Crimson, cream adds up to shades of green — dollars that is
By Joy Hampton
Senior Staff Writer
Is it me, or do happy fans spend more money?
Campus Corner was a blast last weekend. I had a fun time connecting with local business owners David Lawson and Neil Campbell whose unique restaurant and music venue, Chixs & Styxs, is now open at 529 Buchanan Ave.
While Tulane is not a powerhouse team and OUdominated the contest, fans were excited and out in full force, blanketing Campus Corner with Sooner spirit. Great weather, the evening kickoff time and the Sooners’ recent big win at Ohio State had fans in a jovial mood and ready to spend money in Norman.
The economic benefit of OU sports, football in particular, has been well documented, but nothing
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FromPage C1captures the feel of excitement in the air prior to a game like a stroll through Campus Corner on game day.
Decades ago, when my husband and I were contemplating buying a house as I was about to start work on my masters degree at OU, I asked if he wanted to look at houses in Moore. He worked at the downtown Oklahoma City post office, and it seemed only fair to split the distance we would drive each day.
“I want to live in Norman and be close to the football team,” Dwayne said.
And that ended that.
Dwayne was a devoted fan until the day he died and spent a good deal of his disposable income on OU fan wear and memorabilia.
Remember the Sooner Schooner gift shop on Lindsey Street? They got a lot of our money when we lived down the road in Ward 4.
•A girl’s gotta shop:While my husband spent his money on OU stuff, I enjoyed browsing the shops at Carriage Plaza and just west of the plaza along Main Street.
I had the opportunity to visit that slice of shopping fun twice recently and was reminded of how many quality locally-owned businesses we have in that central location, including a lot of new spaces and faces.
The annual Mix on Main event, scheduled for the evening of Oct. 20, features many of those businesses. The free, annual celebration is now in its third year.
Just a few steps west of Carriage Plaza is Brockhaus Jewelry, Mel’s Closet and In Your Dreams, while further down the road, Mitchell’s Jewelry anchors the west end of the Mix on Main event sites.
The area has changed since my early days in Norman. In 2015, we said goodbye to The Webb, a family-owned business that first opened in 1951 as a shoe business on Campus Corner.
In 1975, the owners added clothing and accessories to their inventory and, in 1984, the Webbs opened the Carriage Plaza location.
Two businesses now occupy the former site of The Webb: Aura Spa and The Clothing Bar. Both recently celebrated a year in business. The Clothing Bar threw a fiesta for customers on Thursday in honor of its one year anniversary.
Also in Carriage Plaza, Occasions Fine Stationary and Gifts is under new ownership. Stay tuned to learn more about the new direction of this Norman staple in an upcoming story.
Next door to Occasions,“Opening Soon” signs hide an interior remodel set to be the future site of Salon Audace by Nathan Anderson. Anderson hopes to be open in time for Mix on Main.
•Family heritage: Across the street from Carriage Plaza, La Baguette is another longtime Norman staple. The family business has been in Norman since 1984 and now a new branch of the family has opened a very different locally-owned business in Norman.
Heritage Dental, 3600 W. Tecumseh Rd., opened in March. Dentist, Dr. Elie Abou-Nassar’s uncles own La Baguette. Dr. Elie, as he likes to be called, attended OU and fell in love with the community. I’ll be talking to him more in the future about his new digs and why he chose Norman to open his practice.
•Shops at Tecumseh:East of the interstate, the Shops at Tecumseh, 2596 W Tecumseh Rd., is a new retail center developed by Hunter Miller. Building permits indicate a salon, a liquor store and a coffee shop are underway at the location.
Part of the Shops at Tecumseh, Flaunt Blow Dry Bar & Salon anticipates opening in October. Flaunt is promising a luxury experience with champagne, chandeliers and Chanelinspired decor to create an elegant atmosphere where clients can feel pampered.
•New shop at Elite Plaza on Flood: The Hole Shabang opened recently at 1005 N. Flood Ave. Suite 101. The locally-owned shop is a boutique that caters exclusively to women sizes 18 and up with a unique twist. The Hole Shabang offers new clothing along with “trendy repeats.” Learn more about this new shop right here in next week’s Transcript.
•Smoke shop to reopen soon:The Friendly Market is relocating to 301 S. Porter Ave. Suite 130 and work is underway at the location. Store manager Stephen Tyler Holman said the shop will carry the same variety of merchandise it has always carried, including glass pipes. Holman has also commented that he’s glad to be back in walking distance of one of his favorite lunch spots, The Diner on Main Street.
Holman said the Porter location is a great spot. School House Cycles is across the street and Salon Zen is right next door.
“We think it’s a really good area,” Holman said. “We’re glad to be part of the Porter corridor.”
Attorneys are working to get all of the Friendly Market property back and the store could be open as early as the Second Friday Artwalk in October.
