We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton
There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
With the Classen Curve store’s recent opening, married owners Carolyn and Gary Goldman have one goal: to sell delicious, delectable confections to sugar fiends of all ages.
The Goldmans, who already operate the Uptown Kids clothing store on Classen Curve, thought it was time to get serious about sweets, so they built out an adjacent area. The simple concept was to create high-end, gourmet treats that not only revel in childhood nostalgia but also chic, modern innovation.
“We just took this idea and ran,” said Gary Goldman, who also works as Chesapeake Energy’s director of restaurant operations. “I am a kid at heart.”
Uptown Candy offers tremendous variety, presenting exotic flavors, unique selections and dietary options free of gluten and sugar.
Akin to the frozen-yogurt concept that puts choice in the hands of the consumer, the Goldmans’ spot sports a candy apple bar. Start by drenching an apple into rich, hot caramel or chocolate. Finish by dipping it into various candy toppings like Butterfinger, Snickers and Reese’s.
For a healthier approach, try granola or fruit.
A local baker trained in France supplies batches of macaroons. These dainty cookies, baked fresh daily, are sold individually or by the dozen.
Fudge is a big draw, as are hand-dipped chocolates, truffles and pralines. Prices are low and the quality is high, with bulk prices ranging from $4.99 to $16.99.
Local architect Rand Elliott designed the store’s interior with bright, cubic patterns. Big, cheerful bins hang on the walls, making it easy to spot your favorites of yesteryear and today among more than 80 items, including licorice, chocolate almonds, jelly beans, milk balls and gummy bears. Packaged candy, created under Uptown Candy’s own brand label, is also available.
Carolyn Goldman said she wanted to capitalize on what similar shops nationwide are doing, but with a Classen Curve twist: Gift baskets are called “sugar cubes” and are housed in Plexiglas boxes instead of actual baskets. Creative candy combinations celebrate local sports favorites like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma State University Cowboys and University of Oklahoma Sooners. The cubes can be personalized for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.
“We’re going to have really cool, modern, edgy designs,” she said.
To fill the 1,000-square-foot store, the couple scoured the marketplace for the best products, an experience they described as fun, overwhelming and strategic.
“With the space we have, we had to be very selective,” said Gary Goldman. “We’re offering things not available anywhere around here.”
If you can’t get to the store, no problem. Uptown Candy offers a candy bar catering service. People can treat guests at parties or events to sample a selection of candy, from the sweet to the sour.
“The inspiration is just being able to provide a unique product to the community,” said Gary Goldman. “On a good day or a bad day, everybody still loves candy.”