Residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the 16th Street Plaza District are not shy in telling property and business owners what they want from the retailers and restaurants.
Two years ago, residents gathered at an annual Plaza District town hall and clamored for Sunday brunches at restaurants that were, at that point, closing on Sundays. The district this year now features restaurants offering brunch.
When Kenny Deason and Chris Corbin, long associated with The Parish, 1755 NW 16, began looking at opening a coffee shop with the art and music venue, neighbors were quick to tell them they wanted a shop that would be open at night.
In the end, the neighbors got their way. The District House coffee shop and deli features an array of coffees, brewed beer in cans, and hot deli sandwiches and is open 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The venture, Deason said, wouldn’t have been possible without first successfully creating The Parish, which he calls a “church community” focused on art and music.
“We started in 2009 hosting live music and art events on Thursday nights,” Deason said. “It was a ghost town. There were no restaurants. But we found out what the Plaza District wanted to do with arts and music, and we had a lot of college students at OCU and folks in the city who were excited about getting involved in weekly live music and art events.”
The Parish introduced what Deason admits was a “cheesy coffee cart.”
The District House, Deason said, is a community gathering spot that hosts monthly film club meetings, broadcasts of Thunder games, concerts, poetry readings and shows. And every wall in the 6,000-square-foot venue acts as a gallery for local artists whose work also is for sale.
“So far it’s going very well,” Deason said. “And it really gets packed when there is a Thunder game on.”
So far it’s going very well. And it really gets packed when there is a Thunder game on.”