Souper Saturday offers soup, shopping and sales

Get warm this winter with downtown’s inaugural Souper Saturday, a soup tasting and shopping event in the heart of Claremore.

Hosted on the first Saturday of the year, 14 downtown Claremore stores and businesses are cooking up 15 unique soups or chili for attendees, who pay a small fee of $7 for their tasting kit and the ability to feast.

“The merchants are excited to start a new tradition downtown for the people of Claremore,” said Jeannie Smith, owner of The Grapevine, 404 W. Will Rogers Blvd. “We hope everyone has a chance to join us and help make this first year’s event a success.”

Souper Saturday will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 7. Tasting kits are limited and include a specialty Souper Saturday mug, a menu and ballot to navigate the event and vote for your favorites and a wrist band.

The mug and wrist band give attendees the option to sample the more than 15 soups from the stores and businesses in downtown Claremore.
Additionally, guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite soups. The business with the most votes will earn bragging rights on the street and a roving trophy to keep until next year.

“I really want to encourage tasters to stop by my store, so I can show them where I’m planning to put my trophy,” Smith said with a laugh.

Participating businesses are The Cozy Cottage (Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup), The Cranberry Merchant (Spicy White Chili), Crystal Pistols Boutique/Mom & Pops Ceramic Shoppe (Creamy Tortellini Soup), Dorothy’s Flowers (Taco Soup), The Grapevine (Chicken Noodle Soup), The Haberdashery (Broccoli Cheese Soup, Chili), Homeward Bound (Mom’s 7 Can Soup), Hudson-Metcalf Antique Mall (White Bean Soup), LoliPop: A Sweet Boutique (Potato Soup), (Pumpkin Chili), Rejoice! (Tamale Soup), Rhapsody Boutique & Spa (Enchilada Soup, Corn Chowder), Vintique Charm & Boutique (Zuppa Toscana Soup) and Willow Tree Mall (Potato Soup, Chili).

“The variety we have offers something for every soup lover out there,” said Sheila Giannelli, owner of Vintique Charm & Boutique, 512 W. Will Rogers Blvd. “Our soup is my husband’s family’s recipe, coming to Claremore straight from Italy.”

Tasting kits are available for advance purchase on Jan. 6 at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kits are also available on the day of the event starting at 10 a.m. at The Cozy Cottage, 514 W. Will Rogers Blvd., and Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, 318 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

Souper Saturday is a new event by the Downtown Claremore Merchants Group. It is being held in conjunction with 1st Saturday Downtown, a monthly downtown-wide sale.

For more information, call Claremore Main Street at 918-341-5881 or email .

Join the Facebook event!

NEW BUSINESS: Main Street Tavern serves up delicious dishes downtown

Jason Scarpa went from waiting tables to owning his own restaurant to becoming an area restaurant mogul after opening his fifth restaurant – Main Street Tavern of Claremore.

Jason began his journey as a restaurant owner when he opened Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow’s Rose District in 2011.

“When I moved to Oklahoma, I was deciding on what business I wanted to start,” he said. “I saw a void for a place like Main Street Tavern (in Broken Arrow) … fortunately, people like it.”

He went on to open the Main Street Loft, a private event space, and The Rooftop both in the same district. Last year, he took over In the Raw in the Rose District, and opened the Claremore’s Main Street Tavern (MST Claremore), 116 N. Missouri Ave., this fall.

“I’m always looking around for the next idea, trying to figure out the right concept for the right place,” he said. “It seemed like Main Street Tavern would be a good fit here … Hopefully, the people of Claremore will continue supporting us.”
​City of Claremore officials were looking for the right fit for the old Senior Citizen Center and went out searching. Jason’s project was chosen and construction commenced.

“Before you know it, over a year has gone by,” Jason said. “It was quite an extensive project.”

After gutting the building, remodeling, furnishing and finishing and hiring and training staff, Claremore was ready for the Tavern.

MST Claremore is the largest of the Scarpa Restaurant Concepts establishments. With 260 seats and roughly 7,000 square feet, it’s twice the size of the original Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow.

The full-service bar offers 28 rotating beers on tap and 32 bottled options.

“So we always have new things for beer lovers to try,” Jason said.

The restaurant boasts 11 television sets, including three on the patio. Along with the complete NFL package, guests can find college sports, Thunder basketball and even CNBC for business lunches.

There’s an additional private event space that accommodates 60 people and can be opened to the patio, which has heaters for the winter and misting fans for the summer.

“The big payoff for me is when I see people enjoying it with their family and friends,” Jason said. “That’s really what we’re in it for. I love this idea of creating something, putting it out there, and then seeing people enjoy it.”

The MST Claremore opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, serving a limited brunch menu between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the weekends. The Tavern is open every day until at least midnight, but stays open until 2 a.m. for crowds.

The Main Street Tavern in Claremore can be reached at 918-283-4464 or by visiting their website. Like MST Claremore on Facebook!

Cash Mob supports local animal shelter

Claremore Main Street’s bimonthly Cash Mob took over a small downtown business earlier this month, pumping nearly $700 into the local economy, and may lead to pet adoption assistance this holiday season.

For Cash Mob, local supports gather and then go, en masse, “mob” a downtown store chosen at random, spending $20 or more into the local economy and heading home with a bag full of merchandise.

