A favorite Tulsa restaurant closes
Wednesday, March 29th 2006, 3:12 PM CST
The East Side Cafe was a landmark neighborhood restaurant located at Admiral Place and North College since the 1930's.
The restaurant is now closed, and a viewer e-mailed the News on 6 and asked what happened. We sent News on 6 reporter Rick Wells out to find out.
The signs say "East Side Cafe, since 1937." That's a long time for anything. People have fond memories of the East Side.
A viewer e-mailed us said they came by to eat and the place was closed. No more fried onion rings. She says, "yeah, I fondly remember those rings."
So we started nosing around.
Across the street at P&T Transmission, Pete McCann said he was a regular.
"I've been eating over there for 20 years."
In fact, he said he had lunch in there the day before it closed.
Down the street at the stained glass place in the old Rexall drug store, we were told maybe the place wasn't making any money.
At Kids University Day care, they told us they knew how to get hold of the owners. John Ellis, Jr. met us at the cafe.
His grandfather started the restaurant back in 1937 at his original place just up the street.
"My grandpa had it from '37 to about '65," says Ellis, "then my dad took over in '65 and he ran it until 2002 I think."
Other family and friends tried to keep it going after that, but gave up the fight late last year.
You can still find references to the Cafe and the onion rings on the Internet, but alas the East Side is closed. The memories of the rings will have to hold us.
John Ellis, Jr. told Rick there is very little chance the restaurant will ever open again.
He says the restaurant climate in Tulsa has changed, and it would be difficult to re-capture that same East Side atmosphere in a new place.