Corrine, Operations Manager of the ARTesian Gallery and Studios, and I walk across the intersection of Muskogee and First towards Bedré Cafe. As we walk she shares her visions of what could be; “On summer nights, I would love to see food trucks down here on a Thursday night and give the people a reason to come out. Just to step out of the ordinary, bring a bit of OKC here. Corrine then reflects back to the ARTesian, “we also have discussed a 2 and 3 day masters level art class that people have expressed an interest in; like Mike Larson, Margaret Wheeler. They have a great calling internationally; people know that. 3 or 4 people [could come for class] and stay at the [Artesian] hotel; do art 5-6 hours per day, go the park. There is a lot of potential.”
We step into Bedré Cafe. Corrine introduces me as the architect for the Visitor Center . We share greetings with Mary Carlile, General Manager of Bedré Cafe. Mary tells us what the café is about.
“OK. It’s a retrospect for Bedré chocolate. They thought of doing something different and doing a retro to the 40’s and 50’s. That’s how we came up with this [interior décor]. There are bar stools at the counter and booths lined along the opposite wall.
Mary asks “of course you know Bedré and you know what that means?” Corrine and I look at each other and I reply “fine chocolate?” We discuss the origin of the name. Mary tells us “it came from Sweden. And it means “better.” At first I thought she said bitter, but we clarified that it was indeed better. “That’s your test for the day” says Mary. we all laugh
I meet Mary’s assistant Franklin Terry. We kid him about having 2 first names. Corrine shares, “It’s a very friendly place. When you come in you get greeted.” Corrine is doing great job of PR as she discusses that I am doing the Blog and that this will be a part of it. I review with brevity the purpose of the Visitor Center. Mary and I share business cards. I make sure that she gets one for the Blog as well.
We discuss the ribbon the cutting day and how it was a threesome; the Visitor Center, ARTesian and Bedré Cafe all being dedicated on the same day. Franklin recalls “it was standing room only here.” Muskogee Street east of the intersection has not been turned into a private street so the Chickasaw Nation can close the street off and hold street events.
We discuss expanding the tour of Bedré but decide that this is pretty much it and I’ve seen it all. I am heavily marketed to purchase some chocolate but I beg off and say that I will come back after touring the Visitor Center. I get a quick overview of the coffees. Mary quips “of course we have coffee, we’re a café.” They have a great menu too and ice creams specially made for the café. They are geared up for Valentine’s Day with special goodies including chocolate roses made by Mary herself; white, dark, milk and blue chocolate roses.
I look over the racks filed with Bedré chocolate goodies and I quickly zoom in on one of my favorites; the dark chocolate covered potato chips. I thank Mary and Franklin for the hospitality and head for the door facing the Visitor Center across Muskogee Street. Bedré Cafe is worth a stop and see. I’ll be coming back soon for lunch and more chocolate goodies.