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Bleu Garten aspires to be Midtown, downtown community gathering spot

Business
Business | Jan 12, 2018

OKC Central: Bleu Garten (2014-03-19)

Oklahoma City is set to see its first food truck court as one of the largest undeveloped blocks in Midtown is being prepared for a venue that will also host live music performances, movies and an outdoor bar.

Hunter Wheat, who has a three-year lease for the block at NW 10 and Harvey Avenue, has submitted plans for approval by the Downtown Design Review Committee that include covered seating areas, a fire pit, a bar area, restrooms and parking for six food trucks. The venue, named Bleu Garten, which Wheat hopes to open by August, will seat an estimated 350 people.

Wheat’s Blue Garten is inspired by food truck courts in Dallas, Atlanta and San Francisco, and plans call for a seven-day-a-week venue that will be family-friendy and complimentary to the surrounding developing neighborhood.

“We want to mesh all the good ideas from all these places,” Wheat said. “We’re limiting it to six food trucks to keep it relevant and provide a good rotation of what’s out there.”

Related Photos

The proposed design for Bleu Garten calls for a food truck court, bar, covered and outdoor seating and restrooms. The venue is just east of a new Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall now under construction. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs -

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-57ca335b8712d01998eccc8fdf296d41.jpg" alt="Photo - The proposed design for Bleu Garten calls for a food truck court, bar, covered and outdoor seating and restrooms. The venue is just east of a new Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall now under construction. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - " title=" The proposed design for Bleu Garten calls for a food truck court, bar, covered and outdoor seating and restrooms. The venue is just east of a new Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall now under construction. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - "><figcaption> The proposed design for Bleu Garten calls for a food truck court, bar, covered and outdoor seating and restrooms. The venue is just east of a new Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall now under construction. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-037fd1161df1ea88741955625c906b74.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - " title=" Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - "><figcaption> Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-459720094e1ed122da8d6f03321a4903.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other communjity events. Photo By Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN " title="Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other communjity events. Photo By Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN "><figcaption>Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other communjity events. Photo By Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cf7751acb38428ccf7f626ca9236e35b.jpg" alt="Photo - Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN " title=" Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN "><figcaption> Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-df9671775e91054a8ce443005f8ee947.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - " title=" Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - "><figcaption> Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-636cc2b85332179fbf106706a69c4362.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - " title=" Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - "><figcaption> Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6d0a7d3664206c20ff0fd311039b9ee9.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - " title=" Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - "><figcaption> Hunter Wheat is preparing to open a family-friendly venue with Bleu Garten on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of NW 10 and Harvey. He hopes to open the city’s first food truck court by August, with the venue operating seven days a week with live music, outdoor movies and other community events. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d89ffb73b11fd5d9a6a6a300cf68fd36.jpg" alt="Photo - The proposed Bleu Garten at NW 10 and Harvey is set for an initial three-year lease that could be extended pending any future longterm development of the block. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - Chris Teehee with Teehee Designs " title="The proposed Bleu Garten at NW 10 and Harvey is set for an initial three-year lease that could be extended pending any future longterm development of the block. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - Chris Teehee with Teehee Designs "><figcaption>The proposed Bleu Garten at NW 10 and Harvey is set for an initial three-year lease that could be extended pending any future longterm development of the block. Drawing provided by Chris Teehee, with Teehee Designs - Chris Teehee with Teehee Designs </figcaption></figure>

Wheat said he was attracted to the Midtown site because of its proximity to a growing number of homes, shops and restaurants in the area, new destinations like the Ambassador Hotel, and upcoming attractions, including the Dust Bowl Lanes and Fassler Hall being built across the street.

Bleu Garten also is situated between the historic Plaza Court shopping center at NW 10 and Walker, and housing and shops developed by Midtown Renaissance at NW 10 and Robinson and NW 10 and Broadway. The property is owned by Midtown Renaissance and is being reserved for future, undetermined longterm development, Midtown Renaissance partner Chris Fleming said.

“Bleu Garten is a temporary use,” Fleming said. “It’s a great way to energize an otherwise dormant streetscape and vacant lot and make a connection to what’s going on at NW 10 and Broadway, NW 10 and Robinson, and what’s going on at NW 10 and Walker.”

Wheat said he is sensitive to the neighborhood’s growing residential population, which includes the nearby Guardian Garage lofts, Hadden Hall and the Cline, and is not planning to host late- night outdoor music performances. He also promises to employ security to maintain a family-friendly venue.

“We are looking into getting the same speakers used at the Myriad Gardens for their summer concerts,” Wheat said. “Kenny Phillips, who operates those concerts, along with the Festival of the Arts and Opening Night New Year’s Eve, played two of his speakers at a low audible. The result was great, and the sound carries extremely well without having to blare the music. As an outdoor venue, we absolutely do not want to disturb the local residents.”

To further reduce noise, Bleu Garten will provide trucks with electricity.

“This venue is not a bar where we will be blaring music,” Wheat said. “It’s for community congregation. On Mondays, we want to cut down to two food trucks and project cult classic movies. It will be where you can watch one of your favorite movies outside, with food from a gourmet truck and local brew with downtown Oklahoma City as the backdrop.”

Wheat also has researched how to show daytime screenings and is convinced Bleu Garten can become a community viewing spot for college football and Thunder playoff games.

Other ambitions including hosting yoga and spin classes, crafts shows, little league baseball and other fundraising activities. He is also in discussions with retail promoter Allison Bailey about inviting her Christmas igloo pop-up shops and merchants to set up at Bleu Garten on weekends.

Art, Wheat added, will be heavily featured at Bleu Garten.

“I have also met with operators of IAO (gallery) about displaying local art,” Wheat said.

“My sister, Summer Wheat, is an artist, so it’s important to me to display art and help feed the local starving artist.”

Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the... Read more ›

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