Bars / Coffee Shops

The Phoenix Cafe: A Bookish Base in Tulsa, Oklahoma

On one of my first trips to Tulsa proper, my local guide suggested a trip over to one of many coffeehouses he visits. I don’t think he necessarily thought about his suggestion other than for convenience, but I fell in love the moment I stepped in- I was greeted with a counter made entirely of books.

Book Counter Phoenix

Normally, I’m against the cannibalization of beautiful volumes, but it served as a good indicator of what sort of location I’d just walked into. A mix of the typical coffee smells- roasting beans, milk, pastries- hit me mixed with something more… the beautiful aroma of paper oxidizing so familiar to libraries and bookstores. There were comic books on a rack, tabletop games on a shelf, and tables bearing their logo- a Phoenix rising from a book. This was a place designed for people like me.

Phoenix Logo and Table

Indeed, The Phoenix is more than just a coffeeshop. Sure, they serve up a pretty delicious dirty iced chai, but they also feature a bar and seasonal food (of which I’ve personally not partaken nearly enough). Perhaps my favorite part, though, was the private library you pass on your way to restrooms.

The Book End Phoenix

Comfy chairs, books to enjoy and perhaps purchase? Yes, please. This is simply temptation in its purest form. Mix in the delight of your favorite cocktail or coffee and you’ve got the makings of the best place to meet up with local friends.

Indeed, this particular neighborhood, known as the Pearl District, is one of the offshoots of the revitalization of downtown Tulsa. Opened in 2012, it enjoys the benefits of the surrounding district as well as gloriously free parking across the street at Centennial Park.

Something I was not able to enjoy was their use as a venue for, as their website lists, “spoken word” and “live music” events on the weekends. This place just gets better and better. I’m personally thinking this might have to be the location of a get together in my near travelling future.

The Phoenix Cafe is located at 1302 E 6th Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the corner of E 6th and S Peoria) and is open Sunday through Thursday 6:30 am-Midnight and Friday and Saturday 6:30 am-2 am. For more information you can check out their website, or you can see some of their specials on their Facebook page. Be sure to remember a bag for the inevitable book purchase on your visit.

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