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MO' JOE: District House offers Plaza District patrons coffee and more

Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- It’s kind of weird to think that for all of the traffic that runs through the Plaza District that there wasn’t a place to stop by throughout the day to grab a cup of coffee, siphon off some free Wi-Fi and just generally chill while talking to friends or relaxing with a book.

It was this need that was the catalyst for opening District House, 755 N.W. 16th, a new coffee shop and deli that opens early and closes late six days a week.

“The Plaza District needed more than just a coffee shop,” said Pastor Kenny Deason, owner and operator. “The Plaza District is unique because of the sense of arts, diversity, community and pride that you might expect to find in a large urban metropolis, but all wrapped up in an extremely accessible package that is exclusively ‘OKC.’ We hope that District House is a coffee shop with the same bigger-than-life, cocky, I-don’t-see-myself-as-an-underdog, creative, and amiable spirit of the Plaza District.”

Even though it was scheduled to open last year, they faced a few setbacks that included having to bring the building up to code and holding a fundraiser or two to continue the construction, but Deason believes the wait was worth it in order for the true vision of District House to be realized.

“Changing the legal purpose of a historical building to meet the needs of a high occupancy space like ours takes a lot of planning, design, time, resources, and processes with the city,” Deason said. “We did everything we could to get the doors open as soon as possible while not compromising the style, functionality, and legality of our space.”

While there is a definite sigh of relief now that the coffee shop is open to the public, Deason is quick to mention that, as an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience, he knows that it’ll take just as much — if not more — work to keep it open and running for years to come, but it’s also been made easier by having a crack staff of trained baristas led by administrative manager Jason Weigand.

Since their opening a month ago, word of mouth has been growing and more new faces show up and make it their regular hangout every day. The menu, which, in addition to coffee and specialty drinks, also offers hot deli sandwiches, as well as gourmet sweets like coffee cakes and oatmeal crème pies, not to mention numerous offerings available for vegetarians and vegans alike.

“We also have an incredible space available for private parties or live venue events,” Deason added “We will be booking touring bands, hosting open mic nights, art collaborative groups, and more. OKC Film Club has a great monthly viewing with a classy group of film junkies. We’re excited to keep the place teaming with life that’s reflective of the Plaza District and OKC’s pride in the arts and community.”

With music and art being just as big a part of District House as it is for the entire Plaza District, the community has responded in kind, especially for events like Live on the Plaza and Plaza Sunday, leaving nice-sized crowds from recent acts as diverse as local stand-up comedians to touring bands and artists that are thankful for a stage to perform on. As the neighborhood continues grow, it’s Deason’s hope that so will District House.

“It’s hard to hold back a big ol’ cheesy grin when you hear someone singing the praises that you only hope you’ll be hearing when you open the doors,” Deason said. “As long as this continues to be the trend, we have every reason to believe that we are going to succeed. We will continue to listen to heart beat and needs of the Plaza District and respond with a fervor and energy that we hope best reflects our city’s love for coffee, the arts, and community.”

To learn more about District House, go to www.districthouseokc.com.

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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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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