Thanks to Tom Dittus, Riverside Drive has never been more bustling with activity–even in the winter. Long-time Tulsa patrons will remember Dittus’ first pride-and-joy, the Blue Rose Café, which he opened on Brookside in 1991. Named after a Tulsa band of the same name, the café remained open for ten years before closing in 2001. It was almost another decade before we would start to hear rumblings that the café would soon be making a comeback.
Walking around the construction site for the new location, due to be opened in mere weeks, Dittus shows me an experience that Tulsans have never really had: dining, literally, on the river. He and his crew have constructed a building on piers over what used to be an empty beach. The new café will also be something of a homage to the old Tulsa sound, with many relics of T-town history donated by Cain’s Ballroom.
The thing that strikes me the most about Dittus, though, is his laid-back approach to being such an involved developer. He couldn’t seem more relaxed and excited about his new project. It’s that kind of personality that, to me, makes Tom Dittus a True Tulsan.
True Tulsa is a weekly project that highlights the people and places that make our city great.