By: Value News | Category: Rogers County | Issue: February 2022
Food Truck Thursdays are monthly spring thru early fall. Alley Activation mural of Will Rogers at North Block Common.
Claremore is a vibrant town rich in Native American culture. Located on historic Route 66, you will experience a treasure-trove filled with eclectic shops and unique boutiques, antiques, craft emporiums, museums, restaurants, and galleries. Its residents have an independent and creative spirit that encourages collaboration and entrepreneurship. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts will enjoy Claremore Lake, parks, and many miles of multi-use trails.
Claremore is a great value getaway close to home.
By definition, the tourism industry markets places of interest to the public, and all the places of interest and things to do in Claremore makes Tanya Andrews’s role as executive director of Visit Claremore that much easier.
Susan Gebhart, Three Twenty on Main partner will help you make your event easy, friendly and comfortable. Three Twenty on Main will accommodate up to 120 people.
“Visit Claremore serves as the marketing and promotion arm for the city and the surrounding area,” Andrews said. “We share our story with the world-our story of a great community started by local entrepreneurs and small-business owners; home of Oklahoma legends, our world class museums, great events, wonderful eateries as well as our history all add to our story.”
A “behind the scene organization,” Visit Claremore’s outreach is far and wide, as it strives to reach potential visitors as well residents in the region.
“I have been in the hospitality industry for a long time; from hotels and restaurants to my long time career as the Director of Visit Claremore,” said Andrews, a second generation Claremore Zebra and RSU alumni. “I started in 2005 when it was the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau and has evolved into Visit Claremore. Now a department of the City of Claremore, we merged with the Claremore Expo Center in 2015. Missions were identical so the two merging made sense and allowed for more resources for both.”
As an industry “storyteller,” Visit Claremore tells the history of the community to visitors through social media, advertising, news articles and in-person with the public.
“Tourism is the purest form of economic development. It doesn’t require roads, bridges, stop lights, utilities, etc. except when we see growth in hotels, and restaurants or other related businesses,” Andrews said. “With a healthy flow of visitors the increase in usage and need of our hospitality businesses is a healthy growth to the city, via sales taxes, increased utilities and providing more jobs without taxing roads and emergency services.”
Inasmuch as tourism benefits the city, Andrews also commended the town’s many entrepreneurs, and the importance of community support.
“To buy locally you are supporting one of our own residents, who have invested thousands, maybe even millions in our community,” she said. “They have already given back by bringing, or opening, their business here; they believe that our community is worth their investment. Additionally, they are providing local jobs. Some business owners and/or property owners might not be from Claremore, however, their employees are. Those employees live here and spend their money on groceries, utilities, and contribute to our tax base.”
“To buy from a local business we are investing our money to keep them here-keep them open and employees working-we are supporting their dream and their investments they brought to the table first,” she said.
For more information about Visit Claremore, visit them online at visitclaremore.org
A+ Rated Party Venue
“Three Twenty on Main” is one of Oklahoma’s best event and party spaces for weddings, receptions and gatherings of all kinds.
When planning a get-together of any size, for work, church, business or friends, Three Twenty on Main in Claremore is the “main” event.
“Simply put, Three Twenty on Main is an event and party space venue,” explained Susan Gebhart, Three Twenty on Main partner. “After we renovated this space, it was able to handle everything from social events to business events. We host business meetings, private parties, dinners, weddings, receptions, memorial service receptions, etc.
“I tell people that if it doesn’t involve live animals, fire or water, we’re probably open to the idea of doing it,” she laughed.
Gebhart, a veteran meeting planner and event planner, had been working remotely in Claremore for a company in Texas when she had the idea for Three Twenty on Main.
“I managed meetings all over the U.S. and internationally, and the company I worked for specialized in educational meetings for physicians and nurses,” she said. “My partners and I looked around and saw this blossoming of event venues all over the country, so we said to ourselves ‘We could do that.’”
By the fall of 2016, Gebhart, Tommy Duncan and Brian Courtney found the space in downtown Claremore that would eventually become Three Twenty on Main.
Between Thanksgiving 2016 and March 2017, the building underwent a “radical transformation” before it opened to the public.
“We purposely left a lot of the base elements of the building in place – the history of the building was something we appreciated,” she said.
Able to accommodate up to 120 people with a total square footage of 4,000 feet, including a bridal dressing room upstairs and kitchen space, Three Twenty on Main can meet the needs for gatherings of all sizes.
Gebhart describes the décor as “elegantly neutral,” allowing for minimum redecoration to look festive for any occasion – casual, semi-formal, formal and very formal.
“We have a good neutral palette here, allowing people to do whatever they want to do for whatever event they plan to hold here,” she said.
