Native Briton Tim Yardy has been a historic restoration advocate for years.
As owner of The Maison Group, he has been buying and renovating distressed houses in historic Tulsa neighborhoods since 2007.
His latest project, however, has him on a different course: new multifamily construction. Yardy is behind the development of The Midtowner, a $3.3-million, 33-unit project at 3320 E. 37th St.
“This area east of Harvard has been long-neglected,” Yardy wrote in an email. “It has been challenging, and no one wanted to do anything with it.”
He added by phone: “I was buying a whole bunch of rent houses in this neighborhood and there were two apartments for sale. I bought them and renovated them and really cleaned them up. I thought maybe I could do this again and build from scratch.”
Modeled after a Palm Springs-style resort, The Midtowner will sport a midcentury-modern exterior, with a flat roof, railing detail, midcentury block-corner detailing and orange doors.
Designed by W Design and scheduled to be completed next summer, it will have 27 one-bedroom units, three one-bedroom deluxe apartments and three two-bedroom units.
“It’s very different from anything that’s being built these days,” Hardy said. “It also pays a little bit of homage to The Luxor and the other buildings that were built during that time period on the street.”
Reared in London while helping his parents renovate homes, Yardy came to the United States on a golf scholarship to Oral Roberts University. He went on to earn an MBA at the University of Tulsa.
As for The Midtowner, Yardy said he hopes to appeal to “young professionals coming out of college who need affordable living but want to stay in kind of the vibrant part of town.”
The project received a special exception in terms of parking. It will have one parking spot per unit (33 total) instead of the 44 that would have been required under Tulsa Zoning Code.
The Midtowner conducted its own study to illustrate that area apartment complexes have parking lots that are underused. It also cited a 2017 report by Urban Land Institute and Green Street Advisors that indicated that parking needs could decline by 50% in the next 30 years because of the proliferation of driverless vehicles and ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft.
“The planning department and the Board of Adjustment said we’re looking for more of these type projects for infill, affordable living,” Yardy said. “They recognized that fewer and fewer people are owning cars.”
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Featured gallery: Treat yourself at Tulsa's top bakeries
Treat yourself at Tulsa's top bakeries
ANTOINETTE BAKING CO.
207 N. Main St., 918-764-8404 antoinettebakingco.com
Antoinette Baking Co. has been a Tulsa success story since it opened in a tiny space in Brookside in 2012, specializing in pies, macarons and other goodies.
Owners Molly Martin and Andrea Mohn moved to a much larger space in the Tulsa Arts District in 2015, where they expanded their offerings to include breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and a significantly larger line of pastries and desserts.
Sweets put them on the map, but savory items, such as Mediterranean focaccia, ham and cheddar scone, and a puff pastry with Dijon, ham and cheddar, have become just as popular.
Earlier this year, they opened a sister restaurant, Beatrice Ice Cream Co., also in the Tulsa Arts District, featuring a daily combination of imaginative ice cream flavors.
BIG BABY ROLLS & DONUTS
3739 E. 11th St., 918-551-6020 bigbabyrolls.com
Big Baby Rolls & Donuts is among the newest bakeries, if not the newest, opening just last spring at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nonetheless, owners Raina Nasreddine and her husband, Andrew Warren, already have developed a following with their vegan and gluten-free pastries and baked goods, as well as traditionally made items.
The menu includes such items as glazed, filled and cake doughnuts; sausage rolls, strawberry fritters and bags of doughnut holes. Gluten-free sausage rolls use a turkey sausage, and the vegan ones have a tofu-based filling.
BLUE MOON CAFE
3512 S. Peoria Ave., 918-749-7800 bluemoontulsa.com
For two decades, Blue Moon Bakery (notice the subtle name change) was operated by Kay and Mike Gresham in a tiny space about three blocks south and on the other side of Peoria Avenue from its current location.
Mike Gresham died in 2004, and Kay sold the business to a friend, Alan Fusco. When Fusco expanded the menu and moved to its current location in 2010, he changed the name to Blue Moon Café.
A kitchen staff handles most of the breakfast and lunch business today, but Fusco still bakes the breads and cooks on the line during weekend brunches. Fusco’s wife, Betsy, and a son, Sam, often are seen working the front of the house.
In addition to breads, Blue Moon also offers a line of pastries that may include cinnamon rolls, Danish pastries, cookies, croissants, granola bars, sausage rolls, scones, sticky buns, turnovers, pies and cakes.
A bonus: Blue Moon also offers wines and local beers.
CHERRY STREET KITCHEN
1441 S. Quaker Ave., 918-884-3408 cherrystkitchen.com
Jen Lindsay, who formerly owned Café Boston on 15th Street and Utica Square and worked as a personal chef for a number of years, puts out some of the prettiest and tastiest savory and sweet items in town.
Lunches and brunches are popular. Among personal favorites is the Cheech (still looking for the Chong) burger with a half-pound patty, blue cheese butter, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and “booh yah” sauce on a brioche bun and packets of Gulden’s spicy brown mustard on the side.
