Made in Oklahoma: The Beatnix Cafe

Published: May 14, 2008

The décor — a hodge-podge of items found at antique stores and garage sales — is an attempt by Filkins' daughter Rachel Chorost to recreate the Beatnix vibe of the late 1950s.

"My daughter is a beatnik who was born past the era,” Filkins said. "So this is really her thing — this is her concept and what she wanted to do. One thing that appealed to her is independent expression. She's very artisitic. She developed the menus, even though she had never done anything like that.”

The menu at the Beatnix Cafe is what Filkins calls "halfway healthy” but not vegetarian. It includes a coffee bar, soups, deli sandwiches and candy — but no fried food.

While he's hoping to establish the Beatnix Cafe as a neighborhood hangout, Filkins isn't discouraging business from outside downtown — or the United States for that matter.

"So far word of mouth has gotten us pretty far,” Filkins said. "We had a guy from India doing a nuclear physics seminar at OU in Norman. Somehow, this was the first place he got to eat at in America. How that happened, I don't know — he just showed up getting out of a taxi.”

Business Writer Steve Lackmeyer

Watch a video interview with David Filkins as he talks about his motivations for opening up the Beatnix Cafe.

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