|By Robert Evatt, Tulsa World,
Okla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 20, 2012-- The new Fairfield Inn & Suites is officially the revived Brady District's first hotel.
The $10.5 million, 104-room hotel will allow its first customers to check in at 3 p.m. Tuesday, said Steve Fischer, general manager.
But a number of customers couldn't wait that long, Fischer said.
"We've already got group bookings for the spring, and reservations for New Year's Eve," he said.
The building, along Main Street between Brady and Archer streets, features the latest Generation Four Fairfield designs within the hotel and 11,000 square feet of retail space that will include the Prhyme steakhouse; Laffa, a Mediterranean restaurant; and Blu, a "casual ultralounge."
Fairfield workers are putting the final touches on the decor, Fischer said.
David Sharp, Greg Oliphant, and Jeff Hartman, working together as Brady Hotel System LLC, jointly built and own the building. Hartman, head of SJS Hospitality, the company that purchased and renovated the downtown Atlas Life Building into a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, manages the hotel component.
Oliphant and Sharp, who own numerous Brady District properties and have redeveloped a number of them in recent months, turned to William Wilkins of 120 Development Group LLC to lease the retail space.
The hotel space is one of the first Fairfields in the country to feature the Generation Four designs for the interior, which combine modern furniture, plenty of right angles and colors that manage to blur the line between earth tones and bright hues.
But the building's exterior and overall structure are nonstandard designs, with touches such as a second floor lobby and an opening at the first floor that leads to the hotel's parking lot, Fischer said.
"The exterior brick is designed to fit into the rest of the Brady District, and is unique to Fairfield," he said.
The retail component is also unique to the Brady, as Wilkins said his company sought out all local concepts.
"We want to make the Brady a destination spot for Tulsa with stuff you wouldn't find at Woodland Hills Mall," he said.
Wilkins said the retail space now just has 1,550 square feet left vacant thanks to the addition of Blu, a Vegas-style bar that will be the first joint business for John Demkowich and Rob Harris.
Blu will feature a grand piano at one end, along with mixed cocktails and light background music. It's scheduled to open by December.
The upscale Prhyme: Downtown Steakhouse, a creation of chef Justin Thompson, should be ready to go this week. Thompson also owns and operates Juniper, another downtown restaurant.
Miranda and Phil Kaiser, owners of Cosmo restaurant in Brookside, are building out Laffa -- Medi-Eastern Restaurant & Bar. Middle Eastern food will be served both inside the restaurant itself and through a walk-up window for late night patrons.
Laffa will be the last to open, with a target of late December or early January.
Fischer said he's confident business at the hotel will ramp up quickly, an assessment bolstered by his experience staying at the site for the last two weeks.
"Every day, I've seen pedestrians walk past," he said. "All the businesses I've talked to are excited about having a hotel here, and they're ready to partner with us."
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447 firstname.lastname@example.org
(c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)
Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at www.tulsaworld.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services NYSE:BRC,