People packed downtown Tulsa Wednesday night, but not in the places you'd first guess. It wasn't the PAC or the BOK Center; they were shoulder to shoulder in the Blue Dome District.
With the help of a business boom, and a Mardi Gras party, the Blue Dome District is being brought back to life. When the parade wrapped up, people packed the restaurants and bars, proving to more and more businesses that the Blue Dome is a profitable part of town.
"For all those years there wasn't much downtown and now it's all coming back," said Chris Armstrong of Arnie's Bar.
There's a lot to celebrate in Tulsa's Blue Dome District. The neighborhood on the east side of downtown, packed tightly with bars and restaurants, shut down Tuesday night as 21 floats and revelers held their annual Mardi Gras Parade.
"Everybody's just booming. Everything is just coming back downtown," Armstrong said.
Armstrong and other developers are leading the charge to get more business owners excited about opening up in the Blue Dome.
"They see the development and they see what all of us, what all the hard work of all the people that are down here have brought. The success that it's bringing to this district, and not even just this district, but everything else," said Armstrong.
Some businesses, like Lambrusco'z To Go, are opening up its second Tulsa location in the district. Developers say one empty Blue Dome store front will soon be a small convenience store. These developments make the district a community full of places to live, work and eat.
Blue Dome developer, Michael Sager, said, "It's really a representative of local businesses. There are no national businesses in here."
It's Sager's goal to get more people re-invested in this area, which was practically a ghost town several years ago.
"It's absolutely fantastic, Sager said. "First Street was important in every city in the United States, it's where it all starts, and really, this is a revitalization of First Street."
Lambrusco'z will open on March 17, the same day its neighbors will have Saint Patrick's Day festivities. The convenience store is expected to be open in about three months.