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GOING CLEAR: Clarity Coffee offers a "damn fine" cup of coffee

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
Clarity Coffee barista Aria Maisey prepares a beverage for the morning rush.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Seemingly hidden in the long shadows of the surrounding tall buildings along Main Street, Clarity Coffee – opened by Steve and Chelsea Willingham in 2015 – is an island of caffeinated civilization amongst the city's concrete and steel.

Working behind the counter – making all sorts of coffee-related drinks – were Tyler Roberts and a new employee, Aria Maisey.

At Clarity, Roberts said, you sense the “big city living and small town feel” as people walk by outside or pop in for a cuppa joe.

Both employees had nothing but great things to say about Clarity, and its commitment to using different coffee roasters to provide their coffee.

Tyler Roberts, behind the counter at OKC's Clarity Coffee. (Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report)

And while the construction work taking place across the street was not anybody’s favorite thing, Roberts said that the work was a sign that the area is being upgraded and becoming more dynamic. 

Roberts' boss, Steve Willingham, an Oklahoma City native, agreed. He sees new life in this corner of downtown OKC, just blocks from the Devon Tower, Myriad Gardens and new life along Film Row. 

"And we're getting the streetcar," which he said was a bonus, since it also links to a location near his home.

"We may just ditch the car," he said, with a smile.

A lover of coffee since he was a boy, Willingham was originally a roast manager at Elemental, another local coffee house. He's been in the coffee biz for about a dozen years, he said.

Right now, Clarity is focusing a lot of coffee beans grown in cental Africa, particularly Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia. He and his wife also try out new coffee drinks, including healthful beverages like latte's with shots of turmeric in them. 

Willingham and his crew take coffee very seriously, as employees Roberts and Maisey also indicated, when we first arrived. From the inviting, "clean" lines of the well-lit interior, to the time and detail put into selecting certain roasts, including one he came up with called "KLLR." 

"Every day I learn new things," he said, adding that folks who come in to Clarity are "really behind us" and "they really want us to be successful."

And those words of encouragement, followed with a growing stream of regulars is helping to grow Clarity, while spreading the word about the delicious brew they serve up seven days a week.

Although they don't have musicians perform or hold poetry readings, Willingham said they do feature the work of local artists, whose works are featured on Clarity's walls. 

Most of all, Willingham says, owning and running Clarity, combined with great employees and wonderful customers (and being around coffee 'round the clock) is such a great opportunity in his life.

"It's a lot of fun," he says cheerfully.

Clarity Coffee
431 W Main St, Ste A
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: 405-252-0155

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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