A couple of years ago developers and downtown leaders hoped they could make an impression on Drew Braum and convince him to open a Braum’s Dairy and Fresh Market to the corner of NE 3 and Oklahoma. Sadly, Braum couldn’t be convinced that downtown had the rooftops necessary to make the investment.
History makes me question whether everything argument that could be made for a Braum’s was made, or whether the best location was pitched. For years Braum’s had a restaurant at the Agnew exit along I-40 just southwest of downtown and it depended purely on highway travel.
What’s at stake, of course, isn’t just an ice cream and burger joint. The Braum’s market includes fresh meats, produce, dairy, cereal, snacks and bakery goods – all items craved by downtowners.
So, let’s be a bit provocative, shall we? This is all, of course, very flattering to Braum’s. I’m simply giving voice to a need expressed over and over again by readers.
So, let’s start by throwing out some alternate locations. Assuming the economy thaws soon, maybe the Candlewood Inn and Suites can be brought be back to life. The development at Lincoln and Sheridan included a retail pad, and it faces I-40 (both present and future) and I-235 – twice the Interstate frontage of the old store. And it is within walking distance of Deep Deuce or a very quick drive at worst for all of downtown. And I suspect the Candlewood Inn folks might want to re-examine their decision to put this project on hold as word gets out on the street that the new Bricktown Hampton Inn is one of the best performers in the chain.
This is just one idea. Before we go any further with this blogosphere campaign, I want to hear ideas from you that might be pitched to Drew Braum. Next up – a poll, followed by an old-fashioned digital letter writing that will show just how many of you would like Drew to join the neighborhood.
Urban Neighbors, I expect you to be very active with this discussion.
Some quick observations – Braum’s has pulled its last big connection to downtown by deciding not to continue sponsorship of the ice rink. Not sure of their thinking on this – the ice rink is easilly the most popular of the Downtown in December festivities and Braum’s was getting a lot of buzz from the sponsorship. Braum’s, as you might recall, also decided against opening a location downtown during a courtship earlier this year.
I wonder if there are any valid competitors ready to take a shot on downtown?
Devon Energy took over the ice rink support. The Oklahoman has apparently taken over the canal boat ride sponsorship. And SandRidge took over sponsorship of the Christmas tree, which will be lit at 5:30 p.m. today (great festivities in Bricktown tonight for the whole family).
I’m still tired from Black Friday shopping. Saw consumerism at its worst at Wal Mart at 5 a.m. (I only went because I was able to save $50 on gift for my son). People pushing, shoving, no organization from the store’s management, and the highlight was a woman with a full cart (far more than the “20 or less” sign on the isle would allow) cutting me on line and telling “everybody is doing it.” I suggested Karma is going to get her. She’s trying to figure out who Karma is.
I’m out chasing news for you folks today, so for now, I’m going to borrow a tactic from Coffee Talk’s Linda Richman. Here’s a question to ponder this morning, especially for those of you who work and/or live downtown:
If given the choice, would you rather have a small specialty grocery store (maybe a half-size local version of Whole Foods) or would you rather have a full size Walgreens and Braum’s with a fresh foods market?