The Soul City Gastropub & Music House along the 11th Street alignment of Route 66 in Tulsa soon will close after six years and later resurface in the suburb of Jenks, Oklahoma.
Owners Kevin and Amy Smith announced the impending closure Friday morning on Facebook and the booking of final shows, including a grand finale in Tulsa on Oct. 18 after a two-week break.
Amy and I have made the decision with our investors to close Soul City. This has been a hard decision to make. Life is about seasons and change and business is no different. Nothing lasts forever. We are deeply grateful for the support and love from our music community, family, friends and investors. Some of you have helped us through difficult times.. others have selflessly worked alongside of us to make Soul City a reality. To all of you… Thank You!
The Oct. 18 final curtain will include shows by music artists John Fullbright, Paul Benjaman, Jacob Tovar and Jesse Aycock, all backed by local musicians. Fullbright, in particular, has developed into an artist that music fans well outside of Tulsa are admiring.
However, that won’t be the complete end of Soul City:
Many of you have asked about the future… we were approached a few months ago to start a new venue on Main St. in Jenks and we’re happy to announce that construction is underway and we hope to be open in a few months. Amy and I have always pioneered new areas.. from our 3 years at 818 on 3rd street to 6 years at Soul City to now full circle return to Jenks where it all started for us booking bands at Riverwalk in 2011.
Stay Tuned… This is not the end of the Soul… it’s just the beginning!!
It’s a shame Soul City, housed in a former gas station, is closing, namely because it became a major outlet for the not-insignificant number of creatives in the city. However, the musical roots of Tulsa are too deep and rich for them to remain dormant for long; they will resurface elsewhere.
Soul City also symbolized the ongoing revitalization of the 11th Street corridor in Tulsa for a time, and it added an eye-catching neon sign and colorful mural of late Tulsa musician J.J. Cale on one of its walls.
At the same time, Soul City struggled. It dealt with a break-in and its resulting damage, and the restaurant/nightclub business, in general, is fraught with risk — especially in an area such as 11th Street that is rising but still deals with poverty and crime.
Soul City had closed for renovations for about two months earlier this year.
(Hat tip to Allison Spicer; an image of the Soul City neon sign via Facebook)