Dine In Style Or On The Go At Gathering Place For Tulsa

Tuesday, September 4th 2018, 12:53 pm
By: Craig Day

Not only do the folks behind Gathering Place want you to be blown away by the park, they also want you to be blown away by the food.

Kirk Swaby is executive chef at Tulsa's new world-class park.

"At first, I'll be very honest with you, coming from Chicago, I had to Google where Tulsa was. I will not lie about that," said Kirk Swaby.

He may have had to Google Tulsa, but he definitely knows his way around the kitchen and now, the Gathering Place.

I met Swaby on the overlook deck of a restaurant located at the boathouse at Gathering Place. The outdoor seating on the deck will provide great views of the park.

"Enjoy the great entertainment we're going to have," Chef Swaby said. "The great view, you have downtown Tulsa right there, we have the river, and you have the amazing park.  You can't beat it."

And Chef Swaby says food was definitely a focus while building the Gathering Place, starting with the largest of its restaurants: the Vista at the Boathouse. It will include indoor seating, but also seating on the deck.

"An eclectic style of cuisine, pulling from the different demographics that we have in Tulsa," said Executive Chef Kirk Swaby. 

"And bringing kind of a fusion with different restaurants and giving a wide range of flavor combinations that you really don't find in many restaurants here in Tulsa."

Another restaurant, the Patio, is located on the east side of Williams Lodge and offers a quick-service dining menu.

"Upscale burgers, pizza, chicken strips, so fair food that you can actually get there as well," Swaby said.

The Redbud Cafe on the bottom floor of Williams Lodge will definitely get the attention of children.

"A hybrid of all three: candy shop, pastry shop, and ice cream parlor smashed into one," he said.

All of the sweet treats will be made in-house daily. 

Chef Swaby says there will be something for everyone, no matter their age. He hopes food will be part of the fond memories people take away from the Gathering Place.

"One characteristic within the world that people gather around is food! It's a universal thing. People gather around food. So why not have amazing food that we can share," he said.

As the park fills with families playing and having fun while working up an appetite, Swaby says there are several options that promise to be unique and affordable as folks get a taste of what Gathering Place has to offer. 

"Where the Gathering Place is located, where we're able to bring different, diverse foods into the park, in one central location right off the river, you can't beat that," he said.

"It is beyond exciting. I don't think there's any concept out there, that is like the Gathering Place," Chef Swaby said.

Gathering Place will also have food carts scattered throughout the park, to make it easy for you to grab something to eat and then get right back to playing at the park.