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Coffee house in historic Tulsa gas station may open by spring January 9, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations, Preservation, Restaurants.

The old George Tune auto shop in Tulsa, which soon will be the 918 Coffee shop.

A historic former gas station on Route 66 in Tulsa likely will reopen as a coffee house by spring, according to a report in the Urban Tulsa newspaper.

It occupy the George Tune auto shop complex at 2446 E. 11th St., which includes a 1928 cottage-style service station.

It will be called 918 Coffee, a reference to the area code in the region. Dr. Morad El-Raheb, a general-practice physician born in Egypt who has lived in Tulsa for 25 years, bought the property about a year ago.

According to the newspaper:

“Our main purpose is to kind of keep the original building. We really didn’t want to disturb any of the original part of the building,” El-Raheb said. […]

El-Raheb said he plans to add neon to make the structure stand out even more on this section of Route 66. […]

Older touches also include the original window frames in the cottage section of the structure, now featuring recently installed double-pane windows. Stowed away is an ancient door that El-Raheb restored and plans to use at the coffee shop’s entrance.

“This took a lot of work. ‘Cause it had like six coats of paint, so we stripped it all, sanded it, sealed it,” El-Raheb said. […]

“When I bought this building, they had these toolboxes that were used from the ’40s, so I took them, they’ve been redone — actually they’re all done now,” El-Raheb said, explaining that he plans on using them as condiment stations. “They look amazing,” he said.

El-Raheb will find competition on or near the Route 66 corridor in Tulsa. Foolish Things Coffee, just south of downtown on Route 66, opened last summer. And The Phoenix, a half-mile north of Route 66 at Sixth Street and Peoria Avenue, opened last month. And at least one other coffee house is scheduled to open soon in downtown.

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