Blue Dome Gets the Dilly

Everyone loves sandwiches.
That was Dru Titchener’s hunch, anyway, when, about a year ago, she came up with the concept for the Blue Dome District’s newest restaurant.
The soft opening of Dilly Deli, the just-opened delicatessen and bar at 402 E. Second St., was March 13 – a Friday, of course – and the grand opening is slated for – no fooling – April 1.
“This place has just come together,” Titchener said. “We were really lucky with this spot. It turned out to be a gem. We were looking for awhile and nothing was really coming up. All of a sudden, this place came around. We thought, ‘Wow. This is it.’”
The menu at Dilly Deli, the items on which personify Titchener’s favorite people, is 26 sandwiches long. Salads range from the standard create-your-own to the Kathy Taylor ($10.50), tuna or chicken salad on romaine with Roma tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and carrots.
The sandwiches are made on Farrell Family Organic Bread, headquartered in Tulsa at 8034 S. Yale Ave. The meat is all-natural – “no funny ingredients you can’t pronounce,” the menu says. The beer list – five on tap, 16 bottles – is studded with locally-brewed beers from Marshall Brewing Company, at Sixth and Wheeling. Even the coffee is local – it’s trucked to the Blue Dome District from Topeca Coffee Roastery at 630 W. 12th St.
Sandwiches start at $8.50 and go up to the $20 Jon Michael, a gut-busting full pound of pastrami and swiss cheese, served on rye. Emerging customer favorites are the Michael Roy ($9.50), a veggie sandwich starring portobello mushrooms, and the Mondy ($8.50), a Thai-inspired ‘which with peanut butter, chili sauce and cilantro paired with grilled chicken.
The prices have irked a few customers, “but we use local bread, good cheese and great, natural meats,” Titchener said. “You get what you pay for.”
Still, “business is really good so far. It’s exactly where I want it to be,” Titchener said. “We did a soft opening, and we haven’t really advertised until just today. We’ll see from here.”
The lunch crowds have already been promising, “and I feel like we’re equipped to make it get-in-get-out. We have a to-go counter, and the business crowd seems to really like it.”
The dining room is a study in urban chic, but with a playful edge. The concrete floors, exposed wooden rafters, brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows are paired with Titchener’s use of mismatched, brightly painted dining furniture, bold colors and even a wall-length shelf full of books and board games.
“I wanted this place to be kid-friendly,” she said. “I know a lot of places around here aren’t that, but this is definitely a place where you could come hang out, bring the kids.”
“It’s about relaxing and good food,” she added.
Though she hasn’t seen final numbers, Titchener estimated that build out for the nearly 5,000-SF, 100-seat restaurant rang up at less than $100,000.
“Besides the windows and the kitchen remodel, there wasn’t that much to getting this space ready,” she said. “It’s a big space, though. It’s like a deli on steroids.”
The Dilly Deli venture is a 50/50 deal, she said – half Titchener, half Elliot Nelson. Nelson owns several other Tulsa restaurants and bars, including James E. McNellie’s Public House and El Guapo’s Mexican Cantina, both within view from Dilly Deli’s corner at Second and Elgin. Titchener, a 10-year veteran of the local restaurant biz, joined Nelson at McNellie’s in 2005.
“He is just a great person to work for,” she said. “I always said that if I couldn’t work for myself, working for him would be the next best thing.”
Dilly Deli hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday brunch is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with doors closing at 6 p.m. The summer months promise to bring special events to the deli, Titchener said, like musical acts and Movie Mondays on the 24-seat patio.
Chefs, Media Bring “Taste of Grace” to Tulsa
Grace Hospice Foundation launches its inaugural brunch event, “Taste of Grace,” next month.
The event will highlight gourmet dishes by local chefs. Chefs from Oscar’s Gastropub, The Local Table, Elote Cafe & Catering, The Melting Pot, The Garlic Rose, Cafe Ole, Red Rock Canyon Grill, Kaffe Bona and Edible Arrangements will heat up the kitchen with several members of the local media, including Julie Chin with KJRH NewsChannel 2, Jason Ashley Wright with Tulsa World and James Aydelott, who recently returned to Tulsa to join FOX23 News. Chefs and their media partners will prepare the chef’s signature dish.
Though the event centers on food, there will be other things to catch the eye besides what’s on the plate. Local business and community leaders will model the latest in spring and summer fashion. The fashion show is thanks to Compliments Boutique.
The event will be capped with a silent auction. Up for grabs will be art, food, and travel packages. All proceeds will benefit Grace Hospice Foundation.
“Taste of Grace” starts its inaugural event at noon April 26. Tulsa Historical Society, at 2445 S. Peoria Ave., will host the event. Tickets are $50 per person. Contact Belinda Hedgcock at 605-7265 for more information.
Grace Hospice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of the importance of hospice care by educating the community about hospice. The Foundation also helps to subsidize the cost of care for some patients and families and attempts to fulfill end-of-life wishes of hospice patients.

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