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Made in Oklahoma: The Beatnix Cafe

Published: May 14, 2008
Address: 136 NW 13.

Web site:

Key personnel: Dave Filkins, Rachel Chorost.

Employees: Six.

Product: Restaurant and coffee shop.

Background: Dave Filkins believes so much in becoming a pedestrian-oriented downtown destination that he's offering a 10 percent discount to anyone who walks or rides a bike to his new restaurant, the Beatnix Cafe.

Located next to a florist and a photographer's studio, and with apartments being built upstairs, the 87-year-old brick building at NW 13 and Broadway is the very sort of mixed-use urban development being sought out by planners and civic leaders.

So far, Filkins said, he's having fun being embraced by the emerging neighborhood. Customers include residents from the nearby Garage lofts and the Aberdeen apartments, mechanics from nearby car dealerships, students from the OU Medical Center and executives who work downtown.

"I've been in a lot of different businesses,” Filkins said. "I've been in sales. I've been in retail. But nowhere have I met a clientele this much fun. It's a full mix — professionals, intellectuals, blue collar workers. And I think when they see the word ‘Beatnix,' they realize they are free to come here and have some fun.”

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.

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


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