Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Restaurateurs Go the Distance to Find Success in OKC, Tulsa Metro Markets

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Restaurateurs Go the Distance to Find Success in OKC, Tulsa Metro Markets

Article excerpt

Twice per week Ward Harrison drives the Turner Turnpike.

Harrison owns Jazmo'z Bourbon Street Cafe in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

It takes about 90 minutes to make the drive, but sometimes the two restaurants can feel worlds apart.

"I think absolutely there is a different market and different demographic at each store," said Harrison.

About 15 years ago Harrison started Jazmo'z because Tulsa was starving for Cajun-influenced cuisine.

When Jazmo'z filled a niche for Tulsans, Harrison decided he wanted to try his hand in the Oklahoma City restaurant market.

"This is when there was talk about the MAPS project," he said. "I wanted to be part of Bricktown. It's a beautiful place with the landscape."

Harrison and his partners opened a second Jazmo'z on the Bricktown Canal.

Though the overall concept is the same for both, the Oklahoma City restaurant is three times bigger than the one in Tulsa.

"Last month (Tulsa) business has seen a bit of a slowdown," he said. "But OKC it's different. It's the opportune season and now is when it gets busy as people want to sit on the patio."

A successful restaurant in one market doesn't guarantee success in another, said Vince Orza, dean of the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.

While it can be relatively straightforward to run two or three of the same restaurants in one city, it's a different ballgame operating the same restaurant in two different cities, he said.

"It takes time to drive back and forth and that is a lot of time that you aren't in the restaurant," said Orza. "If you are a small operator it's you who drives the company, and when you are not in the restaurant no one cares as much as you do."

Restaurant success comes down to location, said Orza.

"It's not enough to have great food and service," he said. "From a customer's standpoint, great parking is a key. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.