Cherry Street Kitchen offers a variety of breakfast dishes, from burritos and fat sausage rolls to the frittata of the day. Takeout items include such choices as muffins, cookies, salads, pies, cakes, entrees and much more. Be sure to check out the daily specials.
610 W. Main St., Jenks, 918-528-6544 esperancebakery.com
The bubbly owner of this 4-year-old bakery is Hope Alexander. Esperance in French appropriately translates to “hope.”
One hardly could hope for anything better than the array of sweet and savory goodies offered daily at Esperance.
Croissants are the main attraction, but Esperance offers so much more, including scones, cake rolls, cakes, bread pudding, cookies and cheesecakes. The lineup can change daily.
Don’t overlook the grab-and-go section of items. Some are straight forward, such as ham-and-Swiss croissant, while others are more complex, such as chicken andouille with apple and Gouda.
Esperance recently added all-natural ice pops from Frios, located in the Tulsa Arts District, perfect warm-weather treats.
FARRELL FAMILY BREAD
8034 S. Yale Ave., 918-477-7077 farrellbread.com
Tom Farrell started the business in October 1999 with one imported steam-injected oven from Italy. He acquired extra space in 2002 and brought in another oven that originally belonged to the popular Baker Street Artisan Breads.
He focused on breads and expanded a wholesale business that included supermarkets and restaurants.
Farrell retired in 2018, and the business was acquired by the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group, which also operates such restaurants as Juniper and PRHYME Downtown Steakhouse. Today, Farrell Family Bread offers 15 or so breads daily, and the staff has been developing an expanded line of cookies, brownies, tartlets and other pastries.
FRONT PORCH BAKERY
18435 S. Oklahoma 66, Claremore, 918-341-7505 frontporchon66.com
Barbecue and baked goods might not seem like natural companions, but that’s what you get at Front Porch Bakery in Claremore.
For at least a couple of decades, Ol’ Dutchman’s Bakery operated out of a little building just south of Claremore. About five years ago, a friend of Melissa Holt purchased it, had misgivings about being a bakery owner, and three months later sold it to Holt.
Holt's husband, Matt, and his boss thought it would be fun to put a smoker out front, and that part of the business grew so fast that Matt quit his job as a welder and supervisor.
A week before Thanksgiving last year, the Holts opened a new large building on the property to house the bakery and three large smokers.
Almost everything is prepackaged for carryout, and the choices are extensive. Among items offered are a variety of breads, cinnamon rolls, brownies, cookies, pies, cakes, strawberry shortcake, ribs, brisket, bratwurst, beans, corn on the cob, soups and salads, to name a few.
LAURANNAE BAKING CO.
112 W. Commercial St., Broken Arrow, 918-258-5744 lbcotulsa.com
Laurannae had humble beginnings when Kim Washburn and her sister, Jessica, opened a cupcake company at home, selling almost exclusively to family and friends. After a couple of years, they bought a small food truck they named Eleanor the Cupcake Caravan.
When Jessica left to pursue other interests, Kim and husband Steve Washburn (“The Cupcake Guy”) found a small space in downtown Broken Arrow and opened Laurannae Baking Co. in 2018.
Their vision expanded to include a flourishing wedding and special-occasion cake business, along with cupcakes, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, other pastries and a full line of specialty coffees.
The tiny dining room often stays filled throughout the day. The Washburns announced recently they have acquired the remaining space in their building and plan to triple Laurannae’s dining space, in addition to an outdoor urban yard.
Laurannae (laura-nay) is a combination of Kim’s and Jessica’s middle names.
LE LOUVRE FRENCH CAFE
8313 S. Memorial Drive, 918-286-6019 lelouvrefrenchcafe.com
Yakham N’Gom, a native of Senegal, spent his earlier adult years as a professional handball player in France, where he and wife, Micheline, lived for 40 years.
They wanted to be closer to a son, Clement G’Nom, who was on the French junior national basketball team before he came to the U.S. to finish high school in Virginia. He then played collegiately at Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Oklahoma, married and moved to Tulsa.
Yakham N’Gom took baking classes in France, and in early 2019, opened Le Louvre French Café. He does all of the baking, while Micheline makes the quiches and salads.
Specialties include such items as the fraisier, a classic French dessert that’s shaped like a small drum. It has layers of Genoise (sponge cake), pastry cream and sliced strawberries topped with a thin layer of marzipan colored a light green and a plump strawberry. A fraises tarte features shimmering red strawberries nestled into a layer of eggy crème patissiere over a light pastry.
The menu also includes a variety of sweet and savory crepes, salads, breakfast pastries, dessert pastries, pizza (yep, pizza) and specialty coffee drinks.
Check out the exquisite Buche de Noel cakes during the Christmas season.
LITTLE J’S BAKESHOPPE & COFFEE
10032 S. Sheridan Road, 918-995-7979 littlejsbakeshoppe.com
This cozy little bakery is tucked into a corner in the shopping center on the northwest side of 101st Street and Sheridan Road, but don’t let size fool you.
