Brookside business ups and downs

Friday, January 20th 2006, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

Some high-profile closings on Brookside in Tulsa are raising concerns about the popular restaurant and shopping spot. So are the closings just coincidences or is Brookside on a slide?

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says reports of Brookside's demise might be exaggerated. In fact, we are hearing that some exciting new things are going in soon.

Gill's Wood Grill has gone belly-up and Ford's Filling Station will soon be empty. The sudden shuttering of at least 3 Brookside businesses has people talking.

"Patrons, neighbors in the area have said they don't think Brookside is quite as busy as it used to be two years ago." Terry Turner of Alioli Tapas Restaurant has been in the restaurant business a long time in south Tulsa and Utica Square before on Brookside. He says it often takes patience. "We have great moments and then we have periods of softness, so it's just trying to soften it out and we keep pecking away."

Henry Aberson, who has been in business here for 20 years, agrees. "Some of these businesses that closed, they only tried it for six months. If I had gone by just my first 6 months at Aberson's, I would have closed too."

Senor Tequila's Carlos Atilano is a newcomer to Brookside. “Brookside to me is the most festive part of Tulsa and if you've been to my restaurants then you know that's what I try to accomplish with all my employees." Atilano at least has no doubt that he can be a long-term success in Brookside and to prove it, he says, he's putting in plenty of bricks. "Brick is a very solid material and thinking solid. I want to build a solid business and I want to stay here for a long, long time. I don't have any worries. I know that I have to earn my customers one by one and I'm willing to do it."

The News on 6 found out Friday, that where the Claiborne's Gas Station is, they're putting in a new Starbucks Coffee Shop and a new Pei Wei restaurant, part of the P.F. Chang's family. So some things going away, but new things coming in too.