In December, the group took over Dorothy’s Flowers, 308 W. Will Rogers Blvd. The mob was sponsored by Kevin Fortna, CPA.

To do even more for the community, 10 percent of the proceeds of the night go to a local nonprofit or cause, voted on by the mobbers themselves. December’s mobbers selected the Claremore Animal Shelter.

“I think it shows how the community pulls together to support the animal shelter and the needs there,” said Jean Hurst, Claremore Animal Shelter supervisor. “We feel honored that the people know we do good for the community and want to help us however they can.”

The cause is also near and dear to the heart of Dorothy’s owner, Holly Thompson.

“The animal shelter is my pet. I love being able to help them out,” she said.

The animal shelter does everything possible to find homes for the animals brought in. Because of their efforts, the shelter has reached a no-kill percentage on local canines, Hurst said.

The money donated will likely go to offer discounted adoption fees to “save more lives,” she said.

In addition to serving the community and local economy, a perk of the Cash Mob is to help introduce shoppers to store they may not be familiar with. Dorothy’s Flowers, for instance, has antiques, jewelry, knickknacks, stuffed animals and decorations in addition to flowers.

“We had huge feedback,” Thompson said. “I heard probably 10 times ‘we didn’t know you had this.’”

Participants in the Cash Mob agree to attend every other month and spend at minimum $20 at the store chosen at random the night of the event. The goal is to encourage shopping local and the downtown businesses’ success and to support local nonprofits.

Before the mob began, attendees came to a VIP gathering hosted at the Claremore Main Street office. Oak Hill Farm & Bakery provided holiday goodies and Rhapsody Boutique & Spa offered free hand massages.

Cash Mob is every other month on the first Tuesday of the month. Pre-registration is necessary because the starting location changes each month. Register online here and we will email the location out a week prior.

The next Cash Mob is scheduled for Feb. 7. The selected store will be drawn at 5:30 p.m., but the VIP gathering will begin at 4:30 p.m. The City of Claremore is the mob’s sponsor.

17 small cities for a perfect weekend getaway

Expedia’s travel blog, Viewfinder, listed Claremore as one of the best small cities for a weekend getaway. Here’s what they had to say about our wonderful town.

What to do: There’s hardly a better way to experience this state’s charm than with a visit to Claremore, where the musical “Oklahoma!” took place. Once you’ve managed to get those show tunes out of your head, make your way over to Belvidere Mansion, a Victorian-style treasure built in 1907. Stick around for a spot of tea in the historical home’s Tea Room and lose yourself in the city’s story. Before leaving town, spend some time in nature at Claremore Lake Park. The area welcomes you to hike the trails, take a boat out on the water, or even cast a line for some spotted bass.

Where to eat: If you’ve never had a jalapeno cream cheese burger, then you haven’t really lived. Try the novelty dish at Main Street Tavern and pair it with a local OK brew.

What not to miss: The Nut House. This log cabin, made of pecan wood, has all the nutty treats you could imagine, from chocolate peanut clusters to creamy white almonds—they make perfect souvenirs!

See the full list here.

NEW BUSINESS: Haberdashery provides haven for local men

At the beginning of the year, Justin and Audrey Michael began getting plugged into Claremore and a vision developed.

“The idea started really from going to Claremore Collective meetings and see Claremore grow and progress, and knowing we had seven women’s boutiques at the time and nothing for a man to do,” Justin said. “There was just no reason for a man to come downtown at all.”

Enter The Haberdashery.

The Haberdashery, 407 W. Will Rogers Blvd., a modern men’s clothing and accessories store, opened in November.

“There’s a three-word phrase that people come in and say. It’s men, it’s women, and it’s always the same three words: ‘Claremore needed this,’” Justin said. “That makes us feel good, like we did what we were supposed to do.”

Claremore Collective is a young professional’s organization “assembled as one voice to move Claremore forward.”

Justin and Audrey spent countless hours in the store in the two weeks between The District on Main moving across the street and The Haberdashery opening, ripping up 2,000 square feet of carpet, painting the walls and ceilings and using 100-year-old barn wood to decorate their new place.

The Haberdashery hosts national brands like Normal Brand, Southern Marsh, Soxfords, New York and Brixton, but they also support some northeastern Oklahoma brands, including Latigo Mercantile, Two Guys Bow Ties, Helton Custom Knives and Beauty by June and Jolene.

The store is the only in Claremore to carry premium cigars. All the cigars sold are listed in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25.

Customers also can enjoy a break from shopping with a leather couch and flat screen TV right in the middle of the store. In the future, Justin said they hope to have events catered to men, a sort of Guys Night Out.

“(Owning the store) doesn’t feel like work. I like meeting everyone and hearing what they have to say, getting their feedback,” Audrey said.

The newlyweds found another added perk to their new gig.

“The best part about it for us is that we’re here together,” Justin said.

Justin and Audrey also own downtown’s Twin Oaks Hotel, which they plan to revitalize beginning next year.

“It wasn’t just about how can Audrey and I be successful and make tons of money,” Justin said. “It was about what does Claremore need for Claremore to be successful, for us to progress, for a reason that people want to live and be here, to spend their money here.”

Both said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

“We’re thankful for the response and the welcoming we’ve gotten from everyone in Claremore and out of Claremore so far,” Audrey said. “So many of the business owners and employees of the other stores have been very supportive … We are thankful for all of them.”

The Haberdashery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.