Early reservations are always preferable with at least a “90 day notice” typifying how much advance time is needed for most bookings.
“People in Claremore have been so good, so welcoming to us,” she said. “When we started this, we knew we were bringing something unlike anything else in the area – it’s a little bit different, both in terms of size and environment. People have been very, very good to us. We have several loyal customers who use us for their various events, for which we’re extremely grateful.”
Three Twenty on Main is located at 320 W. Will Rogers Blvd. in Claremore.
For more information, visit http://www.320onmain.com/
Will Rogers Memorial Museum is the Largest Memorabilia Collection of Oklahomaís Favorite Son
Movie star. Radio personality. Newspaper columnist. Oklahoman.
Of all the destinations in Claremore, few have more history than that which honors the life of Oklahoma’s most famous son: the Will Rogers Memorial.
More than 19,000-square feet in size, the museum houses artifacts, memorabilia, pictures, manuscripts, and more pertaining to Rogers’ life, with a theater to show Rogers movies and documentaries.
“What we do is preserve and share the life and legacy of Will Rogers for future generations,” explained Will Rogers Memorial Executive Director Tad Jones.
As a native Rogers Countian, Jones is well-acquainted with the story of Will.
“I grew up in Claremore, went to school in Oologah – towns which were both important parts of Will’s early life – I’ve been around the memorial and the Birthplace Ranch (in Oologah) most of my life,” he said. “I was in the Oklahoma legislature for 12 years and became more familiar with the memorial, as it’s a state entity. When (former museum director) Steve (Gragert) retired in 2014, I was contacted to see if I might be interested in taking over for him, to which I said ‘Absolutely.’ I had a marketing background, and thought I could use that and my experience to really expand the memorial’s outreach, both in the community and beyond. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”
Even though Rogers rose to fame nearly 100 years ago, so many of his insights and outlooks remain as relevant today as they did during his lifetime.
“When people come to the museum, they have a good time, they have fun, and they come to understand Will’s joy for life, how he lived life to the fullest and treated everyone with respect,” he said. “He gave all for his fellow man and his family. He was just a great citizen role model for our community, our state and our nation.”
While the museum serves as a destination for travelers from around the world, many of them stopping to see the sights while traveling Route 66, Jones said he’s appreciative of the support that the museum receives from the community.
“We try to do a lot of activities for the community – to draw them in and experience Will, to bring people together in the spirit of Will,” he said. “We have Will’s Country Christmas, Will Rogers Days, Easter egg hunts, Family Days, lectures, etc. We are part of this community, sharing thoughts, ideas and friendships with Claremore residents and people within the local and nearby communities.”
The museum gift shop contains numerous books, clothing items, cards, kid’s toys, and other mementos about Will Rogers, Route 66, the community and the state – perfect for souvenirs, keepsakes or Christmas gifts.
For more information about the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, visit the memorial at 1720 W. Will Rogers Boulevard or visit them online at www.willrogers.com
Fashionable, Trendy and Community Champion: District on Main
The District on Main in Claremore features a stylish selection of fashionable clothing and accessory brands, handbags and home goods – with a very interesting beginning. This fabulous boutique features over 170 of the most coveted brands including Gorjana, Kendra Scott, Brighton, Dear John, Sanctuary, Tribal, Dylan, Z Supply, Liverpool and Brumate.
“First and foremost, The District (on Main) is a women’s clothing, jewelry and gift store” said Cari Bohannan, owner, The District on Main. “We are your one stop shop in Claremore for a woman’s clothing needs for every day or special occasions.”
Bohannan’s path to owning a boutique began nearly decade ago, also in downtown Claremore.
The business has evolved through the years. “We originally started across the street with a partner, with paint, and painted furniture in a booth at Sailors (Antiques),” she said. “Then, we changed brands of paint and it required our own storefront, which led us to opening our own shop – and here we are.”
Now a fashion-forward boutique, The District on Main offers affordable chic, trendy and popular clothing. Styles are appropriate selections for women of all ages. As well as a distinctive selection of jewelry and accessories, handbags, bath and body items, and gifts for just about everyone on your giving list.
“We have an eclectic atmosphere here – in one way, it’s like walking back into history because this is a historic building, and many elements of its past are still here, especially the walls, but it’s also very fun and relaxed, but with a large assortment of brand-name items people won’t find anywhere else but here. I like to describe us as having ‘big city fashion with small town charm.’”
“We have several out-of-town customers, many of whom order online, but the community has been a big supporter of us, for which we’re very grateful,” she said. “As the last couple of years have made some people reluctant to shop in person, we’re fortunate that they’ve stepped up and shopped with us online or ordered and taken advantage of our curbside pickup.”
