9 Reasons to Shop in South Tulsa

Did you ever stop to think what a lousy time of year January is for a mom to make New Year’s resolutions? You’ve just survived the holiday season, and while I’m sure you have many lovely, touching, warm and poignant memories of your darling children celebrating, all that memory-making was undoubtedly grueling. Then you have to endure that week between Christmas and New Year’s, where the presents are losing their luster and the weather outside is frightful, and children are starting to climb the walls and drive you to top off your 10 a.m. coffee with a shot of Bailey’s. Then New Year’s rolls around and you are facing down at least a couple more months of snot and puke – the tide of sick kids won’t stop rolling until early April.

Amidst all of this unpleasantness, you’re supposed to lose weight? Exercise more? Be more cheerful and patient? Whatever your resolution is, this is NOT a good time!

The Vineyard on Memorial

So take my advice, dear Mom, and just try your best to enjoy January, despite the gray and sick days. Postpone those resolutions until spring break, at least, when you’ll be happier and more apt to actually want to smile at people. For now? Just try to get out of your house and have a little fun! And guess what? Quite fortuitously there is a lovely shopping area near me  – romantically called “The Vineyard on Memorial.” It is a relatively new retail area right around 106th and Memorial, and is full of fantastic mom diversions.

Now, before you Broken Arrow and Glenpool and Sapulpa and Midtown and Owasso moms protest that this is too darn far for you to drive, might I remind that in a few short months, you will ALL be right here. Why? Because Costco, the poshest of the warehouse clubs, will be landing right at 103rd and Memorial in just a few short months. So, yes, you will be in the ‘hood – possibly every two weeks.

The Vineyard has been touted as “the Utica Square of South Tulsa,” and it’s easy to see why:  It’s a big, airy, walkable expanse with patio seating and lovely gathering places. It’s close to full occupancy, and hopefully it will become another bustling shopping outpost. Here are the many tenants you need to check out:

Bella’s House

First of all is Bella’s House, which is a delightful bodega full of trifles for the home, along with a large selection of jewelry and gifts. Bella’s House has baubles from Rose Gonzales and Gemelli Jewelry; there is also plenty of Kendra Scott! Lampe Bergere is a French company that makes gorgeous air diffusers to fill your home with ambrosial scents; I love the “Ocean Breeze” scent wafting around! And, I’m smitten with some gorgeous bedazzled Nikes and FitBit covers studded with Swarovski crystals for the fitness buff/diva in your life.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

You must visit Nothing Bundt Cakes. It is a sunny and happy bakery filled with – you guessed it – bundt cakes! Now, I am not really a cake afficionado – I tend to just eat the frosting and leave the boring cake for someone else – but this cake is heavenly. I don’t know what it’s made out of — I don’t WANT to know — but you must try one of these delights. Or buy one as a gift — they stick a whimsical flower in the hole. You can also buy adorable Bundtinis — bite sized bundt cakes — and feel somewhat virtuous. There are nine flavors, from Chocolate Chip to Pecan Praline to Red Velvet, and 40 different designs. Perfect for gifts, showers, parties, or for you after a long day with a teething baby.

My Fit Foods

To counteract those bundt cakes — or if you just enjoy good, clean, healthy food — you must visit My Fit Foods (there’s also a branch on Cherry Street in midtown Tulsa). My Fit Foods is a grab-and-go deli with the healthiest, tastiest dishes you’ll find for breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks. All the dishes are made fresh, gluten-free, without added preservatives or hormones. Produce is fresh and the spices are filled with antioxidants.  All dishes list ingredients and calorie counts, and it all sounds fabulous: selections include Ancho Pollo and Egg Tacos, Oat Bake, or Spinach and Sundried Tomato Omelets. For lunch and dinner, there are tons of choices: Kombucha BBQ Sauce Chicken, Lone Star Chile Relleno, Turkey Pasta and Sriracha Chicken Wraps are but a few of their entrees. You can drop in the store, order online, or you can have a Nutrition Coach create a complementary meal plan, customized to your lifestyle. Plus, My Fit Foods offers a 21-day challenge, which can help you lose weight and improve your eating choices. (But don’t worry about that until April, right?)

Rustic Cuff

And then the fabulously successful Rustic Cuff by Jill Donovan was opened up an outpost at the Vineyard. You’ve probably heard about Jill’s appearance on Oprah, where she was a bit humiliated and called a “re-gifter.”  Well, Jill started designing bracelets, and after a few years of hard work, Oprah herself wore one of Jill’s Rustic Cuffs on the cover of her magazine! The cuffs are beautiful and come in all shapes and sizes; you may even have a personalized one, or a cuff from a school fundraiser. You can have them personalized; I love the idea of having my kids’ names engraved on one. There is no limit to Jill’s styles and imagination!

The Wine Loft

Next is The Wine Loft. Alas, I have not actually been myself — I have either been pregnant or nursing my little appendage — and it is a bar, so I can’t just bring her in. But my girlfriends tell me it is great, and it looks like so much fun:  there are signature cocktails, one of the largest “wine by the glass” selections in Tulsa, and a little tasting menu of gourmet tapas like Duck Crepettes, Wagyu Beef Sliders, and Baked Brie. There’s a full-service bar, a lounge area, an upstairs event space, and a gorgeous patio for when the weather warms up again. My friend dubs it the “south version of Brookside!”  Her only gripe — the wine list is categorized by country and region, instead of varietal and/or red and white — which strikes me as confusing. The service is attentive and efficient. So I can’t wait to go with some girls and have a cocktail or three — once I wean my little succubus!

Learning Express Toys

I talked last month about Learning Express Toys — this is a great store with high-quality and educational toys for all ages. It is perfect for grabbing a birthday gift that not everyone will already have!

Trey’s Bar and Grill

And finally, right around the corner from the toy store is Trey’s Bar and Grill. This is a great, fun spot for the whole family. I bring my whole crew, and of course the boys are immediately mesmerized with the many huge TVs on with all kinds of sporting events for them to drool over. There’re pool tables too, which are a fun distraction! The menu is typical pub fare: excellent starters like stuffed jalapeno peppers and smoky salmon dip.  There’s a bunch of great burgers, sandwiches, wings, and something called the “Bixby Cheesesteak,” which sounds very masculine. Our server was friendly and efficient. It’s a great spot to hang out with the kids — or without!

Whew! So there you go! Check out this budding little mall out south. You might find you have a favorite new haunt — or at least somewhere to go after all that grueling Costco shopping.

Categories: Hip Mom