Ingenuity takes the form of Mother Road Market.
A new development by the corner of Lewis and East 11th Street had its grand opening last weekend. Mother Road Market is what would happen if you mixed a mall food court with local entrepreneurs. It’s stuffed with local Oklahoma businesses in a big box space — a space they would have never been able to access previously.
The market consists of 21 different merchants operating their own restaurants and small shops. This development was made by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, which is dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation in Tulsa.
The energy exuded in the Mother Road Market is a mix of Tulsan pride and entrepreneurial excellence. This space is a love letter to what has made Tulsa hip in the past couple of years. Mother Road Market is the culmination of the culture from our farmers markets and hipster restaurants, and not in a metaphorical way. You will see a lot of crossover elements from some favorite farmers market venues.
There are Tulsa favorites like Andolini’s and Oklahoma Joe’s, as well as some lesser-known places like Umami Fries and Radish. It is a space where food rules. Even Magic City Books is currently offering cookbooks at their new location in the market. The Nest is selling supplies and decorations for your kitchen.
Before even stepping into the market, you could tell that the place was filled with people. The corner of 11th and Lewis has never been more packed with cars. People were parking across the street to get into the market. There is always a huge gathering of people that will patron new spaces in Tulsa — the love of new, local cuisine gives a lot of business to new places to eat. It’s heartwarming and inspiring to see how much love locals give to new businesses.
Many places offered things that you would not normally see in Oklahoma, like pastrami sandwiches, Chicago style hot dogs or shawarma. Many vegetarian and vegan options are also available such as salads and sandwiches.
The only real complaint that I have is that some of these things are a little pricey, especially the local produce. But that premium is paying for the cost of local businesses, as opposed to outsourced foodstuff. You can still have a nice dinner for around 10 bucks, with plenty of options for dessert or drinks after as well.
Ultimately, if you are invested in the Tulsa community and what keeps Tulsa weird and innovative, you need to check out Mother Road Market. If you actively participate in the various farmers markets, you will love this place. This is a concentration of Tulsa excellence. Mother Road Market is made by Tulsans, for Tulsans. In talking to some of the customers, many were very excited to have this huge space for the locals to sell to other locals. Everyone was proud of Tulsa for this new development and what it means for the future of local cuisine.