Bohannan said supporting local businesses such as her own isn’t just good for the customer, it’s good for the community, as so many local business owners are community members and partners themselves, who then return the support in other businesses, civic groups, clubs and organizations.
“People who support us, who support local businesses are indirectly supporting their community,” she said. “It means so much to us as small-business owners.”
Several specials will be offered throughout the Christmas and holiday season.
The District on Main is located at 406 W. Will Rogers Boulevard.
For more information, call the District on Main at 918-283-4637 or visit them online at http://www.thedistrictonmain.com/
Sailor Antiques: A Must Visit Antique and Collectibles Paradise
Brenda Reno and Mary White are more than just mother and daughter.
Since Feb. 1, 2013, the pair have also been business partners, overseeing the downtown antique store, Sailor Antiques & Collectibles.
“Our business involves the sale of antiques, collectibles and other vintage items,” Reno said. “Originally, I worked in a corporate job in Pryor, but I’d always had an antiques booth during my career because it’s always been a way for me to relax.”
Eventually, Reno opened her own shop in Claremore – a place for antique lovers like herself.
“How we operate is, we have the space and rent it out to a proprietor, who is responsible for furnishing it, keeping it clean and marketing the items, which are generally vintage in nature,” she said. “We have 40 proprietors spread out over 7,000 square feet.”
Proprietor booth spaces are month-to-month, so unique items offered change from one month to the next, but always with something for collectors or those who just want to be reminded of simpler times.
“We get a lot of business from travelers, but also from members of the community and others from around the area,” she said. “Antique shopping is a unique experience. So many people have told us that it’s relaxing, it’s enjoyable, and it evokes memories from their childhood. People will come in just to look around and come across things that remind them of when they were growing up or of their parents. Something we hear quite often is ‘Oh, my grandmother used to have one of those.’”
Sailor Antiques itself is something of an antique, as the building itself was built in 1902 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’re blessed that we’re in this beautiful historic building and we’re also in a corridor of some main thoroughfares – Route 66, the Will Rogers Turnpike, Highway 20, etc.,” she said.
Among some of the more collectible items to be found at Sailor are Fenton glassware and Frankoma Pottery of Sapulpa, but highly collectible or not, Reno said all items carry fond memories for someone and her store – and Claremore – are perfect destinations.
“I believe that Claremore is a destination, a great community – just the three blocks that are historic downtown Claremore is a great area,” she said. “We’re all neighbors – we share a lot of joy and passion for promoting our businesses and community as a family destination for antiques, boutiques, uniques, and dining. This is a great community.”
Sailor Antiques & Collectibles is located at 422 W. Will Rogers Boulevard.
For more information, contact Sailor Antiques at 918-341-4838.
Delicious Juicy Steaks and Entrees at Doeís Eat Place
Doe’s Eat Place is downtown Claremore’s go-to destination for a variety of lunch sandwiches, hearty, thick-cut steaks, fresh seafood and other fine-dining quality dishes for lunch or dinner.
Restaurant owner and community member Betty Watowich opened the downtown eatery three years ago, and has since watched as the business and her clientele have grown.
“We opened in June 2018, and things have been good – it’s been a bit of a slow process, but we’ve gradually been getting more and more business as people in the community have gotten to know us and word-of-mouth gets out,” Watowich said.
Whether you’re looking for 100 percent prime beef steaks, savory seafood, chicken or soup, Doe’s Eat Place offers a sophisticated dining experience in a more casual, laid-back atmosphere.
“We are geared towards people who want higher quality food and drink without the formality. I’ve heard us described as offering a ‘non-pretentious fine dining experience’. I think that is pretty accurate,” she said.
“First and foremost, the quality of the food draws people in, and secondly, it’s our atmosphere that
people appreciate, and of course, we’ve got the best servers in town, that’s for sure,” Watowich said. “We definitely appreciate everyone who’s come in, whether only once or they’re a regular customer, who has supported us, and we’re always thankful for feedback. We want to hear from our customers.”
Doe’s Eat Place is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Doe’s Eat Place is located at 520 W. Will Rogers Boulevard in Claremore.
For more information, call Doe’s at 918-923-7042.
Tad Jones, Executive Director, Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Claremore, OK. Will Rogers Memorial Museum is situated on a scenic landscape and features twelve galleries, a children’s museum, and library.
District on Main owner Cari Bohannon offers patrons an affordable selection of excellent brands. District on Main exudes big city fashion with small town charm.
Owners Mary White and Brenda Reno invite you to step back in time at Sailor Antiques. Doe’s Eat Place server Amy Deaver-Baker and Betty Watowhich, owner, reviewing the reservation book.
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