By Pablo Angulo-Gonzalez
The Bricktown Canal was being constructed in 1998 when the owners of Bourbon Street Café signed a lease in the Kingman Building. They became the first business to open along the waterway and opened to the public in November 2000. Since then, the restaurant has become a beloved Bricktown destination.
A few years back, David Southard, in partnership with Ward Harrison, opened the first Bourbon Street Café in Tulsa. The original location opened its doors to the public on Cherry Street to expand the business and open multiple establishments. The Bricktown District revitalization plans, especially the water canal construction, piqued their interest as a potential area for their subsequent development.
“We were the first business that moved in with the desire to be on the canal,” David Southard told me in an interview.
Having a patio along the water was the number one criterion for Bourbon Street Café owners when looking for a lease, so the appeal of the Bricktown Canal attracted David and Ward.
Since its creation, the Bricktown Canal has offered OKC the unique experience of a waterway downtown.
“We immediately knew we wanted to be a part of it,” continued David.
“We saw that it was a unique opportunity, and the developing entertainment district reminded us of the San Antonio Riverwalk.”
After the turn of the century, the Tulsa and Bricktown locations operated simultaneously until 2006, when the owners decided to consolidate the whole enterprise into the Downtown OKC establishment.
THE HISTORIC WAREHOUSE BUILDING IN BRICKTOWN
The Kingman Building has a notable northwestern double-door entrance at the intersection of the water canal (East California Avenue) and South Oklahoma Avenue.
The main entrance to the four-story brick building -constructed in the early 1900s- is decorated with limestone and floral patterns. Bourbon Street Café awaits its guests downstairs, at the basement level, with its outstanding culinary experience.
KEEPING UP WITH OKC
For almost 22 years, Bourbon St. Café has enriched OKC’s culinary scene with Cajun and Creole gastronomy. “We do our best to bring the flavor of South Louisiana to Oklahoma City, but we also focus on some local flavors,” David told me.
The restaurant stays in touch with the city’s needs and trends by offering various bourbons, craft cocktails, featured local breweries, Cajun food, pasta, seafood, steak, and more. The business also welcomes people looking for catering services and banquet rooms for a special celebration. Click the link below to visit their website:
MUSIC & SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
“Music is a big part of the culture that we try to promote, and Oklahoma City already had a connection to New Orleans through the jazz medium, so we just wanted to amplify that a little bit,” David told me.
The historic Bricktown District adjoins the Deep Deuce neighborhood, where Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing developed into blues and jazz national and international superstars. Music connected New Orleans and Oklahoma City many decades ago, and Bourbon St. Café honors the connection through its atmosphere, background music, and live bands every weekend.
Bricktown visitors can catch the live band Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
In conclusion, Bricktown’s Bourbon St. Café is a delightful fusion of Louisiana-inspired cuisine and a lively atmosphere, making it a perfect dining experience to pair with shopping, a Dodgers Game, or a Bricktown Water Taxi ride!