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
Bricktown Bike Bar
12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Daily
If you happen upon a mobile bar on wheels being powered by riders pedaling and drinking beer in Bricktown, remain calm. It is not some hijacked circus vehicle or runaway parade float. It is the Bricktown Bike Bar.
In its second year, bike bar owner Nick Oxford has added a new tour option he hopes will highlight Oklahoma beers and some of Bricktown’s best beer bars. The 16-passenger bar features 10 pedaling seats and six leisure seats, and typical tours take about two hours. Oxford said the new beer-tasting tour will be similar to the tours the Bricktown Bike Bar has been offering since it opened last year.
“We will have the same group size, but each tour will feature a local beer expert, and they last about two and a half hours,” Oxford said. “One of the experts is from a local brewery, and one is from a Bricktown bar.”
The mobile bar will take guests on a tour of Bricktown, including stops at three local bars: Bricktown Brewery, 1 N. Oklahoma Ave.; TapWerks Ale House, 121 E. Sheridan Ave.; and Skinny Slim’s, 201 E. Main St. Oxford said he chose the three bars because each takes beer, especially craft beers brewed in Oklahoma, seriously.
The concept of a bike bar isn’t exclusive to Oklahoma City. Oxford said he is familiar with a couple of bike bars in Denver. He decided to try the concept in Oklahoma City last year. The beer-tasting tour itself might be exclusive to Oklahoma City, though.
“A bunch of cities won’t allow people to drink in public like this,” Oxford said. “In a sense, we’re kind of like a limousine or party bus, so customers have to provide their own beer and wine; we don’t sell any alcohol. Also, we don’t allow liquor on the bike bar.”
Customers on the beer-tasting tour purchase packages in advance from Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway Ave. Adam Rött, a manager at Broadway Wine Merchants, said participants can choose between five different packages. Because Oxford wanted to highlight Oklahoma craft beers, one package features strictly Oklahoma beers and includes beers from Marshall Brewing Company, Prairie Artisan Ales, Choc Beer Company and Roughtail Brewing Company. Another package is made up of selections from Oklahoma City-based COOP Ale Works, and Oklahoma beers also appear in the Dark and Dirty, Hop Head and Belgian-style packages.
The beer expert on the tour will talk about the various beers in the packages, explaining stylistic differences, brewing methods, history and other facts relevant to the beer-tasting experience. The goal is to provide entertainment, a good time with friends and a little education.