City leaders and community members in Broken Arrow are celebrating what they say is the start of the revitalization of an important part of the city.
The Great Oasis Grill and Bar is up and running near Elm and New Orleans. It's an intersection that used to be a central part of the city and leaders hope will be key to more growth.
This is a pretty big step forward for the city, and people living and working here.
"Since Reasor's moved out, a lot of businesses moved out of here, from South Broken Arrow, we decided to help bring the activity back by investing in this area," Ahmad Ketaneh said.
Ketaneh is the owner of the newly opened Great Oasis Grill and Bar. He and his uncle started Apple Barrel Cafe next door a few years ago. When Applebee's moved out, the Ketaneh's bought the building.
"You know, Applebee's is a big corporation, a big franchise. After they left, we decided to start our own franchise, which is Great Oasis," Ketaneh said.
It's one example of a local, family-owned business filling a void left by a larger franchise leaving.
"We tried very hard after Reasor's moved out, I'm going to be honest with you, the economy went down a little bit in this area, and we were talking with the city about the activity in this area," Ketaneh said.
Earlier this year, Broken Arrow Vice Mayor Scott Eudey said the city needed to intervene.
"To reinvigorate, to revitalize that corner and study how we can make improvements to draw people back to what used to be a vibrant part of our economic structure," Eudey said.
In August, the Elm and New Orleans Advisory Committee started meeting to brainstorm ways to bring life back to this district.
"It's a very nice area, the residents are very nice, the community makes you feel like a family. You know everyone here, it's very nice to invest in this area," Ketaneh said.
The Elm and New Orleans Advisory Committee meets every month.