took a Dale Carnegie training class.  While I don't remember much of it, the one thing I do remember is "the real reason is the third thing they say".  If someone is stalling or hedging, they often either (a) don't want to tell you the real reason or (b) maybe they aren't even consciously aware of it.  It's almost never the first answer they give, but keep asking and third or fourth thing that comes out is the real sticking point.  It's weird, but it works.

I agree. Even goofier is the fact that some of our facilities are top notch in the state, although some suffer from the problem that they are not on campus.

Softball
Tennis

The Good:
* Bruin Field House (Basketball/Volleyball/Westling) - While it is not the UMac, it is arguably the second best high school stadium (tied with Skiatook).

* Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium (Baseball) - Fantastic facility, but most may not make the connection to the public school.

* Phillips 66 Aquatic Center - Great facility, also may not make the connection as it is corporate owned.

Hillcrest Country Club (Golf) - Also privately owned, which in this case is on par with many golf teams I assume.
Bruin Activity Center (All Sports) - We also have this going for us. Quit nice. Can't imagine everyone has one of these.


The Not so Good
Custer Stadium (Football/Soccer/Track) - The most visible sports facility in the district is sadly one of the most worn looking.

Sooner Park Tennis Courts (Tennis) - Leaves a bit to be desired, although I can't say that I know too much about our piers facilities.
Softball Fields - I can't find a picture. But they are located at a middle school across town. Would have never known they played there had someone not informed me.

Sometimes perception is reality, but in this case, it is most definitely not. It is unfortunate.

Here is a link to a Tulsa World article. Makes it sound like a Target is nearly a done deal. Hard to believe in my opinion. Although some of the places like Olive Garden would make a killing. I mean, Chili's is packed every day of the week and for what... sub-par burgers and skimpy booze.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/retail/bartlesville-seeks-to-keep-workers-in-town-as-residents/article_1d01a693-e0ef-5826-a9aa-ea819ffb0d22.html
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« Reply #113 on: February 23, 2015, 02:25:38 pm »

Sometimes people will just grab onto whatever, and when you "fix" that, they still have another reason.

Yup. People love to dog on Bartlesville. It's just a bit too far outside of any metro to be a cool suburb like BA or Owasso, so everyone who hasn't been there thinks it's just another OK cow town.

I grew up there and couldn't be happier with my experiences there. The old oil wealth still really shines through with great amenities such as the giant community center, price tower, and the neat art deco high school. It's not too far away or too close to any big city, and the size of the town is just perfect for me. If I ever settle down a have a family it will be at the top of my list to move to.

I can kind of understand a less than impressed reaction to the high school football stadium. I don't know how much its been fixed up in 6 years, but the top level with the bathrooms was completely derelict when I was there. I heard they built a new locker room and fixed some of the seating/roof though. It's still a decent stadium, I wouldn't expect more from a typical high school.

The old gymnasium at the high school is another issue. Most of the building is unusable due to fire code/egress issues. I'm pretty sure it was a big WPA project or similar and it used a ton of concrete. Parts of it are practically like a bomb shelter, making it expensive to remove or renovate, so it just sits there taking up a massive space in the middle of campus.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 02:31:07 pm by shavethewhales » Logged
davideinstein
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« Reply #114 on: February 23, 2015, 07:11:36 pm »

Bartlesville is a good town. One of the stores I operate is there. It's small, but still well refined.
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« Reply #115 on: May 14, 2015, 12:45:00 pm »

Not to steal Erfalf's thunder here, but there are a couple of noteworthy additions to downtown Bartlesville that have emerged in the last month or so.

Shortie's Grille, formally a popular food truck in town, has opened up a brick and mortar location in the former Indian Coffee building next door to the Painted Horse.

The Extra Pint is going to try to give the old Hotel Phillips (now Johnstone Apartments) a go. If I recall, once they turned the hotel into apartments the Grill 66 was brought back but didn't go over too well.

Samantha's at 601 E 4th St has been open for a few months now but I think it's a great addition to downtown. They are always packed to the brim for lunch.
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« Reply #116 on: August 04, 2015, 09:04:25 am »

Quote from: Tulsa World
Downtown Bartlesville undergoes changes in 2015

Downtown Bartlesville leaders have developed a proven formula for success over the past five years, but they have decided to alter the recipe slightly for 2015.

The Bartlesville City Council gave its approval this week to a resolution of support for the Main Street Bartlesville program, which is continuing its mission of revitalizing the central business district, but is taking on a more independent role locally.

“They have made great progress,” Councilor Ted Lockin said. “It’s been wonderful.”

Mark Haskell, Main Street Bartlesville chairman, speaking to the council Monday said business and volunteers have worked together to provide “significant progress” in the five years since the kickoff of the program, which formerly was known as Downtown Bartlesville, Inc.

There have been 228 jobs created downtown, 18,000 volunteer hours dedicated, 52 net businesses created, 33 buildings sold, 33 building facades rehabilitated and 56 other building projects in which structures were renovated or constructed in those five years.

