By ROB W. ANDERSON
Commerce in Tahlequah continues to grow, as new restaurants, retail stores and services are offered.
Barbecue is popular in Tahlequah, and Rib Crib, 1909 S. Muskogee Ave., Suite 800, just opened for business last Thursday under a format that’s unlike any other location in the state.
“This is the first [in the franchise] that has the fast-casual design. You order at the register, find your own table, and get your own drink,” said Rib Crib General Manager Joel Evans. “We wanted to create a kind of mom-and-pop barbecue feel. Our other Rib Cribs have other menu items that are not necessarily barbecue-related, and so we have quite a bit smaller menu. We offer fewer side orders, but the value is there in the baskets for sure. We’re trying to go back to the Rib Crib roots. This [location] is real similar to how the first one started [in Tulsa at 15th and Harvard]. It really was a menu similar to this, as far as what we offer.”
Evans said the Tahlequah store, which has a seating occupancy of 76, will also be able to focus on preparing “barbecue the right way” because of the store’s customer-volume design. Patrons can expect new flavor configurations and access to free ice cream – specifically Popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and mini drumsticks. It also offers a Coca-Cola Freestyle touch-screen machine that presents 127 drink flavor combinations, including common Coke products and others like Dasani Sensations, Fanta, Hi-C, Minute Maid, and Powerade, to name a few.
“The flavor profiles are going to be a little different for this Rib Crib. We have a different seasoning on our ribs and pork,” Evans said. “This is the first store where we’ve incorporated the new seasoning. Brisket is going to be the same, but the ribs and pork will have a different seasoning. With the small volume, we’re allowed to do barbecue the right way, not that the other Rib Cribs don’t do it the right way, but with our volume, we can really focus in on our smaller menu items. And we can focus on the barbecue and really make it phenomenal.”
Store hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Catering is also available for parties 10 to 10,000 by calling (918) 721-RIBS.
“We are still going to do all-you-can-eat ribs on Tuesday night. That’s a Rib Crib tradition that started with the first one, and every Rib Crib has always done that,” said Evans. “That’s kind of the fun thing about barbecue; everyone has a different idea of what barbecue is. I mean, from your people who barbecue at home to people who do restaurants, barbecue is just a very big genre. It’s art, and not a science. So it’s real fun. There’s really not a right or wrong answer for a lot of barbecue.”
Breakfast lovers who have been eyeballing the construction of Jimmy’s Egg, just north of Car-Mart and Stutteville Ford on Muskogee Avenue, will have to wait until the new year before trying the menu.
Owner/operator Dustin Van Boast, who also owns a location in Muskogee, said they would like to begin serving patrons as soon as possible.
“We’re hoping for December, but it looks like it will probably be January [before we open],” he said. “[Store hours will be the same as the Muskogee location]. We open at 6 a.m. and close at 2 p.m., seven days a week. We serve the full menu from open to close. The occupancy will be 110, and it will be the exact same menu at the same prices [as what’s offered in the Muskogee store].”
Owner-teacher Denisse Ramos, who holds a dan ranking of fourth-degree black belt, opened Ramos Tae Kwon Do, 108 W. Fourth St., in February, and has been leading beginner, intermediate and advanced classes ever since.
“I’ve been teaching for over 10 years,” she said. “There’s a monthly fee, and every class [meets] twice a week. We have classes for all ages.”
For more information, contact Ramos at (918) 457-0246 or visit Facebook. com/ramostaekwondo.
Kryptic Games, 1203 Park Hill Road, opened in July and offers comic books, games, DVDs and more.
“We buy, sell and trade, and we’ve got everything from vintage comics to card games to movies, toys – we’ve just got everything really,” said Brad Matthews, who helps his wife, Melinda, run the business.
Store hours are noon to 9 p.m. seven days a week, and information for products or other store-related activities or events can be obtained by calling (918) 207-0599 or visiting www.krypticgames .com.
“We have a lot of tournaments and different games, like Magic the Gathering, or Heroclix,” said Matthews. “We have a special section for Anime [DVDs]. Three-fourths of [the store’s] wall [space] is dedicated to comic books. We carry of a ton of comics, and we do have vintage comics. Twice a year, we’ll do a free comic day. We’ll do one Oct. 31 [here at the store] and the first Saturday in May. The one in May we’ll have a show where dealers and vendors come to the NSU Ballroom. It’s called Tahle-Con.”
Northeastern Appliance Center, 305 S. Muskogee Ave., opened its doors Aug. 23 to provide pre-owned appliances, said store Manager Luke Wells, who said his grandfather, Ernie Son, owns the business.
“We carry Kitchenaide, Kenmore, Maytag and Whirlpool [products]. They’re all 2000 or newer [models],” he said.
“We get all of our stuff from Tulsa. My grandpa used to own half of a shop with his buddy, [who owns] Conley’s Appliances. So we go through him to get all of our stuff. I guess if Sears puts in a new [floor-display model], they take out the old one, and it goes to a stock yard. He goes there and picks them up. We get refrigerators, washers, dryers and stoves. We have one portable dishwasher, and one commercial freezer, but mainly what we carry are washers, dryers, refrigerators and stoves.”
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