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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.
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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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