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Some restaurants, shops stay open during storm

A handful of restaurants and shops chose to stay open Tuesday despite the winter storm.
BY STEVE LACKMEYER slackmeyer@opubco.com Published: February 2, 2011

Since taking over Tapwerks Alehouse and Cafe in Bricktown a couple of years ago, Jeremy Witzke has committed himself to operating the one restaurant that won't close regardless of the weather.

During the 2009 Christmas Eve blizzard, Witzke learned that downtown hotels had a captive crowd clamoring for restaurants to stay open.

So on Tuesday, Witzke opened despite winter conditions that rivaled the bad storm of 2009.

“We don't close for weather,” Witzke said. “Our theory is there are still people stranded in those hotels. And outside of a continental breakfast, there isn't much for them to eat.”

As the noon hour hit, Witzke was busy providing rides to a couple of his employees. His game plan for the evening was to trade out free meals to hotel employees in exchange for rooms across from the restaurant.

Deep Fork Group restaurants opened a couple of their eateries as well.

Elena Farrar, manager at The Wedge on Western Avenue, said the pizzeria and nearby Chica's Mexican Cafe were both open and serving lunches to guests who made it out on the roads.

Ian Halliday, co-owner of Coffee Slingers, at NW 10 and Broadway along Automobile Alley, opened his coffee shop at 8 a.m. and was hoping to stay open through 4 p.m.

“It's what we do,” Halliday said. “And I wanted coffee. Our first customer this morning was a guy who had been pulling people out of the snow.”


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