Food Briefs: Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs & Burgers, Epic Pops, Taste of Oklahoma series and Legends & Leaders 

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Mutt’s puppies

Just over a year after purchasing the business from the original owners, Kevin and Laurel Wilkerson make good on their promise to expand Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs & Burgers, 1400 NW 23rd St.

Two new stores will open soon. An Edmond location at 285 S. Santa Fe Ave. opens Monday if everything goes as planned. A Midwest City location at 7199 SE 29th St. Suite 209 opens late September or early October, Laurel said. It isn’t the first expansion for the couple, who previously owned metro-area Marco’s Pizza franchises.

“We just wanted to build on the great concept by Chris Lower,” Laurel said. “We wanted to run it for a year and make sure we could sustain it before expanding to other municipalities.”

The Edmond location will include a patio and will be dog-friendly for people who want to eat at Mutts with their mutts. Learn more at mutts-hot-dogs.com.

Campus cooler

Few people are as excited for school to begin as Nathan and Jordan Holt, the husband-and-wife team that runs Epic Pops.

Though they opened their first brick-and-mortar location, 580 Buchanan Ave., in Norman in May, they eagerly await the Aug. 22 arrival of University of Oklahoma students, Nathan said.

“We’re on Campus Corner, and we’ve had a pretty decent summer,” he said. “We are definitely gearing up for school coming back.”

Most of the summer customers were locals and families, but he foresees a much bigger reception when classes resume. In preparation, Epic Pops will debut new flavors.

“We’re working on a version of coffee that’s a creamy option with a brownie inside it,” he said. “We’re also doing a roasted coconut we want to do as a creamy option.”

Holt is experimenting with a chai popsicle and a coconut-kiwi one with slices of fruit inside.

Despite selling frozen products, Holt said he uses as many real ingredients as possible, with fresh fruit and syrups made in-house.

If visiting Norman isn’t feasible, don’t worry; Epic Pops still sells handcrafted popsicles from a food truck and pushcarts across the metro.

Learn more at eatmorepops.com.

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Mixed up

Get shaken and stirred at Park House Events Center as Myriad Botanical Gardens continues its Taste of Oklahoma series 7-9 p.m. Aug. 20 with a mixology class.

Bartenders Ryan Goodman from The R&J Lounge and Supper Club and Chris Barrett of Ludivine teach guests to make cocktails using fresh ingredients that can be grown in the backyard.

Goodman is R&J bar manager. In April, his craft cocktail recipes helped him win the inaugural United States Bartenders’ Guild Oklahoma City chapter Whiskey Rebellion challenge.

Barrett is Ludivine bar manager and half of the bartending team that created a cocktail menu based on The Beatles’ album Revolver earlier this year.

The class is for adults age 21 and older and includes drinks and light hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets are $45 for botanical gardens members and $50 for nonmembers at myriadgardens.com. The registration deadline is Aug. 18.

Feeding minds

Project Management Institute Oklahoma City presents Legends & Leaders, a dinner and drinks event to inspire local professionals to reinvest in their community and help solve the state budget crisis that is affecting Oklahoma schools.

The dinner is 5:30-11 p.m. Aug. 19 at OKC Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., and features a roster of notable community leaders, including a keynote speech by former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts Jr., the new president and CEO of Feed the Children.

Chapter president Tammie Nelson said the group helps members find ways, both individually and as part of companies, to benefit to local nonprofits that improve education in Oklahoma.

Tickets are $40-$150, available at pmiokc.org.

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