•Third Annual Hairof the Dog returns to downtown: STASH will host the Third annual Hair of the Dog | Oktoberfest from 6-9:30 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 6th in East Downtown Norman. The event features nine Oklahoma breweries including: 405 Brewery, Black Mesa Brewery, COOP Ale Works, Crossed Cannons Brewery, Iron Monk Brewery, Lazy Circles Brewery, Prairie Artisan Ales, The Brewhouse and Twisted Spike Brewing.
Tickets include admission to the festival, and 6 beer tastings. Tickets are on sale now for $15 in advance, and $20 day of the event, VIP tickets are $25. Tickets may be purchased online at stashok.com, in person at STASH, or by calling the store at (405) 701-1016.
Funds raised from the Hair of the Dog will be used to provide animal care for residents at the Women’s Resource Center. The center is building a space for pets to stay with their owners. This is a new service provided to give clients of the center more choices when leaving an abusive situation.
“Previously, women and families were faced with the decision to flee without their pets,” said Rebecca Bean, STASH owner. “We believe that pets are part of the family and should never have to be left behind.”
Local artist, Debra Hogue, specializing in pet portraiture, will be on hand for pet sketches with a suggested minimum donation of $5, all proceeds benefitting the night’s fundraiser. Locals are welcome to bring a picture of their pets or for those well behaved and enjoy crowds are welcome to join the fun.
Tickets can be purchased online at stashok.com, by calling the store at 405701-1016, or in person at STASH, 412 E. Main St.
•Coming to Campus Corner:
The Porch, 311 West Boyd St., is partying down with game day tailgaters but hasn’t opened its doors yet. Owned by Norman’s own Ryan and Mary Beth Broyles, along with Joey Bess and proprietor Ray Reyes, the local eatery is aiming to create a community feel. The restaurant will serve sandwiches, a signature line of flavored adult teas, wine and beer. Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options will be on the menu.
Skinny Slim’s, 320 White St., is a sports bar with a variety of domestic and imported beers and a small food menu. Slim’s is also enjoying tailgating on game days as the Norman location works toward opening.
Dessert delivery biz, Insomnia Cookies, 758 Asp Ave., will deliver fresh cookies from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. to help students and anyone else who craves a middle of the night nosh satisfy asweet tooth. Coming soon.
•Norman Central library to host Community Job Fair:Norman Public Library Central welcomes those seeking to upgrade their career to be part of the library’s Community Job Fair, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave.
The event will feature numerous local employers who will be giving information and even on-site interviews to job prospects.
The event also gives prospective job seekers the opportunity to use the library’s Computer Training Center to complete online applications as well as resume and cover letter assistance.
As of Sept. 20, participating employers are: Dillard’s (Sooner Mall), JC Penney, Panera Bread, Work Ready Oklahoma, the Norman Police Department, Lowe’s, Moore-Norman Technology Center, the United States Postal Service, Hey Day Entertainment, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Republic Bank and Trust, Andy Alligator’s Fun Park, Sitel, The Marriott NCED Conference Center and Hotel, Red River Youth Academy, First United Bank, Sears (Sooner Mall) and the Pioneer Library System.
A complete list will be updated online at pioneerlibrarysystem.org/normancentral.
Registration is not required to attend, and teens of working age or adults mayparticipate.
•Free forums help Workers’ Comp professionals: Workers’ compensation professionals in Oklahoma will have the opportunity to update their knowledge at two upcoming events. The National Council on Compensation Insurance will host the 2017 State Advisory Forum on Oct. 10 in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Insurance Department will host a second forum in Tulsa the following day.
The forums are designed to provide a greater understanding of national and state workers’ compensation issues. The discussion of Oklahoma issues will include the recent loss cost filing decrease of 16.3 percent.
There is no charge to attend but reservations are required. To register, call NCCI’s Customer Service Center at 800-NCCI-123. Insurance professionals can earn two hours of Legislative Update Continuing Educationcredit for attending oneof the events. A National Producer Number (NPN) is required for CE credit.
The Oklahoma City event is from 9-11 a.m. Continental breakfast wil be served at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 10, at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center, 741 N. Phillips Ave.
The Tulsa event is from 9-11 a.m. Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 11, at Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills, 1902 E. 71st St.
•Oklahoma’s non-metro economy improving: The Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City released its latest issue of the quarterly publication the Oklahoma Economist.
The downturn in Oklahoma’s economy in 2015-16 hit harder in smaller areas of the state than the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas. But as oil prices stabilized in late 2016 and early 2017, so did the economy in most of non-metro Oklahoma, according to Chad Wilkerson, branch executive, vice president and economist at the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
“Job growth has begun to pick up in mid-2017, and unemployment outside the two large metros is lower than in early 2014,” said Wilkerson. “Per capita income in many non-metro parts of the state has grown solidly since 2001, driven largely by positive income gains in the energy and agriculture sectors.”
Wilkerson said in 2001, per capita income in Oklahoma’s non-metro areas was less than 70 percent of the national average.
“It also was almost 10 percent lower than the average for all U.S. non-metro areas. But by 2014, nonmetroOklahoma’s per capitaincome had surpassed 80 percent of the national average, a sharp improvement in a little more than a decade,”he said.