Little J’s offers a full complement of moist and buttery scones, quiches, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cakes, Danish, pies and cookies, as well as a full line of coffee items. Don’t miss the strawberry rhubarb pie when it is available.
Little J’s was opened in late 2016 by friends who had met while living in Kansas City. Seth Williams’ parents owned a restaurant and bakery in the 1980s. He and wife Sandra moved to Tulsa in 2012. Business partner Becky Logan is a culinary school graduate.
LUDGER’S BAVARIAN CAKERY
6527 E. 91st St., 918-622-2537 ludgersbavariancakery.com
German-born Ludger Schulz has been a Tulsa chef, restaurant owner and caterer since 1979, and now, the torch has been passed to his daughter, Allison Dickens, and her husband, Chris.
Ludger’s was best-known for years for its Bavarian cream cheese cake with a mousse/cheesecake-like center surrounded by layers of moist white cake. They have been a hit attraction for hundreds of wedding receptions and is the basis for popular Valentine’s cakes.
Dickens acquired Ludger’s from her parents, Alecia and Ludger Shulz, in 2010 and opened a small sidewalk bakery at 91st Street and Yale Avenue in 2013. The business was moved to its current and much larger space in 2017.
In addition to the cakes, sweet and savory choices at Ludger’s include cupcakes, quiches, muffins, cookies, turnovers, cake balls, breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads and wraps.
3202 E. 15th St., 918-747-2301 9521 S. Delaware Ave., 918-296-9000 4930 W. Kenosha St., Broken Arrow, 918-250-1607 merrittsbakery.com
Bobbie and husband Larry Merritt opened their first bakery in September 1979. It was called The Cake Box.
Today, Merritt's has three locations.
Merritt’s has a huge wedding cake business, with the cakes always delivered by Larry or his son, Christian.
The bakery has added some breakfast and lunch items over the years, but the big draws still are the wide variety of pastries and desserts that include cinnamon rolls, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, tarts, bear claws and much more for daily customers.
6104 E. 71st St., 918-523-1800 muhannasweets.com
Muhanna Sweets primarily is a wholesale bakery that sells an array of Middle Eastern pastries and cookies nationally and internationally, but customers are welcome to visit daily to pick up these delicate items.
The company was founded in Damascus in 1935 by a man named Muhanna. The Tulsa store, owned by M.W. Zaaza, is a franchise of the original, now operated by the founder’s grandchildren. Other U.S. stores are in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles (by a different name).
Zaaza's wife, Houda Muhanna, who helps around the bakery, is related to the founding family. Zaaza opened the franchise in 1998, following a 42-year career with an American oil company as a petroleum geologist. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tulsa.
Among the assortment of sweets available are pistachio, walnut and cashew baklava; pistachio and cashew bird’s nests, and mamouls (cookies or pastries filled with pistachios, dates or walnuts), among others.
Items are available in six-piece, 18-piece, 45-piece and 75-piece portions.
212 S. Garnett Road, 918-439-1010 2420 E. Admiral Blvd., 918-561-6735 11685 E. 21st St., 918-234-3000 panchoanaya.com
Pancho Anaya was founded in 1912 in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico. Francisco “Pancho” Anaya, a fourth-generation baker, moved to Tulsa in 1998, saved his money working in restaurants and in 2001, he and wife Sigrid opened the family’s only bakery in the U.S.
Pancho Anaya has a thriving wholesale business, and the stores offer an amazing selection of baked goods at reasonable prices for daily shoppers.
The items include cinnamon rolls, Danish, sweet breads, savory breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, flan and more pastries than one can imagine from all regions of Mexico. Mexican ice cream bars also are available.
Today, a son, also named Francisco; a daughter, also named Sigrid, and another daughter, Jennifer, are heavily involved in the business.
POPPY & FLAX
501 S. Cherokee St., Catoosa, 918-739-5199 poppyandflax.com
She grew up in South Africa, he in Holland. They met on a chance visit in Amsterdam, and during their marriage, they have lived in New Jersey, Switzerland, Belgium and for the past 11 years, Tulsa and Owasso.
Yolande Platvoet and husband, Erwin, opened a bakery last year in Catoosa featuring pastries with their roots in Europe and South Africa. Erwin, co-owner of an engineering company, describes himself as “just the piano player around here.”
The item that got Yolande in the baking business is rusk, a South African breakfast staple. It is made with double-baked bread dough and has a texture something like a biscotti.
Other items include shortbreads, cookies, cheesecakes, Bundt cakes, scones and pies. Poppy & Flax also offers savory lunch items, such as chicken salad and garden vegetable croissants.
Poppy & Flax was in the second Kitchen 66 entrepreneurial class in the Sun Building before it moved to Mother Road Market.
SAINT AMON BAKING CO.
Saint Amon Baking Co. in far south Tulsa is one of the most delicious spots in town for croissants and other pastries.
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