“Most of all it really comes down to people — the individuals that are willing to take a risk and open a business or move it downtown or buy a building and renovate it,” Haskell said.
“We are really blessed with a lot of people willing to do that.”

Bartlesville’s nonprofit Main Street program and the city’s downtown division — Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority — previously shared a paid director in Chris Wilson who was overseeing tasks for both agencies.

However, Haskell explained local stakeholders in the Main Street program decided it would be better for the nonprofit group to exist independently of the city agency.
From the public’s standpoint, much of the day-to-day activity will remain the same, but there will be more faces out in front, he said.

The trust authority in June voted to continue its contract with Wilson in the executive director’s role overseeing the city work, which involves approving grants of tax increment district funds for both commercial and residential projects in the downtown district.

Meanwhile, Main Street Bartlesville is eliminating paid staff for six months and will operate with volunteer leadership that will continue local activities and work with the state program to define what type of staff is needed here and how to pay for the cost, Haskell said.

The new office for the program is 312 Johnstone Ave. A temporary board is overseeing the group and an annual business meeting is set Aug. 25, Haskell said.
Despite the changes, the workload has remained consistent for both groups.

The Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority has a full agenda for its meeting Wednesday, including a fiscal year 2016 budget and several requests for funding for various property improvements.

Main Street Bartlesville meanwhile is fresh off of helping to host the State Historic Preservation Conference, which brought 300 attendees to town, as well as the summer tourism season, which included many more guests for OK Mozart music festival in June.

The organization’s committees are hard at work now planning the big Bruins Tailgate Rally to be held Sept. 10.

Next up will be the popular Ghost Walk tours and Christmas Holidays in the Ville promotions.

“It’s a good group of people,” Councilor Dale Copeland said. “Look for great things to come out of it.”

http://www.tulsaworld.com/communities/bartlesville/downtown-bartlesville-undergoes-changes-in/article_dcadc573-8f8b-5884-a087-495248515b56.html
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erfalf
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« Reply #117 on: January 12, 2016, 09:43:37 am »

Been a while, but there are actually good things happening in Bartlesville.

First the not so good. With the shake up between ConocoPhillips & Phillips 66 came a large number of lay offs by ConocoPhillips in particular. This has been extremely trying for many of the retail shops downtown. The shop in my building is closing down soon (although i believe it to be more for personal reasons). I have yet to hear of any other closings yet. Hopefully they can all weather the storm. It seems Phillips 66 is still doing well, and is maintaining its workforce here in Bartlesville, although that seems to be a point of concern in the future as they are nearing completion on a rather ambitious and expensive new headquarters in Houston that is much larger than there current space. We will see.

As Tyler mentioned there are some new restaurant choices downtown. Shortie’s is good (although never that busy). Their street tacos and elote are awesome. I have not been to Samantha’s (even though I work a block away) but have heard it is good, but fancy. And apparently Extra Pint closed in August. That was a good run. That has got to be the worst location for a restaurant. No one is ever going to notice a restaurant there.
Enough shops have opened downtown that it has spawned the “Boutique District”. Apparently that is just another name for Frank Phillips Blvd. But place making none the less apparently.

Elsewhere:

Omega Chocolates – Opened in September in the Johnstone-Sare building next to Hideaway Pizza. Haven’t been yet, but I hear good things.

Zat’s Boutique – moved downtown to the ITIO building. This seems to be a trend lately. Shops will move downtown (almost always to the ITIO first) increase the customer base and then move in to a more permanent larger location downtown. Curbside Closet & Lubella’s Boutique are recent examples.

Sweet P’s Too – has extended into the building next door to carry consignment (not cheap) furniture. It is a very nice space and just enhances the store overall. Very nice addition.

Kid’s Corner – spawned from the owners of One Good Turn that has been in the ITIO building for quit a while. Only true toy store in town. A huge selection of Melissa and Doug toys.

The Club Teen Center (Boys & Girls Club) has now occupied the former Oakley dealership building at the corner of Frank Phillips & Cherokee. With help from Sutterfield Financial who I believe recently purchased the building from the out of state developers who sat on it for years.

And most significantly, the derelict properties on 2nd street are finally getting a new life, thanks to Tulsa developer Ross Group. This is a pretty big deal in my opinion as Ross Group appears to have a high level of credibility and resources. They could have (and do) developed elsewhere, but chose the development. It will be called the W.D. Noble lofts. It will include store fronts and 11 loft-style apartments.





« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 09:46:29 am by erfalf » Logged

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« Reply #118 on: February 24, 2016, 02:13:42 pm »

The Great American Conference (DII) basketball tournament is coming to Bville next week.
It's March 3rd through the 6th at the Bruin Field House on the high school campus.
Pretty cool event for basketball geeks like myself.
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erfalf
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« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2016, 06:40:02 am »

The Great American Conference (DII) basketball tournament is coming to Bville next week.
It's March 3rd through the 6th at the Bruin Field House on the high school campus.
Pretty cool event for basketball geeks like myself.

What kind of crowds do these games get? Just curious. Bartlesville has been able to snag this the last few years, so I figure there is a reason.

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