The other day, I was gearing up to take the littles to see Santa, and was trying to think of the perfect place for us to go for an after school treat and sit to write Santa letters. I wanted something a little more special than the usual drive-in, but not the three ring circus of a restaurant.
I thought of the perfect place, somewhere I haven't been since childhood and has just what I was looking for: Steve's Sundry near 21st and Harvard. Steve's is family owned and operated and has offered the largest selection of magazines, any book you need, and an old fashioned soda fountain since 1947. There's just something about preparing for the holidays that begs for a little bit of history and old fashioned goodies!
I love this sign in the window: "Eat, sleep, read local." That's my kind of place!
Apparently these folks have a sense of humor too! I better keep a close eye on these kiddos!
When you step inside and head to the back of the store, you feel like you've stepped back in time with their vintage soda fountain and old advertisements on the walls. You can get a soda or a limeade with different flavored syrups or a milkshake or malt specialty with hand scooped ice cream!
Don't tell me you don't get just as excited as your kids do about swivel stools!
I thought we'd just get sodas and milkshakes, but Aidan can't have milk and everyone seemed to need a little more of a substantial snack, so we went ahead and ordered some sandwiches. I opted for the famous grown-up grilled cheese, with three different cheeses, grilled onions and tomatoes on whole grain rye bread. It was delicious. If you don't think you need to go to a restaurant for a good grilled cheese sandwich, you haven't had Steve's!
The boys shared a PB&J. It may be a simple sandwich we've made a hundred times at home, but there's something extra special about the experience when that sandwich is in a basket with crispy Ruffles and eaten on a swiveling bar stool smack dab in the middle of Tulsa history.
You had me at handwritten check,
and comic books.
The kids have been intent on asking for chores to do around the house so they can earn money, and Aidan spotted just the thing to spend his pocket change on!
I told him he could take his money to the front cash register and pay for it himself, and he did. He didn't quite understand that he was supposed to pay in FRONT of the counter, but the man didn't mind. He was very kind and sweet. He took Aidie's money, made change, and listened...and listened, and listened (as you do when my five year old starts talking) with a smile on his face.
Later, when I returned to the counter to purchase a Green Lantern comic book and a Sid the Science Kid book, he said, "Let me guess, the comic book is for 'Chatty." "You guessed it," I told him!
I don't know how they do it, but for a small store, they really have a fantastic selection, and if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll get it for you! How's that for service! I noticed their selection of children's books was great, and they even have an entire table of books by local authors, about Tulsa history, Rt. 66 and more. I wanted to buy them all for Christmas presents!
Steve's Sundry seems a lot like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. Its slow paced, take-your-time atmosphere is refreshing. I don't think you'll ever encounter a long line or people giving you dirty looks because they want you to finish your soda and take your stool. Everyone who comes in is your neighbor, looking for conversation and a good book recommendation.
And I do plan to go back for one of their milkshakes! Mom date anyone?
See you around town!